Toronto-based Indo-jazz-funk fusion ensemble Autorickshaw will be performing in San Francisco March on 3rd at Yoshi’s in San Francisco, and at the University of Nevada in Reno on March 6th.
Autorickshaw has recently been nominated for a 2008 Juno Award in the "World Music Album of the Year" category. It’s the second Juno nod of the band’s five-year career and the latest in a string of acknowledgements for the group’s 2007 release, So the Journey Goes.
Autorickshaw‘s cover of "Bird on a Wire" was #4 on John Sakamoto’s "Anti-Hit List" in the Toronto Star and the album made the best-of-the year lists of Texas Public Radio, Olympia, Washington’s Spin the Globe and UMFM’s John Prentice, as well as reaching #14 on the European World Music Charts. It was also featured on Public Radio International’s "Global Hit." In November, Autorickshaw received the Ontario Independent Music Award for "Best Jazz" for its version of the Bollywood classic "Aaj Ki Raat," and in October, the group was nominated for two Canadian Folk Music Awards in the categories "Best World Album – Group" and "Pushing the Boundaries."
Formed in 2003, Autorickshaw has been called a "post fusion" ensemble by world music aficionado Sal Ferreras for its seamless and downright cool sounding blend of jazz, funk and Indian classical music. Often anchored by the melodic bass-lines of Rich Brown, their sound showcases the sultry sophisticated vocals of Suba Sankaran over a bed of intricate Indian percussion by Ed Hanley and global rhythms by Patrick Graham. The group’s diverse repertoire draws from such a range of Eastern and Western elements it could only come from musicians with deep roots in both traditions.
The daughter of master Indian percussionist Trichy Sankaran, Suba Sankaran is perhaps Canada’s first second generation world fusion musician. She studied South Indian classical music with her father from the time she was a child, she studied western classical music through the Royal Conservatory and she earned degrees in jazz and ethnomusicology from York University.
"Sankaran has a sensuous, supple voice…her sense of phrasing, expression and tone are immaculate." -Ottawa Citizen
Hanley grew up in Toronto on a steady diet of Western pop, but he’s devoted the past 18 years to intensive and eclectic studies of Indian percussion. His teachers include the legendary Anindo Chatterjee and Swapan Chaudhuri.
Rich Brown is a world class bassist and has performed and recorded with some of the finest musicians in the world including Carol Welsman, Yan Kuba Saho, Jane Siberry, Glenn Lewis, Dapp Theory, Steve Coleman & 5 Elements, James "Blood" Ulmer, Andy Narrell and Bruce Cockburn to name a few.
Graham, the newest member of Autorickshaw, is known for a distinctive percussion style that draws from his training in Western classical music and multiple frame-drumming styles and explorations of Japanese, South Indian, Mediterranean and Irish rhythms.
Autorickshaw has played prestigious concerts across North America, including the Rochester International Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and Joe’s Pub in New York City. They kicked off ’07 with their most extensive tour yet of India, including gigs at Kolkata’s prestigious Congo Square Jazz Festival and the Jaipur Festival in Rajasthan. This past summer they debuted at the Stockholm Jazz Festival in Sweden.
Widely reviewed and profiled in mainstream Canadian media, Autorickshaw has also been featured internationally, including on NPR’s Weekend America, in Global Rhythm Magazine and All About Jazz (USA); World Music Magazine (Italy), fRoots (UK), Rave Magazine and The Hindu (India) and Deutschland Radio Kultur (Germany).
Buy So the Journey Goes.