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Now Hear This: New American Voices | Great Performances

NOW HEAR THIS: New American Voices
Arcos Film & Music
/
PBS
Composer Reena Esmail breaks down the difference between raga and tala in Indian classical music.

Fri. Apr. 29 at 9 p.m. on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Discover how two American composers are inspired by their Brazilian and Indian immigrant roots.

Following the traditions of Amy Beach, Florence Price and Aaron Copland, host Scott Yoo explores how American composers are inspired by their immigrant roots today through two composers: Brazilian-born Sergio Assad and Indian American Reena Esmail.

To get a sense of the inspirational dance rhythms that Assad grew up with, Yoo meets the composer in Chicago, where Assad performs a lively traditional Brazilian song with his daughter and a band. Assad and Yoo also visit a capoeira studio, where the Brazilian martial art originating from Africa that is “fought” to music by combining elements of dance and acrobatics.

In San Francisco, composer Esmail teaches Yoo how Indian scales and rhythms, known as raag and taal, influence her music by demonstrating traditional Indian classical music with violinist Kala Ramnath and percussionist Abhijit Banerjee. They also visit San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, where Esmail performs her mixture of baroque violin and Indian vocal styles with her husband, violinist Vijay Gupta, surrounded by ancient Indian art.

Watch this episode at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

ABOUT GREAT PERFORMANCES:
Great Performances brings the best in the performing arts from across America and around the world to a US television audience. It presents a diverse programming portfolio of classical music, opera, popular song, musical theater, dance, drama and performance documentaries.

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