The Yoga Society of San Francisco is pleased to invite you to the annual East-West Music Festival.
Celebrate the wealth of music represented at YSSF including North Indian Classical (Hindustani) and Western Classical traditions. Featuring resident teaching artists Kankana Banerjee and Elektra Schmidt and guest teaching artist from the Ali Akbar College of Music, Arjun Verma.
Saturday, August 4th, 6 pm to 9 pm with 30-minute intermission
6 pm – 7 pm:
Kirtan with Carol Whitney
Elektra Schmidt, piano with Lewis Patzner, cello, Western Classical
Kankana Banerjee, voice, North Indian (Hindustani) Classical
7:30 pm – 9 pm:
Rhiannon Ledwell, sitar, with Esther Adams, tabla, North Indian (Hindustani) Classical
Elektra Schmidt, piano with Ellie Falaris Ganelin, flute, Western Classical
Arjun Verma, sitar with William Rossel, tabla, North Indian (Hindustani) Classical
Tickets $35 online $40 at the door, (Friend discount available online $25)
Click here to reserve your spot: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3575787
Kankana is a celebrated Hindustani Classical Singer from India. Born in Kolkata, India, she first studied Hindustani music with her mother starting from age three. As a child she was introduced to the renowned vocalist Ustad Amir Khan of Indore, from whom she received intensive training during her formative years. Later, Kankana also studied with Pt. Pratap Narain of the Mewati Gharana. She has performs regularly at major Indian venues as well as internationally and has released a number of independent recordings. Kankana is the recipient of prestigious awards including the Kala Saraswati Andhra Ratna.
Arjun Verma is a sitarist trained by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. As a child, Arjun learned from his father, sitarist Roop Verma, himself a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar. As a teenager, Arjun was very fortunate to study with Ali Akbar Khan for eight years, and since the Maestro’s passing in 2009, with his son Alam Khan. The combination of these influences results in a style encompassing the profound as well as exhilarating aspects of North Indian classical music.
Arjun has performed around the world, including noteworthy performances with St. Louis Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and at Prague Castle, Pattee Arena, the Fillmore, and at the United Nations in Geneva.
Arjun has performed with renowned musicians in many genres, including Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Alam Khan, Bob Weir, Pandit Sharda Sahai, Ustad Shabbir Nisar, Nitin Mitta, Kai Eckhardt, Krishna Das, Anirban Roy Chowdhury, and Salar Nader.
Arjun’s music has received critical acclaim from leading publications, including the New York Times, Sruti Magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Award winning pianist Elektra Schmidt performs as solo artist and in chamber groups in the United States as well as France, Greece, and the United Kingdom. She has had the good fortune to work with such visionaries as Marios Papadopoulos, Neil Immelman, Theodor Paraskeveku, the Ganev duo and others.
After graduating summa cum laude from the National Conservatory of her native Greece, Elektra pursued her post-graduate studies in Paris at the Schola Cantorum and the Conservatoire Raoul Pugno under the guidance of distinguished pianist Lilia Boyadjieva.
She received her master’s degree with First Prize and Distinction (Medaille d’Or avec les felicitations du jury).
Elektra is the founder of Artist Migration, an organization dedicated to the integration and mobility of international artists. Since 2015 Elektra has been studying Yoga as a resident in the Yoga Society of San Francisco.
Lewis Patzner was born in Oakland to a musical family. He studied cello at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins under the tutelage of Amit Peled from 2003 to 2007. After receiving his BM, Lewis pursued rock music and toured internationally with his instrumental experimental metal band, Judgement Day, and as a side man for other rock bands. Simultaneously, he independently continued his classical studies and now enjoys a modest chamber music career. Lewis currently spends his time playing with various groups of different genres, including the Town Quartet, Musical Art Quintet, Cosa Nostra Strings, Devotionals, The CAPO Chamber Orchestra, and the Alex Hand Band, and he curates the Classical Matinee Series at the Starry Plough Pub every first Sunday. He is also an active composer and writes for most of his groups. A versatile musician, Lewis has established himself in the Bay Area as a dependable reader of notes and a competent improviser, and the Piedmont post recently described his playing as “Meltingly beautiful” and “Divine.” for more info, visit lewispatzner.com
William Rossel, a disciple of legendary tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, is an up-and-coming tabla player, educator, and inventor in the field of Hindustani music. He began receiving training from his Guru at the Ali Akbar College of Music in 2006 and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Hindustani Classical Music from the California Institute of the Arts in 2010, where he studied Indian melodic theory from sarod master Ustad Aashish Khan.
Equally strong on tabla as a soloist and accompanist, William has accompanied such prominent artists as Sri Alam Khan, Arjun Verma, Manik Khan, Suman Laha, and Rita Sahai, to name a few. In June 2017, William had the great honor to accompany his Guru, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, onstage at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. He has given numerous solo recitals and performances at the Ali Akbar College of Music, the Aashish Khan School of World Music in Kolkata, War Memorial Opera House, Fort Mason Center of Arts and Culture, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, UC Berkeley, California Jazz Conservatory, California Institute of the Arts, California College of the Arts, and many other venues across the U.S.
William is a tabla instructor at the Ali Akbar College of Music, a Senior Lecturer at the California College of the Arts, and a music faculty member at Yuba College, where he directs the North Indian Music Ensemble he founded in 2016.
William is also the creator of “Tihai Pro”, a mobile app for calculating Indian rhythmic patterns known as tihai. His resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ellie Falaris Ganelin is a flutist with an engaging stage presence and a unique array of influences. Classically trained, she is also versed in jazz, Latin, Brazilian music, rock, and experimental music. Her explorations in experimental improvisation have brought her to such notable venues as the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, the Red Room (Baltimore), and as part of Edgefest (Ann Arbor, Michigan). She is devoted to making classical music inviting and accessible for all with her involvement in Opera on Tap and the Awesöme Orchestra. Ellie is the founder of the Greek Chamber Music Project, a record label and presenter devoted to the music of Greek composers. www.greekchambermusic.com
Rhiannon is a sitarist from the Maihar Gharana. She is based in Marin County, CA, where she studies at the Ali Akbar College of Music with Alam Khan, son and disciple of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, and with Arjun Verma, also a disciple of Khansahib’s.
Rhiannon performs at concerts and events around the San Francisco Bay Area, and also works as a composer, arranger, and transcriptionist.
Rhiannon received her BFA in Music Composition in 2015 from California Institute of the Arts, where she studied both North Indian and Western Classical music, as well as Balinese and Javanese Gamelan.
Esther Adams, tabla
Esther Adams has studied North Indian Classical Music at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael since 2004 as a disciple of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. She has also taught tabla (North Indian drums) to children at the AACM, conducted lecture demonstrations on North Indian Classical music at Bay Area schools through an “Artists in Schools” grant program, and performed throughout the Bay Area.
Esther received her B.A. degree in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies from UCSB, where she focused her research on the cultural and religious issues faced by Muslim women who perform. Her education included a year abroad in Cairo, Egypt, where she studied Arabic language and Egyptian music, practiced the Arabic lute (oud), researched local music and dance, and performed as the only non-Arab member of the AUC (American University in Cairo) Chorale.