Skift Live

Max ZT & Priya Darshini

National Hammered Dulcimer Champion & Grammy-Nominated Vocalist

Lauded as the “Jimi Hendrix of Hammered Dulcimer” by NPR, and “A Force of nature” Max ZT is an innovator of the instrument. Taking his roots from Irish and American folk music, Max has transplanted his compositional techniques to both Senegal, where he studied the Mandinko technique with the Cissoko griot family, and to India, where he received the prestigious AIIS grant to study under the great santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. His fresh perspective and bold experimentalism have been the backbone to beautiful, complex, and genuine compositions, while his unorthodox playing style has been a pioneering force in revolutionizing dulcimer techniques.
Max has enlivened the conceptual framework of traditional folk music by fusing multi-cultural roots and traditions to create a truly compelling sound.
Max ZT and his band House of Waters have been called “One of the most original bands on the planet,” by NY Music Daily, and have shared the stage with some of the most influential international musical leaders of the century including Pt. Ravi Shankar, Tinariwen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jimmy Cliff, Bela Fleck, Karsh Kale, Snarky Puppy, and more. With their most recent album House of Waters hitting #2 on the iTunes World Music charts, critics are raving. All About Jazz calls the album, “truly mesmerizing. House Of Waters resonates throughout with a true eclecticism drawing its influences from many sources. A rare and beautiful gem.” While Timeout NY states House of Waters is “A sight to behold.”

MaxZT is based out of Brooklyn, New York. He has put out nine albums, and in 2005, won the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship. He’s recorded with a vast array of artists across musical genres, ranging from Victor Wooten, to The Goo Goo Dolls, to American Idol Phil Phillips.
About Priya Darshini:

Priya Darshini’s Periphery is elegant, tranquil, intricately layered, timeless and virtuosic. The album is a musical mix of styles, genres, and cultures featuring world-renowned cellist Dave Eggar, virtuoso hammered dulcimer player Max ZT, famed percussionist and environmentalist Chuck Palmer, and Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun. Blending elements of traditional Indian music and improvisation with Amerian folk and pop music, the result is an alluring treat for the senses and a World music album for the ages.
Periphery explores the various connotations of what ‘home’ means to Priya Darshini, as she introspects on her cultural identity as a South Indian growing up in Mumbai and transplanted to New York City. In the backdrop of the current anti-immigrant rhetoric, this album is a shining example of the beauty of cross-cultural collaboration. The diverse influences on the album reflect her journey and the varied musical influences that Darshini has absorbed along the way, that have now become a part of her very distinct musical identity.

Taking her roots from Indian Classical music, Priya’s knowledge of music from all over the world has resulted in a fresh, imaginative and fascinating new sound. She displays an exciting combination of range, technique, unconventional compositions, a feminist perspective and a prodigious voice that truly sets her apart from other vocalists. Priya has the ability to both intrigue and captivate any audience. Priya has collaborated with a wide range of artists from Pearl Jam; Grammy award winners Roy “Futureman” Wooten; Jeff Coffin , Philip Lassiter; virtuoso ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro and many more.

The album was recorded in stunning high definition fashion using a new recording methodology which captures crystal clear vocal performance and the immaculate acoustics of the church in which the album was recorded. This new recording style will leave you feeling like the band is right in front of you while still creating a timeless presence that will have you coming back for years to come.

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