We were intrigued the other day when a contingent of Europeans planning to be in New York in early March purchased a block of tickets to “BK Collective: A Night of Jazz & Global Beats” (to buy your own tickets, visit: http://www.ps9brooklyn.org/news/2016/12/benefit-concert/).  Why, we asked, had they decided to spend one of their nights in the city at the show?  The answer: “Look at the musicians!”

We understand their enthusiasm!

Meet violinist Arun Ramamurthy, uncle of fourth-grader Aayan (Ms. Sierra) and first-grader Saya (Ms. Romero), husband of former PS 9 violin teacher Trina Basu, and potential future PS 9 parent!

We asked Arun a few questions:

Q. What are your Top 5 desert island discs/downloads?

A. Lalgudi Jayaraman (violin), Live in NYC, 1983; Ali Akbar Khan & L. Subramaniam, Duets; anything at all by Nikhil Banerjee; The Roots, Do You Want More?!!!??!; John Zorn, Bar Kokbha Sextet.

 Q. Who’s the coolest person you’ve met, and why?

A. I’d have to say my guru, Mysore Manjunath. He has incredible balance, both personally and musically. Musically he is deeply traditional while simultaneously experimental, and can express himself through his instrument unlike anyone I’ve ever heard. 

Q. What’s the last live show you’ve seen?

A. Sadly, it’s been a while since I’ve attended a concert without instrument in hand. The last one was Josh Geisler’s group Bansara, at Brooklyn Raga Massive.

Q. How do you teach your son about music? What do you do to keep him engaged in music?

A. My wife Trina is also a violinist, so there’s a lot of music going on between our rehearsals, teaching, and random stuff we listen to. We sing a lot—sometimes it sounds like a musical at home. Akash loves percussion, so we play little rhythm games where Akash copies a pattern I’m playing. Then he picks a new rhythm. Regardless, we try to keep it fun as he’s only three. 

Q. What is your son listening to?

A. Akash’s bedtime playlist includes Elizabeth Mitchell singing lullabies, Falu Shah singing Raga Desh, Amir ElSaffar’s Love Poem, and Chris Thile playing Bach.

Q. You’re in an elevator, meet an acquaintance and have about 20 seconds to tell her about Jazz Night. Pitch it in your own words.

A. This is a perfect chance to do something GOOD and something FUN at the same time. We’re all coming together from different traditions and cultures for one common goal. We need to do that more. Plus, we get to partaaaay!

Read more about Arun’s work, and come see him perform live on March 4th at Littlefield!

A disciple of the celebrated Carnatic violinist brothers, Dr. Mysore Manjunath and Sri Mysore Nagaraj, Arun has become one of the country’s leading Indian Classical and crossover musicians. He leads the Arun Ramamurthy Trio, an ensemble that brings a fresh approach to age-old South Indian classical repertoire and raga inspired originals. Praised by All About Jazz as “a beautiful, exotic, ear-opening listening experience” the Trio’s debut album “Jazz Carnatica” was picked by NPR’s New Sounds as a Top New Release.

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And, remember to Take advantage of early bird ticket pricing for PS 9’s first-ever benefit concert, BK Collective: A Night of Jazz & Global Beats, before time runs out!

Tickets are $30 through the end of the day today, February 24th! The tickets will go up to $35 afterward and at the door.

To purchase advance tickets, please visit: http://www.ps9brooklyn.org/news/2016/12/benefit-concert/

We hope to see you on March 4th at LittlefieldIt’s going to be a great night!