Sameer Gupta is a first generation Indian American artist, parent, entrepreneur and educator. Gupta is also known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on the drum set and Indian classical music on tabla. While living in Brooklyn, his own experiences as an artist and his love of many kinds of music from both America and India helped inspire Sameer to become a co-founder of Brooklyn Raga Massive, as well as one of the co-founders of Raga Kids, an Indian music for toddlers education program. Sameer has created a unique musical sound by combining traditional and modern improvisational styles drawing from his dual Indian and American heritage, and has already established himself as an original 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.
Sameer has had the pleasure to make music with many great musicians including 2019 NEA Jazz Master recipient Reggie Workman, Marc Cary, Jon Batiste, Ron Carter, Kaoru Watanabe, Prince Lasha, Rogerio Boccato, Kenny Garret, Harry Belafonte, Adam Rudolph, Charlie Burnham, Brandee Younger, Casey Benjamin, Martha Redbone, Awa Sangho, Falu Shah, Adam Rudolph, Rez Abbasi, Kiran Ahluwalia, Wallace Roney, Karsh Kale, Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Pandit Chitresh Das, Jason Samuels Smith, Pandit Ramesh Mishra and numerous other luminaries.
“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
“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.”