North / South Indian Music Project


The ensemble weaves together the Ragas and Talas of Hindustani and Carnatic Music with a seamless flow of voice and flute, and the vibrancy of the world of Indian percussion.
Ray Spiegel – Hindustani Tabla – Ray Spiegel is a disciple of the late Tabla Master Ustad Alla Rakha since 1975, specializing in the Punjab Gharana (style) of Tabla playing. He has also benefited from the intensive training and guidance he has received from Ustad Zakir Hussain from 1973 to 1980. Ray began his formal training at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA under Sri Shankar Ghosh in 1970. He studied with Sri B.S. Ramanna, (a disciple of Sheik Dawoodkhan of Hydrabad) in New Delhi in 1971 and 1972. He has performed with leading artists of Indian music, including Pandit Barun Kumar Pal, Ustad Shakir Khan, Pt. Ramesh Misra, Snehasish Mazumder. Steve Oda, and Samarth Nagarkar. His catalog of recordings on, include Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas, Mita Nag, and a classic recording of Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa.
Balu Balasubrahmaniyan– Carnatic Vocals – A South Indian Karnatak performer, educator and researcher, he began his music lessons from his father Sri. D. Balraj and subsequently studied under several teachers including Sangita Kala Acharya. Sri. B. Krishanamurthy, Sangita Kalanidhi.T. Brinda and Sangita Kalanidhi, and T. Viswanathan. Since 1985 he has been giving concerts in India and abroad. He is a recipient of several awards, scholarships and the title, “Tamil Isaip Paanar” (Musician of Tamil Music) from Thanthai Periyar Tamil Isai Mandram , Chennai. Since 2003, Balu has been a faculty in South Indian Music at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT. He is currently working on a paper titled “Fashioning Ancient Tamil Hymns: Hybridization in the Current Practice of Tevaram.
Steve Gorn– Hindustani Bansuri Flute – Steve Gorn’s bansuri is featured on the 2011 Grammy winning recording, “Miho– Journey to the Mountain,” with Dhruba Ghosh and the Paul Winter Consort, as well as the Academy Award winning Documentary film, “Born into Brothels.” His gurus are the late bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami, of Kolkata, and Pt. Raghunath Seth of Mumbai, who he often accompanied in concert. He has often performed in India, appearing at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, Habitat Center and Triveni Hall in New Delhi, The Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, NCPA, and The Nehru Center in Mumbai, and numerous other venues. In 2013, he was awarded the Pandit Jasraj Rotary Club of Hyderabad Award for Cross Cultural Achievement. His numerous recordings include Luminous Ragas, Rasika, (with tabla by Samir Chatterjee), Illuminations, (with Nepali bansuri wallah, Manose,) and Between Two Worlds.
David Nelson – Carnatic percussion – David Nelson, mrdangam, has been performing and teaching South Indian drumming since 1975. From his principal teacher, the renowned T. Ranganathan, he learned to accompany a wide range of styles, including Bharata Natyam, South India’s classical dance. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where he is Artist in Residence in South India n drumming. He has accompanied well-known artists throughout the United States, Europe, India, and China. He has also written extensively on South Indian drumming, including a major article in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. His first book, Solkattu Manual: an introduction to the language of rhythm in South Indian Music, was published in 2008 by Wesleyan University Press. In March 2013 he was awarded the title “Kala Seva Mani” by the prestigious Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival.