Chennai, March 17: On March 12, the Hawaii-based United States Air Force Band of the Pacific released a music video featuring its virtual musical collaboration with Giridhar Udupa, an acclaimed Indian percussion artist who plays the ghatam, one of India’s most ancient percussion instruments. The collaboration was inspired by the band’s commitment to support Aero India 2021, and reinforces the U.S.-India Major Defense Partnership and people-to-people ties between our countries.
The original song “Open Clusters” was composed by Staff Sergeant Luis Rosa, a saxophone instrumentalist with the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, and is a musical fusion of two masters of Indian and Puerto Rican culture and rhythm. Other artists in the musical composition are Senior Airman Guy James on guitar, Staff Sergeant Andrew Detra on bass, and Technical Sergeant Wilfredo Cruz on percussion.
The United States Air Force Band of the Pacific’s Publicity Section Chief Technical Sergeant Wilfredo Cruz said: “We are honored and extremely grateful to be able to produce this musical collaboration for all of our viewers worldwide. The pandemic did not allow us to be in India to perform live during Aero India, yet music connects all regardless of distance or borders. We leverage the power of music to strengthen bonds with our friends and partners through the Indo-Pacific region. We hope you enjoy this virtual performance as much as we enjoyed preparing it for you!”
Talking about the long-distance collaboration, the Indian percussion artist Giridhar Udupa said, “I am very excited about the newly composed track with incredible musicians from the U.S. Air Force Band. The composition perfectly fits into the world music scene.”
USAF Band of the Pacific: The United States Air Force Band of the Pacific is a squadron of professional U.S. Air Force musicians that performs in diverse musical configurations and fulfills community relations and military functions throughout the Western Pacific region. These ensembles present more than 200 performances annually, cultivating patriotism while enhancing cultural ties on behalf of the Pacific Air Forces and the U.S. Air Force throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
Ghatam Giridhar Udupa: Giridhar Udupa is an acclaimed Bengaluru-based Indian ghatam (percussion) artist. With three decades of musical journey enriched by collaborations with eminent artists across the world, concert visits to more than 50 countries, and numerous accolades and awards, Udupa stands as a true global icon and an ambassador of world music. He has performed at the most prestigious venues in the world including Carnegie Hall in New York City, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and The Wortham Center in Houston, Texas.
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