The Alaya Project is the essential bridge between the intricate Carnatic style of Indian classical music and contemporary jazz and funk. Born in the cultural bastion of Oakland, California, The Alaya Project explores new textures and perspectives built over two decades of friendship, dialogue, and musical immersion across genres and continents. The driving hybrid kit grooves of Indian percussionist and drummer, Rohan Krishnamurthy, the soulful Ragas and melodies of Prasant Radhakrishnan on saxophone, and the harmonic bedrock of Colin Hogan embodies the permanence of a changing soundscape. Their self-titled debut album was praised by Jazziz Magazine, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, and many more. The Alaya Project was named 2020 Ensemble in Residence at the Center for New Music in San Francisco. After making their SFJAZZ debut this summer, they are excited for their NYC debut at Joe's Pub and an East Coast tour next spring.
This special show for the West Oakland Sessions features vocalist Roopa Mahadevan, a leading Indian classical vocalist and crossover artist in the South Asian diaspora. Known for her powerful and emotive voice, multidisciplinary talents, and collaborative spirit, Roopa's artistic projects take her to diverse soundscapes and corners of the world - from Chennai's Music Academy to the cutting-edge venues of New York City and the cultural centers of American suburbia. Roopa collaborates with artists in jazz, world music, and R&B/soul genres, performs full-length Carnatic vocal concerts, and accompanies some of the world's leading South Asian dancer/choreographers. Roopa ultimately strives to build community, celebrate differences, and find joy.