Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa Guggenheim fellow Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative young musicians and composers in jazz today. Floating near the top of the Downbeat International Critics Poll “Rising Star-Alto Saxophone” category for the past six years, 2 in 2008, Rudresh has incorporated the culture of his Indian ancestry and has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision. As a performer, he leads/co-leads seven groups to critical acclaim. His most recent release for Pi Recordings Kinsmen featuring Carnatic saxophone legend Kadri Gopalnath (September 25, 2008) has been named one of the Top Jazz CDs of 2008 by numerous news sources including the New York Times, NPR, BBC, Boston Globe, slate.com, and JazzTimes to name just a few. This album has topped the jazz radio charts in the US and Canada. His previous quartet release for Pi release Codebook (September 26, 2006) was named one of the Top Jazz Albums of 2006 by The Village Voice, Jazztimes, and The Denver Post and received rave reviews from Downbeat, wired.com and Science Magazine. In Europe, Codebook received the esteemed “CHOC DE L'ANNÉE” (album of the year) for 2007 in France’s Jazzman, 4 stars in the UK’s Jazzwise, and received the “Bollino di Marzo” from Italy’s Musica Jazz in addtion to reaching 7 on US jazz radio charts and 1 on Canadian jazz radio charts. As a saxophonist, Mahanthappa has achieved international recognition performing regularly at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. As a composer, Rudresh has received commission grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts to develop new work. Mahanthappa holds a Bachelors of Music Degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and a Masters of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University. He now teaches at The New School University. Rudresh Mahanthappa currently lives in New York where he is clearly regarded as an important and influential voice in the jazz world. Rudresh uses Vandoren reeds exclusively. Mahanthappa is also a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.