Rajeev Taranath | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Rajeev Taranath 

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Bangalore-born sarod player Rajeev Taranath was introduced to Indian classical music not long after he learned to walk: he learned to play tabla at four, began to study singing a few years later, and at fifteen was performing professionally. Like many Indians, Taranath admired sitarist Ravi Shankar, but when he first saw Shankar live, in 1955, he was struck more by the sarod player onstage, Ali Akbar Khan. Twenty years old at the time, he soon moved to Bombay to begin nearly 50 years of study with Khan and his sister Annapurna Devi. (He also picked up a PhD in English literature.) These days he teaches Indian music at the California Institute of the Arts in LA, but he continues to perform. On his most recent album, Rasarang (Golden Horn), he puts his scholarship to good use. At the tail end of "Raga Desh," he unfurls high-velocity lines from furious clusters of cleanly articulated notes; on the opening of "Raga Jogia Kalingra," which is marked by a gentle delicacy and melodic beauty, his playing is just as fluid and assured. He performs with tabla player Abhiman Kaushal for this show. Fri 3/25, 8 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, 773-728-6000 or 866-468-3401, $20, $16 seniors and kids. All ages.

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