Rajna Swaminathan- mrudangam, vocal, compositions
Linda May Han Oh- bass
María Grand-tenor sax
Joel Ross- vibraphone
Imani Uzuri- special guest, vocals
In her new project Mangal, mrudangam artist & composer Rajna Swaminathan brings together a group of thoughtful improvisers to share their unique perspectives and spark new collective soundings. Her compositions merge musical processes from South Indian music, jazz/creative music, and other forms, opening the door to lush and intricate improvisations. The concert will feature a special guest, acclaimed vocalist-composer Imani Uzuri.
Rajna Swaminathan is an acclaimed mrudangam (South Indian percussion) artist, a protégé of mrudangam maestro Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman. Rajna is one of only a handful of women who play the mrudangam professionally. She has performed with several renowned Indian classical musicians, most notably mentor and vocalist T.M. Krishna. Rajna has performed in several prestigious venues and festivals, including the Smithsonian (D.C.), Kennedy Center (D.C.), Asia Society (NYC), Lincoln Center (NYC), Walker Art Center (MN), Music Academy (Chennai), Shanmukhananda Hall (Mumbai) and The Esplanade (Singapore). Rajna also regularly gives workshops on the South Indian rhythmic perspective, most notably at the Banff International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and the KoSA International Percussion Camp. Rajna holds degrees in Anthropology and French from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Music (Creative Practice & Critical Inquiry) at Harvard University.