In this show, Saraswathi Ranganathan will display the versatility of the veena, a Southern Indian acoustic instrument. She will be joined by her brother, Ganapathi, on mridangam.
Women’s Raga Massive presents their third annual March festival: Out of the Woods, featuring female-led ensembles in celebration of Women’s History Month 2019 (3/7, 3/14, 3/21, & 3/29). This year’s iteration of the festival reflects on the subtle and violent, the named and often invisible currents that are at play with the role of gender in music within the South Asian musical world. The narratives are multiple, alternating between ecstatic song and lament. Out of the Woods seeks to create a creative clearing in which these stories can be freely told. The festival will rotate through some of New York’s iconic venues, starting at Nublu, The Jazz Gallery, Joe’s Pub and culminating at the Rubin Museum. Traditional, experimental and multidisciplinary performances by Samita Sinha (voice), Saraswathi Ranganathan (veena), Malini Srinivasan (dance), Haleh Liza Gafori (poetry), Roshni Samlal (tabla), Rajna Swaminathan (mrudangam), Deepal Sanghavi (santoor), Roopa Mahadevan (voice) and several others from the Women’s Raga Massive collective. They are also co-hosting a series of musical-art dialogues, a panel discussion and “long table” gathering at The Rubin Museum of Art focusing on power and gender in South Asian performing arts communities.
Saraswathi Ranganathan is an award-winning veena artist, cross-cultural ambassador, composer, and educator. She endeavors for the sounds of the veena to reach a cross-cultural global audience. She learned veena from her mother, Shantha Ranganathan, and from Karnataka Kalashree EP Alamelu in Bangalore. Saraswathi has the distinction of being the first ever veena artist to feature in an Off-Broadway production of The Jungle Book. Saraswathi is the first Indian American, and the first veena artist to be conferred at the Chicago Music Awards this year, a historic moment for veena in the world music space. Her original compositions from her innovative album Refreshing Raga Blues have been featured in top 10 songs on several radio stations and adapted in documentaries. Saraswathi founded world music band Surabhi Ensemble, with the idea of “one stage, one music, one community.” Saraswathi has partnered with various institutions to promote cross-cultural understanding through education, performances, and community engagement- transcending race, religion, culture, and color. Surabhi Ensemble completed their first successful global Peace Tour converting Vietnam, Spain, Portugal, and Senegal in January 2019.
Saraswathi is founder-director of her not for profit school Ensemble of Ragas. She recently won the 2019 grant from Reva & David Logan Foundation in recognition of her mission “one stage, one music, one community” through music – the first time a veena artist has been selected for the award. She holds a Master’s in Sanskrit from Mysore-India and an MBA from Loyola University Chicago.