Mesmerizing Indian jazz fusion

Indian Jazz Journey, featuring Mahesh Kale and George Brooks

Sunday, June 25

4 p.m.

Dinkelspiel Auditorium

SJW MEMBER: $56 premium | $46 reserved | Child (17 and under) & Student (present valid student ID card) $15

NON-MEMBER: $62 premium | $56 reserved | Child (17 and under) & Student (present valid student ID card) $18

Ticket prices include all fees; what you see is what you pay.

Programs, personnel, venues, and pricing subject to change without notice.


Mahesh Kale, vocals
George Brooks, saxophone
Utsav Lal, piano
Julian Coryell, guitar
Mayookh Bhaumik, tabla
Scott Amendola, drums

Co-presented with the Indian Classical Music and Arts Foundation.

Indian Jazz Journey, featuring Mahesh Kale and George Brooks

“[Mahesh is] an unlikely rock star.” —The Hindu

“Bristling with East meets West polytonality and rhythmic intrigue, tinged with a Trane-like spirituality . . . [Brooks] succeeds to a startling and almost rapturous degree.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

The world of Indian classical music is a vast sonic treasure trove that can seem daunting even to people acquainted with its riches. Over the past three decades Berkeley tenor saxophonist George Brooks has carved out a singular niche as a discerning curator known for designing creatively charged jazz collaborations with the most influential and renowned artists in the Hindustani and Carnatic traditions. It’s a role he’s embraced in organizing a series of unprecedented East/West encounters for the Stanford Jazz Festival over the past decade. This concert marks the next step in his evolving relationship with vocalist Mahesh Kale, who made his North American debut with Brooks at the SJF in 2016, a thrilling encounter between masters who embody the world’s two most sophisticated improvisational traditions. Now living in Mountain View, Kale catapulted to fame in 2015 when he won the best playback singer award at the 63rd National Film Awards, India’s equivalent of the Oscars, for his work in the epic musical Katyar Kaljat Ghusli (A Dagger Through the Heart). A lavish production of a 1967 stage musical that helped revive Natya Sangeet, the semi-classical Marathi musical theater tradition dating back the 19th Century, the film scored an unlikely honor for a regional art form far outside Bollywood’s mainstream Hindi-language fare, helping spark a revival. Born and raised in Pune, the cultural heartland of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Kale became a disciple of Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, a hugely influential figure who composed the musical Katyar Kaljat Ghusli. Moving to the South Bay put him right in the orbit of Brooks, who made his SJF debut with his all-star group Summit featuring tabla legend Zakir Hussain and drum star Steve Smith. Over the years he’s presented a dazzling array of Indo-jazz encounters, and the reunion with Kale and friends offers another chance to experience a unique cross-cultural journey.

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