Three stellar musicians down, three more standouts to introduce you to in advance of PS 9’s first-ever benefit concert, “BK Collective: A Night of Jazz & Global Beats,” to be held on March 4th at Littlefield!

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

Meet percussionist Sameer Gupta, parent, along with his partner Lena, of Kindergartener Naima (Ms. Cruz)!

We asked Sameer a few questions:

Q. What are you Top 5 desert island discs/downloads?
A. Charles Mingus—Black Saint and the Sinner Lady; Ali Akbar Khan—Raga Marwa; John Coltrane—Crescent; Karl Orff—Carmina BuranaNina Simone—Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair

Q. What’s the last thing your daughter said that made you fall out of your chair laughing?
A. “Running normally is the hard way to run, but running while ‘Dabbin’ is the fast way to run!” (This was followed by a demonstration.)

Q. Who’s the coolest person you’ve met, and why?
A. Jazz drummer Elvin Jones—cuz he was like a child in a grown-up’s body, and played drums like a beast!

Q. What’s the one album that every music lover must have in his/her collection, and why?
A. Pink Floyd—The Wall…because it’s more than just an album, and more than just songs.

Q. What’s the last live show you’ve seen?
A. Mario Forte and Sergio Krakowski at Brooklyn Raga Massive’s weekly Jam Session. 

Q. What does the PS 9 school community mean to you?
A. A place that can withstand Devostation!!

Q. How do you teach your daughter about music? What do you do to keep her engaged in music?
A. I let my daughter explore different instruments, like piano, drumset and tabla, as well just doing call and response games. I always encourage her to listen deeply, ask what instruments she hears. Also, we speak in Tabla back and forth a lot.

Q. What is Naima listening to?
A. “Free to Be You and Me” 

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. These musicians are amazing and coming from very different influences, and together they’re going to do original music in a lineup you may never hear again. And they’re supporting the public school system!

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

Sameer Gupta is a Brooklyn-based jazz percussionist, table player, and composer, specializing in Indian classical music and American jazz. He is a founder of the jazz ensemble The Supplicants and drummer for the Marc Cary Focus Trio. He has also worked with vidyA, Kosmic Renaissance, Grachan Moncur III, Victor Goines, Vincent Gardner, Sekou Sundiata, Sonny Simmons, Marcus Shelby, Calvin Keys, Richard Howell, Dayna Stephens and Julian Lage. His playing has been called “kinetic, bass-heavy and tender.”