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James Waterman blends Jazz & Traditional Indian in cross-cultural 'The Elephant King'

Words by Jed Morgans

LA based multifaceted percussionist, composer, songwriter, and teaching artist James Waterman fuses Traditional Indian music with Jazz, Rock, and Western Classical sounds in newly released 'The Elephant King'.

As demonstrated in previous tracks such as 'Barren Vista' and 'Journey', James is devoted to the exploration of all areas of percussion including arabic drumming, Trinidadian Steel Drums, jazz vibraphone, Cuban and Haitian folkloric percussion, drum set, Indian tabla and tala systems, and Brazilian percussion.

'The Elephant King' may be Waterman's most ambitious and interesting piece to date. Whilst still exploring all areas of cultural percussion, James joins forces with Bridge to Everywhere, an organization striving to build bridges between instruments, genres, cultures, and people, as well as Indian classical vocalist and Zee Marathi SaReGaMaPa finalist Saili Oak and award-winning multi-instrumentalist Neelamjit Dhillon to produce a remarkable blend of Western Classical, Jazz, Rock and Traditional Indian.

Unlike each respected artist's previous work, the colaboration of styles creates a driving and groove-based force, carried initially by the percussion and Sitar, Oak joins with an effortless vocal delivery to carry this piece to it's peak.

'The Elephant King' is a true cultural offering - intriguing and engaging, we're left never quite knowing where the track will turn next, yet satisfied and hopeful for more when it ends up there.


'The Elephant King' is available here.

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