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Trilok Gurtu

The musical traditions of the eastern and western worlds are bridged through the improvisations of Bombay, India-born percussionist/vocalist Trilok Gurtu. Gurtu's mastery of post-bop jazz has not gone unnoticed. Downbeat magazine named him "best percussionist" in three critic and popularity polls and proclaimed, "musically, the world is his stage". Jazz magazine, Straight No Chaser took a similar view, writing, "this music has a transcendental quality and removes any obstacles that lie between western and eastern improvised music." Gurtu's eclectic approach has enabled him to collaborate with some of the world's greatest musicians. A member of trumpeter Don Cherry's band from 1976 to 1978, Gurtu has worked with such influential musicians as jazz guitarists Philip Catherine, John McLaughlin, Ralph Towner, Pat Metheny and Larry Coryell, rock guitarist David Gilmore, saxophonists Jan Garbarek and Bill Evans, percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, jazz keyboardist Josef Zawinul and classical pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque. Gurtu was a member of acoustic jazz fusion group, Oregon, from 1984 to 1988. A native of Bombay, India, Gurtu hails from a musical family. His grandfather was a well known sitar player and his mother, Shobha Gurtu, was an influential singer of Indian classical music. Studying to play the tablas from the age of six, Gurtu attracted international attention in the mid-1970s when he performed with Charlie Mariano and John Tchicai. In 1977, he accompanied vocalist Asha Bhosle during her New York concerts. After touring and recording with Don Cherry for two years, Gurtu emigrated to Hambug, Germany in 1978. Shortly afterwards, he toured with Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine and recorded an album, End Of August, with Catherine and Mariano. In the summer of 1993, Gurtu toured Europe in a duo with Josef Zawinul and recorded an album, Crazy Saints, with Zawinul and Pat Metheny. Gurtu continues to teach drum clinics and perform at classical events with modern dancer Carolyn Carlson. In the summer of 1998, he toured with Andy Summers and Larry Coryell. The year 2000 saw the release of African Fantasy. Beat of Love followed the next spring.
© Craig Harris /TiVo
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