For the Recorder
Published: 10/3/2019 9:34:29 AM

Stone Church Arts of Greenfield will host a concert of Indian music this weekend.

The show, Oct. 6 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew on the corner of Federal and Church streets, will feature Joel Veena on the North Indian slide guitar, Gordon Korstange on the south Indian bamboo flute and Mir Nagibul Islam playing the tabla. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for seniors.

Both musicians hail from southern Vermont, according to a press statement about the concert. There, they met and decided to combine the music of both north India and south India, using techniques and similar ragas to create a unique sound and performance that includes poetry.

Veena began his Indian music study in 2007 during a study abroad program. He studied under musician Dr. Ranjan Kumar. Since then, Veena has traveled other times to India to study and perform, giving concerts at places like the 2019 Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and the Codarts Rotterdam World Music Conservatory. In 2017, he released his second album, “Unexpected Blessings,” which was recorded in both India and the U.S. and features many different musicians and musical styles from both countries. In 2018, Veena released a third studio album, “Chintan,” with Hindustani flutist Amit Singhal. Veena resides with his wife, Vidhi, in Vermont and Mumbai, India, in between touring.

Korstange began learning south Indian music on the bamboo flute as a Peace Corps volunteer. After studying in India for several years, he began learning from the eminent flutist T. Viswanathan at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he received a master’s degree in world music and creative writing. He formed the group Kirtana with veena player David Reck and mridangam artist David Nelson. They performed in the U.S. and India for many years. He also performed for several years with poet Robert Bly and dancer Nina Gulati, combining poetry, music and Indian dance. 

Now living and working in New York City, he performs regularly with musicians from a wide variety of other genres, bringing to the table jazz, Middle-Eastern music and other musical styles. 




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