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PUTNEY — Next Stage’s 2021 Artist-in-Residence Arun Ramamurthy returns to Putney this weekend with his trio on Saturday and Brooklyn Raga Massive on Sunday.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Arun Ramamurthy Trio (ART) with evening ragas by Jake Charkey, Joel Veena, and Mir Naqibal Islam will be at Next Stage Arts, 15 Kimball Hill. Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 at the door. At 5 p.m. Sunday, Brooklyn Raga Massive will be at The Bunker Farm, 857 Bunker Road. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, with children under 12 free. Brooklyn Raga Massive is included in the Bandwagon Series Pass. A ticket offering admission to both concerts may be purchased for $30. More information is at nextstagearts.org.

“We’re seeing this as an opportunity to continue the dialogue we started last summer, further bringing raga music into the lives of the Brattleboro community. We’ll be presenting concerts ranging from traditional raga music to original, cross-cultural bands featuring instruments like sitar, the west African kora, oud, slide trumpet, violin and tabla,” Ramamurthy said.

Saturday’s concert kicks off with a collaboration between the cello and the Indian slide guitar, two instruments seldom heard in Indian classical music. Cellist Jake Charkey and Indian slide guitarist Joel Veena (both Vermont-raised) are joined by tabla player Mir Naqibul Islam, a trio of artists all deeply steeped in the oral tradition of Hindustani music.

The second set of the night features Ramamurthy bringing a fresh approach to age-old South Indian classical repertoire in his trio ART. A recent recipient of Chamber Music America’s prestigious New Jazz Works commission, the trio will premiere selections from Ramamurthy’s newly composed suite.

Brooklyn Raga Massive is a globally recognized musician’s collective rooted in and inspired by Indian Classical music. In this special performance featuring Brooklyn Raga Massive co-artistic director Ramamurthy, the artists will present Tradition to Innovation, exploring the classical music of North and South India alongside a spirit of innovation born out of Brooklyn. Bringing this musical exploration to life are Neel Murgai (sitar), Aaron Shragge (trumpet), Kane Mathis (kora/oud), Damon Banks (bass) and Mir Naqibul Islam (tabla).

“Classical Indian music infuses nature, seasons, time of day and spirituality into its music. Brooklyn Raga Massive have brought it to contemporary audiences with such force, its power is hard to deny,” said Keith Marks, executive director of Next Stage Arts. “The musicianship and their commitment to the craft are jaw-dropping. It’s a gift to present these world-class musicians in Windham County.”

Sunday’s concert is co-presented with Epsilon Spires. Support for the Bandwagon Summer Series is provided by VTDigger, Brattleboro Reformer, Oak Meadow, Whetstone Craft Beers, Barr Hill, Mad River Distillers, The Porch Café and Catering and Halyard Brewing Co.


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