Ragas Live Festival 2020 reimagines the world music festival with an epic 24-hour, 24 set Live Broadcast

In it’s 9th year, Ragas Live Festival 2020 expands to an epic 24 hour free broadcast featuring legends of global music from 13 cities around the world.  Broadcasting video at https://live.pioneerworks.org/ragas and audio at WKCR FM-NY for 24 continuous hours starting November 21st at 7PM EST, it is poised to be a landmark event in the history of contemporary music. 

Press for Ragas Live Festival

CD Hotlist, Album review, 01/04/2021, Brooklyn Raga Massive, In D

London Jazz News, Album review, 11/30/2020, Brooklyn Raga Massive – ‘In D’

WNYC/NPR New Sounds, Feature story, 11/20/2020, #4432, The Indian Influence

The New Yorker, Listing, 11/16/2020, Ragas Live Festival

The Vinyl District, Event preview, 11/19/2020, Ragas Live Festival to be reimagined as an epic 24-hour live broadcast, 11/21–11/22

The Wire UK, Airplay, 11/09/2020, Phil England presents Adventures In Sound And Music

Avant Music News, Mention, 11/25/2020, AMN Picks of the Week

Avant Music News, Album review, 11/23/2020, AMN Reviews: Brooklyn Raga Massive – In D (2020; Bandcamp)

NYCity123.com, Event preview, 11/22/2020, Stream 24 hours of music from around the world

Club Free Time, Event preview, 11/22/2020, Concert | 9th Annual Ragas Festival: Indian Music From Around the World (live-streamed, virtual)

Thrillist – New York, Event preview, 11/20/2020, 9 Actually Fun Things to Do in NYC This Weekend

Liberissimo, Album review, 11/20/2020, Brooklyn Raga Massive – In D

Musicalnews.com, Album review, 11/20/2020, Brooklyn Raga Massive – In D

Pioneer Works, Event preview, 11/19/2020, Color the Mind: 24 Hours of Ragas, Live!

CKCU, Feature story, 11/19/2020, David Dalle features Ragas Live

Unidivers.Fr, Event preview, 11/18/2020, TOKO TELO au Ragas Live Festival 2020 NYC – (sur Internet) Pioneer Works Broadcast New York

WRIR’s Global a Go-Go, Highlight, 11/18/2020, #1 Chart position, November 10-16, 2020

The Wild City, Feature story, 11/17/2020, Terry Riley, Zakir Hussain, Toumani Diabate & More To Perform As Part Of Ragas Live Festival

New York Music Daily, Event preview, 11/16/2020, A Global Cast of Characters Reinvent Classic Indian Themes With a Massive Webcast

Anti-Music.com, Event preview, 11/16/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020

Green Man Review, Album review, 11/16/2020, Brooklyn Raga Massive’s In D

WRIR – Global A Go-Go, Airplay, 11/16/2020, Back to Soweto

NYS Music, Event preview, 11/16/2020, Wave Farm to Host Ragas Live Festival on November 21-22 <a href=”https://nysmusic.com/2020/11/16/wave-farm-to-host-ragas-live-festival-on-november-21-22/”>Read more at NYS Music… </a>

Chronogram.com, Event preview, 11/16/2020, WGXC Airs Ragas Live Festival | November 20-21

Newsbreak.com, Event preview, 11/16/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020 to Feature Legends of World Music from 13 cities Around the Globe

World Music Central, Event preview, 11/16/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020 to Feature Legends of World Music from 13 cities Around the Globe

WFMU, Event preview, 11/14/2020, The Annual Ragas Live Marathon Goes Virtual – and International!

Classic FM, Event preview, 11/12/2020, The best classical music and opera online streams available

95bFM, Airplay, 11/12/2020, The One to Four with Sigrid: November 12, 2020

Grateful Web, Event preview, 11/10/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020 reimagines the world music festival with an epic 24-hour, 24 set Live Broadcast

WPR (Wisconsin Public Radio), Event preview, 11/10/2020, Ragas Live Festival

WKCR, Airplay, 11/10/2020, Rag Aur Tal/ Ragas Live Preview Sunday!

WKCR, Event preview, 11/10/2020, Ragas Live 2020!!!!

Mundofonias, Airplay, 11/09/2020, Mundofonías 2020 #79 Mares y ragas / Seas and ragas

India Currents, Event preview, 11/06/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020 is 24 Hours of Global Resonance

Classical Music Daily, Mention, 11/05/2020, November 2020 Newsletter

Afropop Worldwide, Event preview, 11/03/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020 reimagines the world music festival with an epic 24-hour, 24 set Live Broadcast


Saathee Magazine, Highlight, 11/02/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020

India Currents, Event preview, 10/30/2020, Ragas Liove Festival

Brooklyn Vegan, Listing, 10/28/2020, This Week’s Livestreams

NYC Noise, Listing, 10/28/2020, Nov 2020 listings

The Jazz Mann, Event preview, 10/28/2020, Ragas Live Festival – 24 Hour Livestream Event – 21st – 22nd November 2020. Thursday, October 22, 2020

WKCR, Event preview, 10/25/2020, Ragas Live Festival – Crossroads: Jay Gandhi & Yacouba Sissoko

Clouzine, Social media mention, 10/22/2020, Ragas Live Festival 2020 reimagines the #worldmusicfestival

From Mysore to Madagascar artists in 13 cities will contribute to a celebration of ‘Community, Unity, and Harmony,’  

Terry Riley, Zakir Hussain, Toumani Diabate, Betsayda Machado
 among the global music icons contributing to “24 hours of global resonance”

Presented by Brooklyn Raga Massive +
 Pioneer Works + Rubin Museum of Art + NYC Radio Live the free event will feature over 90 musicians November 21-22nd from 7pm-7pm

Over the past nine years Ragas Live Festival has grown to become a vital element in the cultural landscape of New York City. Since its inception in 2012 when 50 musicians volunteered to create an FM-Broadcast at WKCR 89.9 FM-NY with the theme of “Community, Unity, and Harmony,” the festival has expanded to become a popular live event at locations including The Rubin Museum of Art and for the last few years, Pioneer Works.  

As the initial broadcast blossomed into an annual event, it attracted global attention, expanded the audience of Indian music, and documented and catalyzed what the New York Times would declare a “A Raga Renaissance Flowering in Brooklyn.” Now, Ragas Live has transformed that renaissance into one of the live music industry’s rare COVID-era success stories, managing to bring together over 90 musicians, from the deserts of Rajasthan to the mountains of Kathmandu, to perform remotely from 13 global cities in a celebration of ‘Community, Unity, and Harmony’. 

The producers,  Pioneer Works, The Rubin Museum of Art, Brooklyn Raga Massive, and the podcast NYC Radio Live have teamed up to reimagine what a global music festival could be in the COVID era.  Listeners and viewers will be invited to take a journey from Japan to Nepal to Venezuela as the musical offerings flow between traditional presentations and cross-cultural, genre-blurring collaborations.  The entire event will be available free to all as a video livestream at live.pioneerworks.org/ragas and broadcast as audio on WKCR-FM 89.9 FM and  www.wkcr.org.

They’ll be cutting edge cross-cultural performances: Terry Riley  will be performing raga based   improvisations from Japan preceded by Brooklyn Raga Massive who will be premiering a 24 person performance of In D their homage to Riley.  The group will be releasing In D as an album, concurrently with the festival.  Amir ElSaffar will be collaborating with the Brooklyn Raga Massive as well with Raga Maqam a 14 piece ensemble that explores the intersections between maqam, the tonal language of Arab, Turkish, and Persian traditional music, and raga, the classical music of the Indian subcontinent. Andy Statman, the legend of klezmer and bluegrass will be exploring both Jewish doinas and ragas from the 200 year old synagogue B’nai Jeshurun.  

Founder and Executive Producer of Ragas Live Festival David Ellenbogen says, “This has always been a festival with a pan-global vision. This year that dream is fully being realized.  We’ll have artists and listeners from every continent. We reached out to many of our heroes, like Terry Riley, Toumani Diabate, Betsayda Machado and Zakir Hussain and  to our astonishment, they all said yes.  These are the people that have changed the history of music. The artists felt a kinship with our idealistic vision and we are all working together to make it happen. We’ll have both artists and audience all around the world: it will be 24 hours of global resonance.” 

Lauren Crump Associate Producer says; “Music will win the day, it won’t be a 24 hour news cycle, it will be a 24 hour music cycle. This is a landmark event in the history of contemporary music.” 

Zakir Hussain will perform a tabla solo from San Francisco, Toumani Diabate will perform kora from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo will perform in El Clavo, Venezuela and Terry Riley from Japan.   Other highlights include Womanly Voices (of Jodhpur RIFF) performing from the Mehrangarh Fort in the Deserts of Rajasthan, Parvathy Baul singing traditional Baul music from rural West Bengal, Prince Nepali in Kathmandu, Toko Telo the Malagasy supergroup in Madagascar, Grammy award winner Vikku Vanaykram in Chennai, India and Andy Statman the legend of Klezmer and Bluegrass performing from temple B’nai Jeshrun, a nearly 200 year old synagogue in Manhattan.  

Says the festival’s Artistic Director Arun Ramamurthy, “These legendary musicians are the torchbearers of their traditions who have brought their music forward. To have them all participating is so inspiring.”

“The fact that we can’t safely do live performances this year, actually opened up new opportunities for our audience.” Ellenbogen explains,  “Some people were lucky to see for example Betsayda Machado’s group when they toured in the last few years, but to see them perform next to the river in their own hometown of El Clavo is the next level. Our audience will follow that up with a concert from Prince Nepali in the  mountains of Kathmandu.”

“Indian Classical Music is uniquely time specific, a system called Raga Samay. With the Raga Samay system, the music harmonizes with the essence of each time of day,” explains founder  David Ellenbogen,  “Certain modes will only be played at sunrise to capture that particular feeling while others may be reserved to match the essence of deep night.  All 24 sets of the Ragas Live Festival honor this time system to create a larger immersive experience. This vision has brought an entire artistic community together and inspired its music to new heights. This year as cross cultural collaborations are inhibited due to COVID, we are also presenting a lot of traditional music, like Malagasy music of Madagascar, the 800 year old djele tradition of West Africa, and Afro-Venezuelan music on their own terms.  Everyone who tunes in will become part of a international audience, together, in real time, we’ll share many moments of beauty and transcendence.”  

“I love Indian Music, I love Indian culture, I’m doing this because I think it’s a beautiful idea and I want to share life and music” says Toumani Diabate, the legendary Kora player, who will perform a set from Côte d’Ivoire.

Ragas Live Festival 2020 will be streamed live on Pioneer Works Broadcast at live.pioneerworks.org/ragas

For more info, merch and to donate to the festival, please join the community on the festival home page at live.pioneerworks.org/ragas

Artists include:

Terry Riley (Himitsu, Japan)

Zakir Hussain (San Francisco, USA)

Toumani Diabate (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)

Betsayda Machado y Parranda El Clavo (El Clavo, Venezuela)  

Brooklyn Raga Massive: In D (Manhattan, NYC, USA)

3G feat T.H. Vikku Vinayakram & Selvaganesh (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)

Andy Statman (Manhattan, NYC, USA)

Womanly Voices (of Jodhpur RIFF) (Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India)

Alam Khan (Kentfield, CA, USA)

Derek Gripper (Cape Town, South Africa)

Krishna Bhatt (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Amir ElSaffar – Raga Maqam (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Toko Telo (Morondava, Madagascar)

Mysore Nagaraj & Karthik Nagaraj (Mysore, Karnataka, India)

Ali Akbar College of Music Percussion Ensemble (San Rafael, USA)

Dhun Dhora (featuring the Dhol Drummers of Rajasthan) (Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India)

Swapan Chaudhuri  (San Rafael, USA)

Parvathy Baul (Kamardanga, West Bengal, India)

Jay Gandhi & Arun Ramamurthy (Manhattan, NYC, USA)

Roopa Mahadevan (Brooklyn, NY)

Prince Nepali (Kathmandu, Nepal)

Flute Shashank (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)

Anantha Krishnan and Charumathi Raghuram (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)

Abhik Mukherjee & Samarth Nagarkar (Brooklyn, NYC, USA)

Ask Hafiz (Manhattan, NYC, USA)


Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Brooklyn, NYC, USA

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

El Clavo, Venezuela

Himitsu, Japan

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Kamardanga, West Bengal, India

Kathmandu, Nepal

Manhattan, NYC, USA

Morondava, Madagascar

Mysore, Karnataka, India

San Francisco, USA

San Rafael, USA

Cape Town, South Africa

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