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Geetha Navale [Veena Artiste]

The bright shining star of Indian music, Geetha Navale is an inspired individual and an ardent proponent of the Veena, an ancient Indian Classical instrument. Her ability to seamlessly blend Indian Classical with Jazz and Rock is brilliant. Whether she is playing at jazz clubs in New York, at grunge clubs in Seattle or at the many small temples in India, she dazzles on every occasion.

Geetha Navale is a very spontaneous musician and skillful player. Her unique sound comes from a deep study of the traditions and idioms of Carnatic Music. She strongly feels that culture is not evolving in isolation anymore. This has led to many collaborative projects with various artists of the world.

Veena, the ancient pre-vedic instrument is an extremely versatile one. With a tonal range of 4 octaves and a set of rhythm strings the Veena allows you to draw out melodies on its deep set brass frets where, a note can be pulled up to six semitones.

A unique instrument but largely unknown internationally, Geetha Navale as a life mission uses her performances to showcase this brilliant instrument around the world, whether at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan, playing with avant-garde jazz musicians or playing authentic carnatic classical concerts in various temples and sabhas in South India, her special touch on the Veena, the mother of all instruments has drawn the listener to a different world.

Geetha Navale learnt Indian Classical on the Veena from the renowned Gurus Sri. J. Anjaneyalu from the traditional Vijayanagaram school and Sri. R. K. Suryanarayana in Bangalore.

She constantly innovates and experiments with several cross-cultural musicians to create some glorious fusion pieces.

She is open minded to recognize the beauty and power of other forms of music as well and along with her husband has established a global music project called Esperanto in their world music school, Guruskool, which explores cross cultural music, the emerging exciting new music of our time.

By taking it to the popular stage, through her world music project Esperanto, she feels like an ambassador of Carnatic music, especially with the seamless spontaneous blends with the 21st century rhythmic grooves and harmonies, making it accessible and attractive to the modern ear the beauty and depth of Indian music.

She had been invited to France in Janury 2006 for a recording project retracing the footprints of the European music traveler, Pietro della Valle, who about 500 years first carried this magical ancient instrument back home from India. She recorded with the XVIII-21 Musique des Lumières baroque ensemble led by Jean Christophe Frisch. The ensemble plans to do a multi city tour of India later this year.

Part of Guruskool Music, the pilgrim of every budding musician in Bangalore, she along with other members dedicatedly promote the spirit of music in Bangalore with awe-inspiring grit and determination. Through the annual Freedom Jams and the monthly Sunday Jams they provide an un-judgmental, unbiased platform to help upcoming musicians show off their fare and kick-start their musical careers.

An active musician, she still teaches and gives great performances around the world.

Discography

  • Tillana Guchcha, Volume 1, a Veena duet (1999)
  • 'Mix'd Feel, An Esperanto project (Kreek, 2000)
  • Rubber World, with Robert Wright, John Wayne and Gopal Navale (Raw Productions, 2001)
  • Esperanto at the Knitting Factory (Kreek, 2002)
  • Ocean Floor (Kreek, 2002)
  • Ancientstrings (Kreek- 2004)
  • Tillana Guchcha Volume 2 ( Kreek 2003)
  • Ondu- (Masala Maker, Germany 2002)
  • Toujours du Soleil (with Isabelle Antena, France) 2003
  • Pellegrino (XVIII-21 Musique des Lumières, France)

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