30th Year of ‘Bang on a Can’

Bang on a drum: Members of Brooklyn Raga Massive will perform at the Bang on a Can Festival at the Brooklyn Museum on May 6. (Photo by Stefano Giovannini via Brooklyn Daily)

Bang on a Can, the 30th annual music festival featuring a huge variety of genres and performers, including Women’s Raga Massive, a mostly female offshoot of the Indian classical music collective Brooklyn Raga Massive, and the Bulgarian and Balkan clarinetist Ivo Papasov, will be held on May 6 at the Brooklyn Museum in an eight-hour marathon session, reports Alexandra Simon in Brooklyn Daily.

Women’s Raga Massive will perform a 30-minute set of different arrangements inspired by classical and South Indian folk music. The group uses that musical tradition as a framework to improvise, and then adds influences from the diverse cultures of Brooklyn, said the collective’s co-founder.

“I think in classical traditions, a lot of times there are a lot of rules and boundaries, which is also fine but there is so much creativity that can be explored within classical traditions — especially Indian classical tradition,” said Trina Basu. “But for us all, being here in America — and some us being American-born Indians — we’re bringing all our different worlds together and feeling that we can be creative and free with that.”

Both Women’s Raga Massive and Ivo Papasov are scheduled for the 9 p.m. slot on Saturday. An hour earlier, visitors can hear trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, who combines western and Middle Eastern traditions in his Rivers of Sound ensemble.

“It’s a big thing for us to present an ever increasing range of artists who are stretching the boundaries of music,” said Kenny Savelson, the executive director of Bang on a Can.

Read more about the festival, and lean more about Women’s Raga Massive, at Brooklyn Daily.

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