Najma Akhtar + Gary Lucas
Show DescriptionSince Najma Akhtar's 1987 release "Qareeb", which was universally acclaimed as a groundbreaking recording in World Music, Najma has released five additional solo recordings, all to the same critical acclaim and always reaching for new boundaries. Najma has collaborated and performed with musicians the likes of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Jah Wobble, Andy Summers, Steve Coleman, and Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), to name a few. Robert Plant had this to say about Najma, "Najma Akhtar, who sang with us on the film (MTV Unplugged and the album, "No Quarter") practices with this box which gives her like three notes in a different raga, and she just wails between these notes. I've spent time with her when she is just wandering around and this box is giving out these amazing tones. It's trippy like you've got the incense on, a picture of Leonard Cohen on the wall, her singing.". Billboard has described Najma's music as "a musical and cultural fusion of the first order". Ian Anderson said, "Najma Akhtar is the premier lady Indian (Asian) singer on the planet."
Gary Lucas has been called "The Thinking Man's Guitar Hero" (The New Yorker) and "One of the best and most original guitarists in America" (Rolling Stone). He is a Grammy-nominated songwriter who co-wrote Jeff Buckley's seminal classics "Grace" and "Mojo Pin", and leads the psychedelic supergroup Gods and Monsters. He has released nearly 20 acclaimed albums, including the 2002 album "The Edge of Heaven--Gary Lucas Plays Mid-Century Chinese Pop", which was #1 on the World Music Charts in Canada. His latest album is "Coming Clean" (Mighty Quinn) which has received 4 star rave reviews around the world. Gary has an enormous stylistic palette that spans original songs to arrangements of everything from Sun Ra to Jacques Tati film themes, dark bottleneck blues, and compositions by Dvorak and Wagner.
Tonight, Najma and Gary step away from their bands and debut their mostly acoustic new project, since developing a musical partnership that began when Gary invited Najma to join him onstage in London at a solo concert in May 2007. Gary has been an enormous admirer of Najma's artistry since hearing her 1989 "Atish" album, and regards their new collaboration as "a match made in heaven".