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Surge Afrofuturism: Nishat Khan, David Murray, and Hamid Drake in Concert

Join us for a live music performance and original Afrofuturism Hindustani collaboration with Indian sitar player Nishat Khan, American jazz saxophonist and composer David Murray, and percussionist Hamid Drake.

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Event Series Event Series: Surge: Explorations in Afrofuturism

May 9, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

From left to right: A man sits in the road holding a string instrument, and a man dressed in red plays a saxophone.

This event is free for UC Santa Cruz students and $40 for the public.
Tickets and admission details to be announced. 

This event is part of Surge: Explorations in Afrofuturism, a multidimensional and transcultural month-long festival on Afrofuturism spearheaded by composer/performer Karlton Hester, choreographer Gerald Casel, and artist Aaron Samuel Mulenga. Afrofuturism is a global artistic and social movement, intent on imagining a world where African-descended peoples and cultures can live and flourish. For Surge, an extended program of music and dance performances, film screenings, and discussions will bring together artists and thinkers to creatively engage Afrofuturist strategies for liberation and the restructuring of society free of racism.

Surge is made possible by generous support from the Nion McEvoy Family Trust, the National Endowment from the Arts, UCHRI, UCSC Academic Senate, Rowland and Pat Rebele, Porter College, the Ali Akbar Khan Classical Indian Music Endowment, the UCSC Music Department, the Center of South Asian Studies, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences. 

About the performers

Nishat Khan

Nishat Khan is an Indian sitar player from an illustrious musical family and the foremost sitar virtuoso of his generation. With the strike of a single, unmistakable note, the sound of Nishat Khan’s sitar instantly captivates and transforms one’s mood. Listeners are transported to another realm by sight and sound unlike any other. As the current torchbearer of the most recorded musical family in the world, seven generations of wisdom reside in his fingertips. While grounded in centuries of tradition, Nishat forges his own signature sound, unfolding with emotional contrasts and surprises at every turn. Nishat gave his first public concert at age 7 and has lived and toured all over the world continuously since age 13. His unique cosmopolitan perspective has inspired a great sensitivity and connection to musical philosophies of the world.  As a composer and music producer he has collaborated with some of the world’s leading musicians such as Larry Coryell, Paco Peña, John McLaughlin, and Gregorian choir Vox Clamantis. In 2021 he premiered his composition for members of the Royal family, a sitar-cello duet with one of the world’s leading artists, Sheku Kanneh-Mason. 

David Murray

David Murray is an American jazz saxophonist and composer who performs mostly on tenor and bass clarinet. He has recorded prolifically for many record labels since the mid-1970s. He was initially influenced by free jazz musicians such as Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp. He gradually evolved a more diverse style in his playing and compositions. Murray set himself apart from most tenor players of his generation by not taking John Coltrane as his model, choosing instead to incorporate elements of mainstream players Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Paul Gonsalves into his mature style. Despite this, he recorded a tribute to Coltrane, Octet Plays Trane, in 1999. He played a set with the Grateful Dead at a show on September 22, 1993, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. His 1996 tribute to the Grateful Dead, Dark Star, was also critically well received. Murray was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett. He has recorded and performed with musicians such as Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Olu Dara, Tani Tabbal, Butch Morris, Donal Fox, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Sunny Murray (no relation), Ed Blackwell, Johnny Dyani, Fred Hopkins, and Steve McCall. 

Hamid Drake

Hamid Drake is a drummer/ percussionist whose rhythmic expressions and interest in the roots of the music has led him to working with a wide roster of musicians and collaborators. Touring and recording all over the world, Hamid has played and /or recorded with Fred Anderson, Peter Brotzmann, Don Cherry, Marilyn Crispell, Pierre Dorge, Johnny Dyani, Hassan Hakmoun, Herbie Hancock, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, bassist William Parker (in a large number of lineups), Michael Zerang, David Murray, Bill Laswell, Jamie Saft, Sabir Mateen, Joe McPhee, Jim Pepper, Dewey Redman, Adam Rudolph, Pharoah Sanders, Foday Musa Suso, John Tchicai, Dave Leibman, Irene Schweizer, Michel Portal, Iva Bittova, Nicole Mitchell, Zahra Glenda Baker, Amina Claudine Meyers, Josh Abrams, among others. Hamid won the Jazz Journalist Awaard in 2009 and the Downbeat Critics Poll in 2006, 2010, 2017, 2018, 2019 as best percussionist. In 2017 he was awarded the title of Chevalier Des Arts et des lettres.

Please familiarize yourself in advance with the full COVID-19 protocols required for admission.


May 9, 2022
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
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407 McHenry Rd
Santa Cruz, California 95064
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