The Hewitt Pantaleoni Concert Series at the State University College at Oneonta will present its final concert of the fall semester at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, in Sanford Auditorium, known on-campus as IRC No. 3. The program, titled “Luminous Ragas,” will feature classical music from Northern India, drawn from the Hindustani tradition, performed by Steve Gorn, on the bansuri (bamboo flute), accompanied on the tabla (drums) by Ray Spiegel.
The musicians are Americans who became devotees of Indian music during their college years and who consequently have spent much of their professional lives studying and performing in India, according to a media release. Gorn, who was originally a jazz clarinest/saxophonist, discovered Indian music “accidentally,” when he wandered into a concert hall at Penn State, where he was a student, the release said. He went on to become a disciple of the Bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami, among several other teachers. He is recognized internationally as a master of the classical North Indian style, and even more so as an important figure in the fusion of Eastern and Western music. He has composed for film, television, dance and theater and has performed in concerts and festivals throughout the world, drawing from classical Indian, jazz and world music to create a distinctive signature style. Among the American musicians with whom he has performed are Paul Simon, Richie Havens, Paul Winter, Jack DeJohnette and Glen Velez. A resident of the Woodstock area, he has performed more than 50 times in Oneonta and the surrounding area over the past four decades.
Spiegel is a native of California who became a disciple of the late tabla master Ustad Alla Rakha, beginning in 1975, the release said. He subsequently studied with Ustad Zakir Hussain, Shri Shankar Ghosh and Sri B.S. Ramanna, among others. Also a resident of the Woodstock area, he performs classical Indian music in venues all over the world, often with Gorn, and he has also become a leading figure in the fusion of East/West music, performing with such artists as The Grateful Dead, Patty Smyth, Bon Jovi and Paul Winter. He is a longtime faculty member at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.
Tuesday’s program is free and open to the public. Tickets or reservations are not needed. For more information, call the Catskill Conservatory, at 436-3419.