Guggenheim fellow and 2009 Downbeat International Critics Poll Winner (“Rising Star-Jazz Artist” and “Rising Star-Alto Saxophone”) Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative young musicians and composers in jazz today.
Named Alto Saxophonist of the Year for 2009 by the Jazz Journalist Association, Rudresh has incorporated the culture of his Indian ancestry and has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision. As a performer, he leads/co-leads seven groups to critical acclaim. His recent release for Pi Recordings Kinsmen featuring Carnatic saxophone legend Kadri Gopalnath (September 25, 2008) was named one of the Top Jazz CDs of 2008 by over 20 news sources including the New York Times, NPR, BBC, Boston Globe, slate.com, JazzTimes, and the Village Voice to name just a few. His previous quartet release for Pi release Codebook (September 26, 2006) was named one of the Top Jazz Albums of 2006 by The Village Voice, Jazztimes, and The Denver Post and received rave reviews from Downbeat, wired.com and Science Magazine. In Europe, Codebook received the esteemed “CHOC DE L'ANNÉE” (album of the year) for 2007 in France’s Jazzman, 4 stars in the UK’s Jazzwise, and received the “Bollino di Marzo” from Italy’s Musica Jazz. As a saxophonist, Mahanthappa has achieved international recognition performing regularly at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. As a composer, Rudresh has received commission grants from the Rockefeller Foundation MAP Fund, American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, and the New York State Council on the Arts to develop new work. Mahanthappa holds a Bachelors of Music Degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music and a Masters of Music degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University. He now teaches at The New School University. Rudresh Mahanthappa currently lives in New York where he is clearly regarded as an important and influential voice in the jazz world. Rudresh K. Mahanthappa uses Vandoren reeds exclusively. Mahanthappa is also a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow.