Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Ethos brings sights and sounds of the subcontinent

Three-year residency concludes with final performance

The Ethos Percussion Group has been entertaining the Wood River Valley for the past three years during its residency with the Sun Valley Center for the Arts,

For its grand finale, Ethos—which roughly translates to "character" in Greek—is offering shows and workshops in a variety of disciplines.

The largest of these appearances will be Saturday, March 4, at nexStage Theater, in Ketchum. There, Ethos will be joined by maestros of ethnic Indian music, Pandit Samir Chatterjee on the tabla, Steve Gorn on the bansuri and Sanghamitra Chatterjee performing Hindustani vocals. The group will also be accompanied by kathak dancer Maya Misra.

The surfeit of sounds from the Asian subcontinent will be a rare cultural opportunity for the Wood River Valley. The group has played concerts across the country and has had major engagements in New York City at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.

The group plays a fantastically eclectic array of musical instruments, everything from a Tibetan prayer bowl to Japanese Taiko drums and Guatemalan marimbas. Ethos has made four prior trips to the Wood River Valley, including a noteworthy appearance last November at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey, where they appeared with guest xylophonist Bernard Woma, of Ghana.

This Saturday, Ethos is sure to make a lasting impression again, this time with the mystical sounds of India delivered through the distinctly American practice of improvisation.

Pandit Samir Chatterjee is considered among the best tabla players in the world. A tabla is a popular percussion instrument used in classical and popular contemporary South Asian music. Chatterjee has played with some of the West's greatest contemporary Indian-influenced musicians, including Jerry Garcia, the late leader of the Grateful Dead. Chatterjee is the founder and director of Chhandayan, an organization that promotes and preserves Indian music and culture.

Sanghamitra Chatterjee, Pandit Samir's wife, is a leading Indian vocalist in light classical music. Among her solo and group performances, Chatterjee has performed at the Smithsonian Institution, Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History.

Gorn plays the bansuri, one of India's oldest instruments, which resembles a bamboo flute. He has recorded with Paul Simon and originally toured and studied under Bengali bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami.

Prior to the main event at the nexStage, Ethos will also be offering a concert in a more intimate setting on Friday night, March 3, at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum. This smaller engagement, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session, is free of charge.

Earlier that day, Misra will conduct a Kathak dance class at the Footlight Dance Center in Ketchum from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. This workshop is also free of charge.

Next Wednesday night, the Sun Valley Center hosts a panel discussion with representatives from local schools who will share their thoughts on Ethos' residency program over the past three years.


Ethos in town

·Ethos Percussion Group with special guests: Saturday, March 4, at the nexStage Theater in Ketchum, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $18 members, $20 non-members, and all children are free. Tickets are available at Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Ketchum, and at Big Bad Bill's, Hailey.

·An evening with Ethos special guests, Pandit Samir Chaterjee and Sanghamitra Chatterjee: Friday, March 3, 7 p.m. at The Center gallery in Ketchum.

·Kathak Dance Class: Friday, March 3, 4:30-6 p.m. at the Footlight Dance Centre Studio at the Sun Valley Athletic Club.

·Panel discussion with Ethos: March 8, 6:30 p.m. at Sun Valley Center for the Arts, in Ketchum.

Call The Center at 726-9491 ex 16 for more details.

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