This is exciting - two musicians of Indian extraction have won the Jazz Journalists Association's 2010 awards.
Vijay Iyer won the "Musician of the Year" award (mind you, legendary jazz man Sonny Rollins had also been nominated in this category) and Rudresh Mahanthappa won as "Alto Saxophonist of the Year".
Iyer was really on a roll. He was also nominated in the following categories; Composer of the Year; Record of the Year (for Historicity by the Vijay Iyer Trio); Small Ensemble of the Year (the Vijay Iyer trio); and Pianist of the Year. Fantastic!
Rudresh is involved in multiple projects including one called the Indo-Pak Coalition which features Rudresh on alto, Rez Abbasi (a Pakistani-American) on guitar, and Dan Weiss on tabla. Rudresh and Rez have also played together with Kadri Gopalnath who plays Carnatic music on the alto saxophone. Here is a clip featuring all three of these musicians and Rudresh providing some commentary.
Rudresh and Vijay Iyer also play together:
Incidentally Rez Abbasi is married to Kiran Ahluwalia. You may recall that I have played her songs before on Sangam. Here are Rez and Kiran playing together:
In all of this talk of jazz men , let's not forget the jazz woman - Asha Puthli. I'll be playing a track from her on the show today.