George Brooks & Alam Khan
An electrifying collaboration of saxophonist and composer George Brooks with Sarode virtuoso Alam Khan to benefit local charities.
Brooks has long been a mainstay of the Bay Area blues scene, arranging and leading horn sections for Sonny Rhodes, Frankie Lee, Albert Collins and Johnny Taylor and touring internationally with R+B icon Etta James. He has also been hailed as Americas leading voice in Indian Jazz fusion and has performed and recorded with India's most prominent artists as well as international stars Terry Riley and John McLaughlin. In addition to performing at many of the most prestigious concert halls around the world, he also wrote and arranged the score for the Yo-Yo Ma, Mark Morris collaboration Kolam, written and arranged film scores, and won an award for composing a contemporary Indian jazz opera.
Joining Brooks is Alam Khan, the son of one of the 20th century's greatest musician, the legendary Ali Akbar Khan. Alam learned the Sarode from the master as a disciple, his true heir, and is the face of a new generation of Sarode players. He has performed at major festivals throughout the US and India attracting praise and attention from musical icons such as Sitar Legend Ravi Shankar and many of India's finest musicians. Like Brooks, he has collaborated with artists in other genres, such as Bob Weir, Derek Trucks, Rob Wasserman, as well as the San Francisco Symphony.
Accompanying them on tabla is Nilan Chaudhuri, son of esteemed tabla artist Swapan Chaudhuri. Nilan performs with the Chitresh Das Dance Company and like Alam teaches at the Ali Akbar College of Music.
In an interview with the SF Chronicle's Jesse Hamlin, Brooks said of this concert, "Were trying to invoke that spirit of collaboration that Ali Akbar Khan was interested in.... He set up his school in the West for a reason, says Brooks. Were trying to water that plant." The trio plans to play raga-based material, says the saxophonist, including ragas that incorporate the feeling of the blues, which comes naturally to most saxophone players.
This performance is the first in a series of concerts at the Swedenborgian church benefitting 3 local charities: the Young Women's Choral Project, Canine Companions for Independence, and Nature in the City.
The venue is a National Historic Monument, so designated because of its unique architecture in the early Arts&Crafts style and the noted artists who contributed, featuring custom paintings by early California artist William Keith, chairs by AJ Forbes that are the earliest example of mission-style furniture, and many details from a collaboration of designers. It is a small church with seating limited for only about 100, so the candle-lit performance will be an intimate one, styled like a "house concert".
SF Swedenborgian Church (View)
2107 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94115