Dazzling East Meets Jazz concert to open 2002-03 season at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts


Image: Sandip Burman"Sandip Burman & Friends - East Meets Jazz," a concert fusing ancient Indian rhythms with modern jazz improvisation, will take place Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Fairfield University's Wien Experimental Theatre in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. A second concert will begin at 9 p.m.

The concert will feature the Quick Center for the Arts' artist-in-residence Sandip Burman, a master of the tabla, a pair of Indian drums played with the fingers, palms and heels of the hand in complex, often high-velocity Eastern rhythms. He will be joined by expressive guitarist and composer Paul Bollenback, accomplished jazz saxophonist David Pietro and other guests. Burman's jazz fusion work has been highly acclaimed and his East Meets Jazz, which has included several greats of jazz, rock and R&B, has toured nationally in major venues and festivals.

Born in Durgapur, India, Burman was just six when he took up the tabla, as a student of tabla master Pandit Shyamal Bose of Calcutta. The youngster quickly took an intense interest in his musical studies, developing a reputation for dazzling speeds and spontaneous innovations while retaining tonal purity. As a young man, he played with India's most celebrated musicians, including legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar and sarod player Rajeev Taranath.

Burman came to the United States in the late 1980s, when the Calcutta ashram at which he taught sent him to instruct students in its Los Angeles branch. Here he has collaborated and toured with many prominent musicians, including Beacute;la Fleck, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Smith (Journey), Victor Bailey (Weather Report), Al DiMeola, Glen Valez and many more. His career highlights reflect his eclectic spirit, including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., House of Blues Chicago, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Ravinia Festival and the Monterey World One Festival.

Described by The Washington Post as "nothing if not a catalyst," Burman will lead a group of accomplished players at the Quick Center concert. David Pietro, a native of Southboro, Mass., has been on the New York jazz scene since 1987. He has toured with the Woody Herman Young Thundering Herd, the Lionel Hampton Big Band and Maynard Ferguson's Big-Bop Nouveau Band. Since 1991, this seasoned recording artist and member of the Tashiko Akioshi Band has performed with Paul Anka, Bobby Caldwell, Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Liza Minelli and many others.

Paul Bollenback got his first guitar at age seven, just four years before his family headed for a three-year stint in New Delhi, India. This up-front and powerful guitarist, who has shared stages with Charlie Byrd, John Pisano, Joe D'Orio and Arturo Sandoval, will provide a dynamic counterpoint to Burman and Pietro.

Tickets for the concerts are $15. For tickets or more information, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free, 1-877-ARTS-396 or visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 10, 2002

Vol. 35, No. 15