Pianist/composer Utsav Lal, ‘raga & jazz pianist’, returns to Old First Concerts with his ingenious interpretations of Indian Classical Music on a Western instrument. Recognized as the rarest of pianists with a stellar career over the last two decades, performing at leading world venues and cultural festivals, Lal’s music captures the innate beauty and soul of Indian Classical Ragas, and The Irish Times describes Utsav Lal as “a fleet-fingered performer whose best moments can be both highly evocative and dazzling.” For this performance, in addition to presenting new work and raga interpretations on solo piano, Lal will be joined by local Bay Area musicians in a collaborative acoustic set featuring saxophone and sarod.
With unfailing clarity of technique and rhythmic virtuosity, Lal’s work, deeply influenced by Dhrupad and a vast array of sources such as The Necks, Thelonious Monk, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou has been lauded for its simplicity, depth, and powerful intensity. His unique perspective into the rich legacy of Indian music coupled with advanced training in Jazz, Celtic music and contemporary improvisation has allowed him to work with a myriad of world-class artists, including leading names like Winifred Horan, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Australian Contemporary Circus Theatre CIRCA, Talvin Singh, George Brooks, Rajna Swaminathan. Performing and teaching around the world, Lal has challenged commonly understood ways of improvisation to develop his own unique voice and has several piano record releases, which include a historic world’s first album on the microtonal Fluid Piano. Full artist details on utsavlal.com.
“Lal continues to blend the improvisational mystique of Indian classical melodies, particularly Dhrupad-influenced raga interpretations, with the compositional framework of the piano” -Rolling Stone India