Falu is a classically trained Indian vocalist who blends ancient melodies, rhythms and themes with contemporary songwriting. Trained under the legendary master Ustad Sultan Khan in her hometown of Bombay, rigorously honing her voice for up to 16 hours a day, Falu has established a dedicated following in the States with her eponymous “Indie Hindi’ band and through her solo collaborations with a wide array of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Glass, Wyclef Jean, and Blues Traveler. Backed by a line-up of talented NYC musicians, not only can she tear up rock clubs across the nation, but she also currently serves as one of Carnegie Hall's Music Ambassadors to NYC.
In 2007 Falu lent her voice to the score of Angelina Jolie's film A Place in Time. In 2008 the band’s live performances were featured internationally on National Geographic Music TV as representative of India, and nationally on FOX TV where their song “Rabba” became the first Hindi song ever performed on the E network. For Falu’s collaboration with Global Noize in 2008, her vocals were singled out by Billboard as “ethereal...transcendent...spiritual.” One of Falu’s most stunning recent performances was at the Time 100 Gala where she was invited to perform a duet with Slumdog Millionaire composer A.R. Rahman in front of the one hundred selection of Time Magazine's most influential people in the world of 2008, which not surprisingly included Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. www.falumusic.com
Banjo & Mandolin
Ben Krakauer has taught and performed throughout the United States, collaborating with top musicians in traditional and contemporary North American string music. He has won prizes at prestigious competitions at Merlefest, Rocky Grass, and Telluride. He was a founding member of Old School Freight Train, with whom he recorded three original CDs, and seven “Pickin’ On” CDs, featuring bluegrass-inflected interpretations of popular music. In 2005-2006, he toured and performed with mandolin master David Grisman, playing “Dawg” music in such venues as Town Hall, Sanders Theatre, and World Cafe. Ben’s recent work includes his performance on the “Fiddle Masters: Volume 3” DVD, alongside Paul Kowert (of the Punch Brothers), Grant Gordy (of the David Grisman Quintet), and young fiddle luminaries Tatiana and Alex Hargreaves (of Mike Marshall’s Big Trio). In 2005-2007, Ben taught banjo as adjunct faculty at University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music. He currently teaches banjo at Tufts University, where he is an M.A. candidate in Ethnomusicology.
Darbuka, Bendir & Riqq
Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian drummer, DJ and folk dancer. He is the creator of Turbo Tabla, and has released two internationally distributed CDs of this unique brand of Arab House/Electronica using acoustic instruments. Karim has authored instructional DVDs for the Tabla/Doumbek and Riqq tambourine, as well as two rhythm compilation CDs. He is also well versed in the ultra-traditional styles of music and dance as the leader of the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble and the Arab Dance Seminar. Karim performs and teaches Tahteeb Cane Dance, Dabka Line Dance and Zikr Sufi Dance. He taught at the New England Conservatory of Music for 5 years. He has recorded music for mainstream artists like Alicia Keys, and The Urban Griot Project. As a dance and drum teacher, Karim has taught in nearly all major festivals in the United States and Cairo, as well as all major Arab Culture festivals in the USA. His Arabiqa program brings Arab cultural presentations and assemblies to schools all over the USA. Karim Nagi is a true crossover artist, while actively maintaining his tradition and roots. www.karimnagi.com
Rachel Panitch is completing a two-year fellowship with Community MusicWorks, teaching and performing classical and fiddle music in the West End of Providence, RI. She has performed as a soloist with the Providence Mandolin Orchestra and the Vassar College Orchestra. She plays actively with her bluegrass band, The Bourbon Boys, and has also performed with Ben Pilgrim, Chris Capaldi and Tallahassee, in the Providence area. She plans to continue working as a community-based fiddler this fall, teaching intergenerational fiddling and dance.
Oud, Guitar & Fretless Guitar
See Kareem’s composer bio.
Harshal Tole began learning tabla under Pandit Gopalrao Wadegaonkar (disciple of Ustad Amir Hussain Khan Sahib) of Farrukhabad Gharana at the tender age of 4 and gave his first solo performance at the age of 6. He has won several regional and national competitions, including ones held by All India Radio, along the way winning the hearts of the audience. He has accompanied internationally famous artists such as Pt Bhajan Sopori, Pt Raghunath Seth, Warren Senders, Phil Scarf, Steve Gorn, Pt Vinay Torvi, Pt Vidyadhar Vyas & Pandit Mohan Singh. Harshal has also provided background music for a documentary of Kumbha Mela produced by the Himalayan Institute (an international institute of Yoga science and philosophy), and he has recorded with Mawwal Music group on several tracks including two songs by legendary Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
Mehmet came to United States in 1993 on a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, where he completed a degree in Jazz Composition and Film Scoring. His band, AudioFact has toured Mexico, Argentina, the USA and Europe and released two CDs, “Black Spot” (1998) and “Asitane” (2003). After Berklee, Mehmet studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he earned a Master's degree in Jazz Composition and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition. Currently, he is writing a book about the organization and music of the Ottoman Janissary Bands and teaches at Emerson College and Tufts University.
Mehmet is president of DÜNYA Org, a non-profit educational organization located in Boston, MA. Its goal is to present a contemporary view of a wide range of Turkish traditions, alone and in interaction with other world traditions, through performance, publication and other educational activities.
Music Producer/Recording Engineer
John Weston is a Grammy-nominated and platinum-awarded producer/recording engineer whose projects for music albums, film, TV and video games range in styles from classical, modern pop, R&B, rock, jazz, folk, a cappella, world music and more.
Owner of Futura Productions, a state-of-the-art studio with the largest recording room in New England, John has worked with such Grammy-winning and gold and multi-platinum major artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Glass, Richard Stoltzman, Beyonce, Shakira, the Bulgarian female vocal choir Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, P. Diddy, Joey McIntyre, Aerosmith, Collective Soul, Turkish pop star Tarkan, Chinese-American pop singer Lee-Hom Wang, and Pope John Paul II.
Working in films, John has recorded and mixed numerous film scores, including the award-winning documentary ENCOUNTER POINT, 2009 FIPRESCI Prize winner AMREEKA, which premiered at Sundance this past January, and THE WAR, the Ken Burns documentary about WWII.