Amie and the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble fuse North Indian music marked by the distinctively “exotic” sound of the long necked string instrument sitar, made famous by Ravi Shankar, with saxophone, Indian tabla drums, and often bass and Indian vocals. To hear the saxophone play the slides and oscillations so characteristic of Indian music is both familiar to jazz fans and wonderfully new. The group blends the two styles together, creating both a contemporary “new world music” sound and one that resonates with earlier fusion groups like Shakti and the work of jazz great Ornette Coleman. Meditating on the unexpected, this collective emits sounds that have been described as “elegantly vibrant”– at once mesmerizing, lyrical, and bizarre. They perform arrangements and improvisations of both traditional Indian melodies and original “new world music.”
Founded in 2006 and led by Amie Maciszewski, the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble follows the precedent set by by her guru, Sarode Maestro Aashish Khan, and his elders, in which players of diverse instruments collaborate to compose, arrange, and perform loosely structured pieces, often based on classical raags, allowing for considerable improvisation.
Alongside her work with Sangeet Millennium Ensemble, Amie has had the privilege, of collaborating with a number of expert musicians in the field of Hindustani classical and light-classical music, Karnatak (South Indian classical) music, Rajasthani folk music, Indo-Pakistan Sufi music, Persian classical music, Arabic music, jazz, and Western classical music. She has also played with performers of the North Indian classical dance form Kathak, eastern India’s Odissi, and South India’s Bharata Natyam; with Kathak-flamenco fusion; with classically-based contemporary Indian dance. In addition, she has provided live soundtrack for theatrical recitation. Amie always welcomes collaborations; for her they are a means to both broaden her musical horizons, and sharpen her artistic astuteness, as well as to share the intensity and joy of artistic creation and performance.