Monday, February 10, 2014

New musical partners: Radha Bornstein, Bart Stenhouse

Late last year I started performing separately with two different soloists: original kirtan singer Radha Bornstein and jazz guitarist Bart Stenhouse.

"Radha Bornstein has been writing, singing and performing devotional songs from early childhood. She skillfully weaves together the strands of poetic words from saints like Rumi, Mirabai and the Buddha, with traditional sanskrit mantra, soul-stirring vocals and rhythmic guitar. "

Radha and I met at Yogafest in June and have now done 4 concerts together in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. I'm really enjoying her musicianship and original songs, and finding new ways to accompany on tabla in Western chord-based music. I have experience with traditional bhajans within the Indian community but funnily enough these have been my first outings into the Western yoga-kirtan community.

Radha and I have upcoming concerts on April 12 (Brisbane), 26 and 27 (NNSW).

Radha Bornstein and Shen Flindell at The Yoga Den, West End, 20th Oct 2013.

Video of  "Bolo Ram" by Radha Bornstein, ending with tabla solo by Shen

"Bart Stenhouse has been an active player on the jazz and world music scenes for many years. His love of world music styles, classical indian, flamenco, folk/roots and western classical music has influenced his various compositions. He performs on a myriad of instruments, including mohan vina, electric mandolin, electric/double bass and guitars. A musical explorer, he seeks the common ground between the different worlds of music and actively pursues them around the world. Currently he lectures at the Qld Conservatorium and works actively as a film score composer, live sound engineer and music producer."

Bart is an experienced jazz and flamenco guitarist who has recently started playing mohan vina (Indian slide guitar) and is currently here in Varanasi recording a CD with some local musicians. I'm really looking forward to seeing his development in both Indian classical music and its influence on his jazz playing. We kicked off with a couple of concerts and a workshop in November and December. 

The first concert was an Indian classical evening held in Mullumbimby on November 16th, also featuring Yuki Taniguchi Flindell's beautiful Dhrupad vocal. (She managed to get baby Saraswati to sleep for the duration of her set!)  

Bart Stenhouse (mohan vina) with Shen Flindell: Raga Kirwani, vilambit and drut teentaal

Yuki Taniguchi Flindell (Dhrupad vocal) with Shen (tabla): Raga Yaman, chartaal, Raga Adana, sooltaal

The second event with Bart was in the magnificent Langri Tangpa Centre in Camp Hill, Brisbane on December 14th. We opened with an Indian classical set on mohan vina and followed up with some of Bart's original jazz compositions, plus an attempted cover of Remember Shakti's "Lotus Feet". What a blast!

Bart Stenhouse (mohan vina) and Shen Flindell (tabla) at Langri Tangpa Centre

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