World Music Alumni: Discussing Careers and Life After CalArts

World Music Alumni: Discussing Careers and Life After CalArts

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CalArts Campus

B200 - World Music Forum

School of Music Visiting Artist

Rajib Karmakar is undoubtedly one of the finest young sitar players today. He is currently residing in Los Angeles, California as a performer, educator and digital artist. His open mind has led to an extension of his musical horizon to incorporate imaginative experiments in world music styles that delight the young and the old, creating some fusion projects like Wahh (USA), Fuzorhythm (India), Loop Science (Germany), Nada Naissance (France) etc. He is also the creator of the world’s first double-necked electric Sitar “Mayur Tantri”. Rajib is performing frequently in India and abroad including USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland to name just a few. 

Andy Cheng is a multi-percussionist from Taiwan who has a double master’s degree in World percussion and North Indian Music at California Institute of the Arts. He is a performer, educator and composer who is currently teaching at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. His world music training includes North and South Indian, Brazilian, Ewe African, Latin, Balkan, Arabic and Persian music. He has performed in the U.S, Japan, Holland, Indonesia, China, and Taiwan. Andy also performs with world music groups such as Hands On’Semble, Lian Ensemble, Go organic orchestra and the Salaamuna Near East Ensemble.

Kassandra Kocoshis has been playing percussion since she was eleven years old. She received her BM in Percussion Performance from DePaul University and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, where she studied with Randy Gloss. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where she specializes in Pop, R&B, Soul, New Music, Rock, and Flamenco. Since moving to Los Angeles, Kassandra has performed with Carlos Vives, Young the Giant, Vahagni, Mickey Hart, Shaherah White, Adam del Monte, Hamed Nikpay, and many more. She is a member of California soul band Beat Mosaic and the salsa band Las Chikas.

Javad Butah is a Los Angeles-based musician, composer, producer, and educator. Javad’s unique and innovative perspective on music can be traced to his Romani roots, his studies under various tabla masters, as well as his formal conservatory education. Javad holds a Masters Degree in Music from the California Institute of the Arts. He has performed with world-renowned artists such as Ustad Aashish Khan and Ustad Sultan Khan. He has played in venues worldwide as the Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Saptak Music Festival in Ahmedabad, India. Javad is a brand manager for Ableton. He tours the United States giving lectures and demonstrations.

James Waterman is a multifaceted percussionist, composer, and teaching artist based in Los Angeles. James is devoted to the exploration of all areas of percussion and has extensively studied Western Classical repertoire and a plethora of styles of traditional percussion from around the world. He regularly performs with ensembles Dhara World Music and Bridge to Everywhere, and has performed as a percussionist as such venues and settings as SFJAZZ, PASIC, The Joshua Tree Music Festival, the NAMM Show, Los Angeles’s KPFK 90.6 FM, PBS SoCal's LA County Holiday Celebration at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and NBC’s Today Show.