Brookfield Place Winter Garden
230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281
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It’s a first in Festival history: A marathon devoted entirely to... ragas! The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place will host this FREE-ADMISSION all-day event. In Hindustani classical music, melodies and modalities are thought to reach full potency at a particular hour, in tune with the Earth on its axis. On Friday, May 19, ragas will flow from morning until midnight at Brookfield Place’s Winter Garden. At 8 AM, Debashish Bhattacharya, one of the world’s pre-eminent slide guitarists, begins the Marathon with a raga specifically for early morning. At noon, the sarodist Anupam Shobhakar performs a raga made for midday; at 5 PM, a power trio of guitarist Gyan Riley, sitarist Krishna Bhatt, and percussionist Dan Weiss takes over with an early evening raga; and Bhattacharya returns at 7. 

Silent cinema comes back to NYGF, as part of the Raga Marathon, with an 8:30 PM screening of the 1929 film A Throw of Dice: A Romance of India, accompanied by a new score composed especially for the Festival by guitarist Rez Abbasi and performed by his quartet. The movie’s based on a story found within the Sanskrit epic, The Mahābhārata. Capping the event, DJ Rekha, who brought Bhangra to SoHo, spins an in-the-moment mash-up of ragas, EDM, and Punjabi pop from 10:00 until midnight. Her special guests include dancers, a VJ, dhol drummers and other Indian percussionists. Guitarists from the day will sit in, too. 

Run of show:


8 AM – 9 AM

Morning Raga

Performing: Debashish Bhattacharya, slide guitar

Samir Chatterjee, tabla


Noon – 1 PM

Noon Raga

Performing: Anupam Shobhakar, sarod

Dan Weiss, tabla


5 PM – 6 PM

Early Evening Raga


Gyan Riley, guitar

Krishna Bhatt, sitar

Dan Weiss, tabla


7 PM – 8 PM

Evening Raga

Performing: Debashish Bhattacharya, slide guitar

Samir Chatterjee, tabla


8:30 PM – 10 PM

WORLD PREMIERE: A Throw of Dice Silent - Film with Live Music 

Performing: Rez Abassi Quartet

Rez Abbasi - electric & acoustic guitars, sitar - guitar
Pawan Benjamin - tenor & soprano saxophones, basuri flutes
Jennifer Vincent - acoustic bass, cello
Rohan Krishnamurthy - ghatam, mridangam, drumset


10:00 PM – Midnight

Performing: DJ Rekha, with special multimedia guests. Guitarists featured earlier in the Marathon will sit in.


 * * * 

Debashish Bhattacharya - This slide guitar master’s 2017 CD, Hawaii To Calcutta, celebrates the life & music of Hawaiian guitar legend Tau Moe, imbuing island pop with traces of the mystery in ragas.

Rez Abbasi - Currently a leader of at least four ensembles, guitarist Rez Abbasi explores the intersections of jazz-rock, Carnatic music of South India, and the on-going influence of Jim Hall.

DJ Rekha - The founder of Basement Bhangra, DJ Rekha introduced Punjabi folk music & dance to the NYC club scene, seamlessly blending South Asian traditions with house and hip-hop.

Krishna Bhatt - Sitar master Krishna Bhatt studied with Ravi Shankar. Specializing in Rajasthani ragas & folk melodies from Northern India, he divides the year between NYC and his native Jaipur.

Anupam Shobhakar - Equally at home in worldbeat and Indian classical, Anupam Shobhakar plays sarod, a fretless stringed instrument that dates back centuries, and jams with NYC jazz musicians.

Gyan Riley - Composer/guitarist Gyan Riley erases boundaries between jazz, contemporary classical, and Asian music. He’s recorded with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain on their CD Melismantra.