Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (left to right) Corky Siegel, Jerry Watts, L. Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, Joey Heredia, Ambi Subramaniam, Larry Coryell
Duets & More: Global Fusion:
Dr. L. Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, Ambi Subramaniam
and Jazz masters like larry coryell and ernie watts
The finest exponent of the fusion genre is L. Subramaniam, whose sensational efforts (with Global Fusion) ... have won him world-wide acclaim...”
- The Hindu, India
Global Fusion, a concept created by Dr. Subramaniam promotes the cross-cultural collaboration between artists of different non-western musical traditions, such as African, Chinese, Norwegian or Japanese musical traditions.
Dr. L. Subramaniam, the pioneer of fusion in India began collaborations with global musicians in 1973, while he was still a student in the California Institute of Arts. Since that time, he has performed and recorded with artists around the world from a number of musical backgrounds and genres, including Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Pierre Rampal, George Harrison, Stevie Wonder, Ruggiero Ricci, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Jean Luc Ponty, Earl Klugh, Larry Coryell, Ernie Watts, Corky Siegel, Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, Arve Tellefsen, John Surman, Maynard Ferguson, Ravi Coltrane, Solo Cissokho, Baba Olatunji, Jei Bing Chen and Miya Masaoka.
Global Fusion is named from the title of Subramaniam’s landmark 1999 album featuring Krishnamurti, guitarist Jorge Struntz, koto player Miya Masaoka and erhu player Jie Bing Chen. In concert, Global Fusion likewise blends Indian music, classical, jazz, pop, rock and blues. His albumwas a critically acclaimed milestone and features artists from five continents including one of the most popular and successful singers in the film industry, Kavita Krishnamurti (whom Dr. L Subramaniam married in November 1999), and his daughter Bindu Subramaniam.
"I’m a blues harmonica player, and it’s an incredible honor bringing blues to Indian music", 'says Siegel, who participated in Subramaniam’s Global Fusion presentation last summer at Lincoln Center Out of Doors'. “I’m not playing Indian music or jazz, but blues-influenced music—what I know,” Siegel continues. “But it’s very, very spontaneous and improvisational, and as deep as I can get.” And Indian music, Siegel adds, “feels like blues to me.”
“It has a lot of quarter-tones--the slow, blues-like glissandos, and the emphasis put on the glissandos,” he notes. “And the mode has what one might call ‘funny notes,’ because they seem surprising: what people call ‘blue notes’ in blues. We think of them as very expressive and emotional, and touching the heart. But they’re also different, which makes it even more fun--two different approaches that are living in the same place, which is what I believe Mani [Subramaniam] is doing in presenting Global Fusion.”
“And of course, there’s Larry Coryell and Ernie Watts,” he adds, “and Kavita--who is all soul and so technically perfect: Normally, you’re not striving for technical perfection, but the greatest depth of expression. She’s technically perfect, and with the greatest depth of expression.”
“I'm surrounded by masters when Mani invites me to be part of his global fusion.” Siegel concludes.
by Jim Bessman