“The community-building ethos he absorbed on the Bay Area scene has paid major dividends in New York, where he co-founded Brooklyn Raga Massive, a collective that brings together musicians devoted to classical Indian music.” – San Francisco Classical Voice 8/2018
“Sameer is very clear we can come as we are, and be who we are. We can be whatever kind of hybrid of musician we’ve become.” – Marika Hughes on KQED Online
Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset, and Indian classical music on tabla. Sameer completed his Jazz studies learning from his peers on the bandstands in San Francisco and Oakland to Harlem and Brooklyn. His own interests and love of tabla helped guide Sameer to become a co-founder of the non-profit collective Brooklyn Raga Massive.
Today he lives in Brooklyn, NYC and is actively involved in performing, curating, producing and teaching through various institutions including the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn Raga Massive, Carnegie Hall’s Global Encounters and Ragas Live Festival. Sameer has had the pleasure to make music with many great musicians including 2019 NEA Jazz Master recipient Reggie Workman, Harry Belafonte, Marc Cary, Casey Benjamin, Martha Redbone, Awa Sangho, Falu Shah, Adam Rudolph, Rez Abbasi, Kiran Ahluwalia, Wallace Roney, Karsh Kale, Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Ravi Chandra Kulur, Mysore Manjunath, Prasant Radhakrishnan, Pandit Chitresh Das, Jason Samuels Smith, Pandit Ramesh Mishra and numerous other luminaries.
Gupta continues to build his career by combining traditional and modern improvisational styles drawing from his dual Indian and American heritage, and has already established himself as an original musical voice in music today. From bebop to avant-garde jazz, and European classical percussion to North Indian classical tabla. Gupta continues to compose and perform music from a true multi-cultural perspective that now bridges several continents.
“Gupta’s new album explores the colorful border zone where the Indian classical tradition meets Native Americana, John Coltrane’s modal meditations, and the ears-wide-open prog-jazz internationalism of Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra.” – Village Voice 2.13.18
“The primary influence is the kind of mellow, cosmic funk-fusion favoured by Jean Luc Ponty in the mid-1970s – laid- back grooves with fat basslines and lashings of Fender Rhodes – but with the added spice of Indian Carnatic violin and bansuri flute flying off into hyper-agile flights of microtonal invention.” – March 2018 Jazzwise
“Gupta was particularly impressive, bringing cyclical Indian rhythms to his kit work which he augmented on occasion with tabla forays… ”
“…Sameer Gupta’s wire brushes suggested a field of silvery light for [Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards] to dance in.”