Hindugrass was formed in 1998 as an acoustic vehicle for the exploration of commonalities between classical and folk music of Northern India, and the folk and bluegrass styles of the Southeastern U.S. Hindugrass attempts to develop a voice which shares the highly emotive and rhythmically complex qualities common to these geographically distant styles. Using as a point of departure melodic and rhythmic structures from the ragas of Hindustan and songs from the Appalachian tradition, the group is finding a middle ground which reflects their diverse influences and experience.
John Heitzenrater - sarod
Carolyn Balfe - violin
Yunior Terry - bass
Evan Fraser - morsing, bones, calabash, percussion
Austin Wrinkle - tabla, doumbek, udu, kanjira, calabash, percussion
Band member bios:
John Heitzenrater is a multi-instrumentalist whose performance career spans over two decades and many genres. The instruments on which he is currently featured are sarod, bassoon and guitars, but he has also appeared performing on tabla, ghatam, electric bass, keyboards, and voice. On sarod, Mr. Heitzenrater is a product of the celebrated Maihar-Allaudin Gharana, which traces its lineage to Mian Tansen, court musician of Akbar the Great and the principle progenitor of modern Hindustani classical music. He studied sarod with Pandit Rajeev Taranath, distinguished disciple of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan and one of the world's leading exponents of the sarod, and studied tabla with Lucknow Gharana Maestro Swapan Chaudhuri. He is also versed in the folk music traditions of Macedonia and Bulgaria (thanks to Miroslav Tadic), in Western classical music, and in various American popular traditions including rock, jazz, and bluegrass. In his diverse performance career, he has shared the stage with an array of talented musicians from around the globe. Recent performances include an appearance at the Dalai Lama's World Festival of Sacred Music with master South Indian drummer Poovalur Srinivasan, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles with chitravina virtuoso N. Ravikiran and master drummers Glen Velez and John Bergamo, and at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood with his cross-cultural acoustic ensembe, Hindugrass. Mr. Heitzenrater earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Composition and Performance (on sarod, guitar, and bassoon) and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multi-Focus Guitar Performance from California Institute of the Arts. In addition to his performance career, John is currently teaching bassoon, theory, history and ear-training at North Carolina Central University, managing a large studio of private students, and recently completed scoring the film Like Moles, Like Rats with Chris Johnson.
Austin Wrinkle is a unique and versatile percussionist who has studied rhythm and drumming from near and far. By combining techniques and concepts from many cultures, he has forged a universal approach to playing and teaching.
He is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed percussion group Hands On'Semble, a percussion group devoted to the art of hand drumming. Hands On'Semble has performed and lectured throughout the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia at many of the world's premier percussion and world music festivals such as: The Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Ritmos de Terra - Brazil, World Drum Festival - Germany, Chi-Hsi Int'l Arts Festival Int'l Drummers Gala - Taiwan, as well as music schools and conservatories including: The Juilliard School - NY, Eastman School of Music - NY, Mannes College of Music - NY, University of California Santa Barbara, and California Institute of the Arts to name a few.
In addition to Hands On'Semble, Austin is also currently a member of the rock/jazz/world fusion group PLOTZ!, and is a founding member of the world fusion group Hindugrass. He collaborates with many musicians in the Southern California area including the Persian group Lian Ensemble, and Adam Rudolph’s "Go: Organic Orchestra". Austin maintains a steady schedule of teaching and performing.
Yunior Terry bass, violin & composer. Yunior Terry was born in Camaguey, Cuba and is the youngest son in a family of musicians. His father Don Pancho Terry is the undisputed master of the Chekere as well as the founder and leader of Maravillas de Florida one of the most highly respected Charanga groups in Cuba. Following this path and tradition. Yunior Terry started his formal music education at the age of seven taking up the violin at the Luis Casas Romero School in Camaguey. He was invited at the age of eleven he was invited to join the string section of the Symphony Orchestra for a tour to Havana to participate at the National Contemporary Music Festival. Mr. Terry participated in varies violin competitions receiving the first price in 1989 for the best interpretation of Cuban music. He continued his music education at the National School for the Arts in Havana where he began playing the bass and graduated with a double major in 1994. This same year joined the Havana National Philharmonic touring to Argentina during the Opera Season. While in he Philharmonic Mr. Terry had chance to work under Leo Brower, Jorge Luis Prats and Frank Fernandez. In 1996 Mr. Terry joined travel for a yearlong tour Up with People (an organization that promotes freedom and equality) and spent a year touring internationally with the group. In 1998 Mr. Terry moved to California to attend the California Institute of Arts where he received his Bachelor Degree with honors in 2002. It was at CalArts where he continued to expand his musical horizon studying under Charlie Haden, Rajeev Taranath ( India) and Alfred Ladzekpo from Ghana. Upon graduation he moved to New York City where he stays busy with both the local music scene and through touring with; Lila Downs, Steve Coleman, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, The Latin Jazz All Stars which included the late Hilton Ruiz, as well as Steve Turre, Giovanni Hidalgo, Dave Valentin, Mario Rivera, Ray Vega. In addition he is touring with Jeff Tain Watts, Eddie Palmieri, Pete Escovedo and Sheila E, Dafnis Prieto, Claudia Acuna , Jane Bunnett and his brother Yosvany Terry.
Originally from Orcas Island, Washington, Evan Fraser is a multi-instrumentalist and recording artist currently based in the Bay Area. Evan graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in World Music.
His teachers include: John Bergamo, Randy Gloss, Alfred Ladzekpo, Kobla Ladzekpo, Sulley Imoro, Nyomen Wenton, Jim Santi Owen, and Mark Growden. Evan has played with many bands over the years including Hindugrass, Tabla Rasa, Rub-a-Dub, Dubzilla and the Funnies. With the Funnies, Evan did several tours across North America in a bus that filled up at restaurants on pure recycled vegetable oil.
Evan's mission is to heal this planet and it's peoples by elevating the consciousness of each other's culture and the beauty of this Earth through music. Some of the instruments Evan plays are: Jaw Harp, Kalimba, Berimbau, Pandeiro, Marimbula, Melodica, Overtone Flute, Frame Drums, Calabash, Dumbek, Zabumba, Mouth Bow, Bottle Singing, Harmonica, Bones, Spoons, Keyboards and various global percussion.