Trilok Gurtu

Genres: Jazz
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s


30 October 1951, Bombay, India. Coming from a musical family, Gurtu played tablas from the age of six and studied with Ahmed Jan Thirakwa. In 1965 he formed a percussion group with his brother, and credits John Coltrane’s Plays The Blues with inspiring him to play jazz. Seated on the floor to play he has incorporated devices such as dipping resonating gongs in water (a technique invented by John Cage), always with an immaculate sense of timing and sonority. In 1973 he toured Europe with an Indian crossover group and stayed in Italy until 1976, when he relocated to New York and started a long-term association with alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano. Gurtu also performed with trumpeter Don Cherry and bass player Barre Phillips. Teamed with Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos he toured Europe and recorded for the German ECM Records label, becoming part of a select set of musicians who fuse global music into a tastefully understated whole.

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