Jazz virtuoso George Brooks and Indian classical music visionary Mahesh Kale unite for a collaboration that transcends cultural and musical barriers. George Brooks has it all: the colossal tone, the intuitive creative leaps, the commanding technique. The go-to horn-master for blues giants like Etta James and Albert Collins, he helped create the electrifying genre of Indian/jazz fusion with world-class virtuosi like Zakir Hussain and John McLaughlin. Indian superstar vocalist Mahesh Kale is a phenomenon around the world, beloved for his enchanting, reverberant voice and his unique ability to interweave classical and popular music. Together, accompanied by a world-class rhythm section, their otherworldly sounds will be steeped in Indian ragas and rhythms, creating an intriguing blend of jazz energy and Indian traditions.
Mahesh has been singing his entire life, giving his first solo performance at the age of three. Much of his work has been devoted to traditional Indian classical music forms, but he’s also well-known for is crossover work with fusion pioneers Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain, Sivamani, and others, including George Brooks. He became a worldwide sensation when his singing was featured in a hit Indian film called Katyar Kaljat Ghusali, which was released in 2015.
The performance will also feature legendary percussionist and kanjira virtuoso V. Selvaganesh who gained fame in the West through his work with Hussain and McLaughlin’s blazing band, Remember Shakti. Rounding out the ensemble is German/Liberian electric bassist Kai Eckhardt, a longtime resident of Berkeley, and Egyptian-born pianist Osam Ezzeldin. Eckhardt, who has worked extensively with Brooks, Hussain, and fusion drum pioneer Billy Cobham, first gained widespread notice in the U.S. through extensive touring with the John McLaughlin Trio, a band memorably documented on the 1990 JMT album Live At The Royal Festival Hall.