Raga Renaissance Video Series
BRM is working with Treeline Pictures to produce this series of videos featuring concert footage, interviews and behind the scenes action at our residency in Pioneer Works.
BRM Residency at Pioneer Works
Brooklyn Raga Massive is currently Artist in Residence at the amazing arts incubator, Pioneer Works with concerts every Wednesday through the end of April (except Tuesday March 29). We have greatly expanded our programming here with tributes to Ravi Shankar, George Harrison and themed evenings. See BRM's website for full details
Neel interviewed on PRI about his Letterman experience
PRI's "The World" interviewed Neel today for his valuable insight as the only sitar player ever on David Letterman's show! Listen in at the link below! Neel also got in a serious plug for Brooklyn Raga Massive. His but comes on at 43:21....
Brooklyn Raga Massive in the press!
"...apparently there’s a critical mass of those type of people in Brooklyn right now."
That's right! Brooklyn Raga Massive is a great community of musicians. We have a weekly concert series and jam session hosted by Neel Murgai.
Read what we are all about!
NME video from JACK in Brooklyn
NME Live at Jack 11/16/13
Performing "Decent" a rearrangement of music Neel composed for the film "A Decent Arrangement."
Jungle Boook Preview
I am so excited to be in the orchestra of this fabulous musical theater production of the Jungle Book, directed by Mary Zimmerman, featuring Broadway legend Andre De Shields as King Louie and many other talented actors, dancers and musicians. After 115 performances over 5 months in Chicago and Boston I am back in the man village and eagerly awaiting a return to the Jungle next year, location TBD! See short preview below...
NME performs in Sinaloa, Mexico
Brooklyn Raga Massive represents in Sinaloa, Mexico as the Neel Murgai Ensemble performs in the 2012 Sinaloa Cultural Festival.
October 19 8PM Culiacan - Teatro Pablo de Villavicencio
October 20 8PM Navolato - Patio del H. Ayuntamiento
October 21 8PM Mazatlan - Teatro Angela Peralta
Neel Murgai Ensemble combines Indian classical music, jazz minimalism and more into a raga chamber jazz. Neel's compositions and arrangements guide a sound that is brought to life by the musicians in dynamic group improvisation and interplay.
Neel Murgai - sitar
Sameer Gupta - tabla
Trina Basu - violin
Marika Huges - cello
Haunted House - Blue Ghost Blues
Haunted House has a new album out on Northern Spy Records! Available on CD, LP and MP3 download.
Haunted House is lead by legendary experimental guitarist Loren Conners, and rounded out by vocalist Suzanne Langille, guitarist Andrew Burnes, and daf player Neel Murgai. Buy and listen at the link below.
“Blue Ghost Blues paints incredibly vivid pictures that have little deniability of feeling. Leaving the music’s grip is pretty impossible." – Lyn Horton, JazzTimes
NME on Ebru TV's Rhythm and Roots
A 22 minute program on the Neel Murgai Ensemble, originally aired September 2010. Featuring interviews with the whole band and an exclusive performance.
'A Decent Arrangement' Premier
Musical score composed and performed by Neel Murgai (with Kunal Prakash on guitar) for this new film by Sarovar Banka, starring Shabana Azmi and Adam Laupus. Premiering at the New York Indian Film Festival, May 8, 2011, 3PM, Tribeca Theater. Advance tickets available at the link below.
‘A Decent Arrangement’ is the story of Ashok Khosla, an Indian-American copywriter, who journeys to India seeking an arranged marriage. After he encounters an American woman traveling through India and is set up with an Indian woman who unexpectedly captivates him, Ashok must navigate the complexity of cultural traditions and the leanings of his own heart. With subtle comedy and true-to-life drama, ‘A Decent Arrangement’ shows us a side of India not commonly seen by western audiences and delivers an affecting story that resonates with those of us in search of our place in a changing world.
NME at Vassar College
Neel Murgai Ensemble performs Panchatantra live at Vassar College, April 13, 2011.
Neel Murgai - sitar
Sameer Gupta - tabla
Arun Ramamurthy - violin
Marika Hughes - cello
Suzanne Langille and Neel Murgai Live
"Day is Slipping" - Suzanne Langille and Neel Murgai live at Issue Project, March 18, 2011
Wild and Foolish Heart on Family Vineyard Records
Announcing a new LP release, "Wild and Foolish Heart" on Family Vineyard Records. On this live album (recorded at Issue Project) I play frame drums and tanpura to accompany vocalist Suzanne Langille. Available on Vinyl and digital from itunes et al. Features a blistering bonus track by Haunted House, a band with guitarists Loren Conners and Andrew Burnes, as well as Suzanne and myself.
Interview on Brooklyn Independent Television's "Caught in the Act"
Neel Murgai: American-born, but is deep into his Indian musical roots; studied science and math, but plays sitar and drums -- and does throat-singing, too. And he can show you how the planets make music!From Brooklyn Independent Television's Caught In The Act, episode 30
Brooklyn ki Bhairavi live
Great video from a live performance of Brooklyn ki Bhairavi. Taped at the Neel Murgai Ensemble's July 23, 2010 performance at Le Poisson Rouge.
NME on NPR Song of the Day
"Space Twang" off of our new album was just featured on NPR's Song of the Day! Read the great write up here.
"Murgai is breaking the conventions of classical Indian music, the feel is as forwardly traditional as can be — bona fide "raga-chamber jazz.""
Excerpts from Part 1 of the premier performance of Reorientation Suite. Based on Raga Desi, which means 'of the homeland', this piece is called Videsi, or foreign. Performed by the Neel Murgai Ensemble and underwritten by the American Composer's Forum with funds from the Jerome Foundation.
Part 3 of Reorientation Suite: Rejoiner
Neel Murgai Ensemble Debut CD
The Neel Murgai Ensemble debut recording is now available on itunes, amazon, emusic and other digital outlets as well as CD!
"Raga-chamber-jazz? It's true. As further evidence of the shrunken global village this album--sitarist-composer Neel Murgai's first as a bandleader--redefines the meaning of global dialogue. This is not the exotic fusion of your neighborhood deli but New Music that transcends the ancient future traditional. Rooted in North Indian classical styles, his music is inspired by a multitude of sources: raga, jazz, minimalism, free improvisation, Mongolian throat singing and Eastern European gypsy.
Featuring downtown improv wizard Mat Maneri on viola, Sameer Gupta (Supplicants, Marc Kerry's Focus Trio) on tabla and Greg Heffernan (Paradox trio) on cello, this quartet is a perfect balance of sounds and styles. The delicate nuances of sitar and tabla are complemented by viola and cello to produce a stringy texture of radiant buoyancy.
Neel's fresh compositions blend seamlessly with his new takes and adaptations of traditional material, but the music comes to life in the dynamic improvisation of the ensemble. They lend gravity to the moment as we are transported to higher realms. Their interaction is the real global dialogue, a spontaneous raga-chamber jazz.
If you ever loved the Mahavishnu Orchestra or Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition you'll need to hear the Neel Murgai Ensemble.
Fresh from a center stage appearance on the David Letterman show, accompanying Wyclef Jean and Cyndi Lauper, Neel is a veteran of the New York music scene. His compositions can be heard in the award winning feature film, "The Yes Men Fix the World". He has worked with numerous musicians, bands, theater companies and dance troupes of all genres, including Bill T. Jones Dance Company, Suphala, Samir Chatterjee, Yuerba Buena, Loren Conners, Louis Belogenis, Vijay Iyer, Mission on Mars, Akim Funk Buddha, Pharaoh's Daughter, Suzanne Languile, Manhattan Children's Theater, Dusara Dance, Morgon Kara, and Feraba. "
Huffington Post Review
The first reviews of the CD are in! Derek Beres of the Huffington Post wrote, "...The quartet's self-titled debut, The Neel Murgai Ensemble, is about to drop on Innova, which features an intriguing blend of instrumentation. The artfully composed sounds of the sitar and tabla, some vocals, along with viola, cello, and daf, comprise the album's eight songs. While the opening "Charukeshi Monday" is innately traditional, "Brooklyn Ki Bhairavi" is a gorgeous mixing of those aforementioned instruments in a very innovative context (though it too is based on the popular rag Bhairavi.) All of Murgai's songs are in someway influenced by pre-existing compositions, though not only Indian: "Coi Umeed" is an Eastern European gypsy song that he first heard while watching the incredible documentary, Latcho Drom. True, even gypsy song can be traced back to India, but we all have our history. Murgai is introducing his to bright new vistas."
American Composer's Forum Award
Neel was recently awarded a major grant from the Jerome Composer's Commissioning Program. This award, distributed through the American Composer's Forum, is funding the creation of a new composition, "Reorientation Suite". This piece will have its world premier at the Brooklyn Queens Conservatory of Music on April 24.
Raga Simpsons in Drut Teental
Along with Eric Fraser on tabla and Sameer Gupta on tabla, Neel was recently seen for a few short seconds on the Simpson's 20th Anniversary Special. Here is the full arrangement of "Raga Simpsons in Drut Teental", our Indian classical version of the famous Danny Elfman theme music.
Neel on Letterman
Neel performing on the David Letterman Show, Nov 16, 2009 with Wyclef Jean, Cyndi Lauper and DJ Rekha!
Exclusive behind the scenes rehearsal footage from the Wyclef/Lauper Letterman performance!
NME live at Rose
Neel Murgai Esemble Live
25 days in the Grand Canyon and temporal perception takes on new meanings. This piece unites that experience with an interplanetary sense of time and space. The music,in 5 voices, is based on planetary sidereal frequencies. Starting with the sun that remains as the drone, each new tone is that of planets in succession from Mercury to Neptune. A journey to the end of the solar system. The pictures (taken by Adam Kuby) are from a 2007 Grand Canyon expedition, a 25 day journey to Diamond creek. The colors of the pictures have been altered to reflect the planetary frequencies in a mathematical relationship. The text comes out of a survey of the participants. Conceived, composed and created by Neel Murgai.