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On Saturday, May 19, the sixth “Playing For The Planet” benefit concert will showcase master musicians from three widely different musical traditions in a rare evening of pan-cultural flute styles, with all proceeds going to benefit the environmental advocacy group  The performers include Steve Gorn (Hindustani bansuri), Elizabeth Reian Bennett (Japanese shakuhachi), and the acclaimed Renaissance ensemble, Renaissonics, featuring the recorder virtuosity of John Tyson and Miyuki Tsurutani.  The music begins at 7:00 pm, at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston.  Admission is $20; $15 students & seniors.  For information and online ticket purchasing, please visit the concert website.  Please like  "Playing For The Planet" on Facebook.

About This Concert Series
“...Senders possesses a gift for assembling fascinating programs.”
— Andrew Gilbert, The Boston Globe —

“Playing For The Planet: World Flutes Against Climate Change”
is the sixth concert in an ongoing series of cross-cultural events produced by Boston-area musician and environmental activist Warren Senders.  These concerts were conceived as a way for creative musicians to contribute to the urgent struggle against global warming.   Their choice of beneficiary,, is focused on building global consensus on reduction of atmospheric CO2 levels — action which climatologists agree is necessary to avoid catastrophic outcomes. Because the climate problem recognizes no national boundaries, the artists represent musical styles from three different parts of the globe. While the performers present different melodic and rhythmic concepts, they share key musical values: listening, honesty, creativity, and respect. And, of course, they are all committed to raising awareness of the potentially devastating effects of global warming.  It’ll be an evening of powerful and evocative music — from some of the finest musicians in New England and the world.
“...pleasant surprises and stimulation of the aesthetic open-ended, floating, world music festival...”
— Steve Elman, ArtsFuse —
Steve Gorn

Steve Gorn’s unique blend of Indian music and contemporary world music can be heard on recordings with Paul Simon, Angelique Kidjo, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Winter, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Tony Levin, Adam Rudolph, Layne Redmond, Richie Havens, Alessandra Belloni, Badal Roy, Simon Shaheen, Deepak Chopra, Robert Bly, Coleman Barks, Glen Velez, and numerous Indian musicians.

He has performed Indian Classical Music and new American Music on the bansuri bamboo flute in concerts and festivals throughout the world, and is featured on the 2011 Grammy-winning recording, “Miho – Journey to the Mountain,” with the Paul Winter Consort, as well as Angelique Kidjo’s Grammy-nominated CD, “Oyo,” and the score of the Oscar-winning documentary film, “Born Into Brothels.” His gurus are the late bansuri master Sri Gour Goswami, of Kolkata, and Pandit Raghunath Seth of Mumbai, whom he often accompanies in concert. He has also studied with the late Ustad Z. M. Dagar. During the past decade Steve has often performed in India, appearing at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, Triveni Hall in New Delhi, The Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, NCPA, and The Nehru Center in Mumbai, and numerous other venues. His performance with Pandit Ravi Shankar’s disciple, Barun Kumar Pal, at Kolkata’s Rama Krishna Mission, was televised throughout India.  His numerous recordings include Luminous Ragas, the landmark Indian-Jazz fusion recording, Asian Journal; Pranam, a jugalbandi (duet) with Barun Kumar Pal on hansaveena, and Samir Chatterjee, tabla. On May 19, he will be accompanied on tabla by Akshay Navaladi.

"Steve Gorn performed exquisitely and evocatively on the bamboo flute”
— The New York Times —

Steve Gorn performing Raag Bhairavi.

Renaissance music comes alive in the robust performances of Renaissonics. Simultaneously historical and contemporary in its approach, the group plays as musicians of the era played --vigorously and improvisationally.  Renaissonics' stylish performances allow audiences to experience the elegance and excitement of Renaissance music as it was intended to be heard. Music of the past is suddenly music of today. Virtuoso solos, chamber music, dance music and dazzling improvisations combine in a program that joyously bridges the gap between the artistic and pop. A unique blend of members, all of whom are internationally recognized soloists, dance musicians, and improvisors, they blend this extensive expertise into performances that are continually original. Renaissonics is the resident ensemble for the Historical Dance Foundation's annual International Early Dance Institute.

Renaissonics perform "Bonnie Sweet Robin"
"Unabashed virtuosity...a great groove!”
— The Boston Globe —
RENAISSONICS is acknowledged as a leading ensemble of Renaissance Chamber Music, Dance Music, and Improvisation. They have appeared at the Festival Cenomanies in Le Mans, France; Musique en Catalogne Romaine, Perpignan, France; and may be heard on Ken Burn's PBS Documentary "The West". They were a featured ensemble for the Christmas Revels where they performed for a public of over 15,000 and for Early Music America's Star Spangled Season. Other appearances include the Boston Early Music Festival, the Cambridge Society for Early Music's International Candlelight Concerts, the Castle Hill Pop Music Series, the Indianapolis Early Music Festival, the New England Conservatory of Music's Improvisation Festival, Plimouth Plantation, and at Boston's First Night Celebration. RENAISSONICS is the resident ensemble of the Killington Vermont Shakespeare Festival.  Major collaborations have included performances with Hollywood star Michael York, Bolivian Music Ensemble Sumaj Chasquis, renowned jazz drummer Bob Moses, and Latin Music stars Sol Y Canto.

"They have delved further than anyone into Renaissance improvisation.”
— Continuo Magazine —

Elizabeth Reian Bennett

The first woman to play professionally as a Grand Master of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, Elizabeth Reian Bennett stands out as one of only a handful of western players trained in traditional Japanese music.  A faculty member in the Applied Music program at Tufts University, she has studied and performed with Living National Treasure Aoki Reibo, recognized as Japan's foremost shakuhachi instrumentalist, for 30 years.  

Elizabeth Reian Bennett performs "Honte Jyoshi (Song Of The True Hand)"
Her CD, Song of The True Hand, received rave reviews from critics in popular and academic publications, including the Hartford Advocate's Dan Barry, who wrote, "The word 'haunting' is easy to sling around in music reviews, but if one were to be haunted, the accompanying sound would probably be that of a shakuhachi...the instrument of wanderers and seekers.  On 'True Hand,' Bennett wrings a dazzling variety of techniques from the bamboo; though the music is quite unlike jazz, her technical vocabulary is reminiscent of Coltrane in his prime."
“...a single individual with a musical instrument can
wordlessly conjure the human spirit out of thin air.”

— Jon Sobel, Blogcritics Magazine —

Co-founded by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, is the hub of a worldwide network of over two hundred environmental organizations, all with a common target: persuading the world’s countries to unite in an effort to reduce global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million or less. Climatologist Dr. James Hansen says, “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 392 ppm to at most 350 ppm.” (Dr. Hansen heads the NASA Institute for Space Studies in New York City, and is best known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue.)  Activists involved in the 350 movement include Rajendra Pachauri (Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Vandana Shiva (world-renowned environmental leader and thinker), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a global activist on issues pertaining to democracy, freedom and human rights), Van Jones, Bianca Jagger, Barbara Kingsolver and many more.


Please pass the word about this concert to your friends, family and colleagues.

Warren Senders

Originally posted to Massachusetts Kosmopolitans on Sun May 13, 2012 at 06:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA, Protest Music, and Progressive Hippie.

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