NYC based Multi-instrumentalist/improviser/composer Tomchess has played and recorded with some of the heaviest players in the improvisational scene (Dewey Redman, Butch Morris, Pharoah Sanders, Drew Gress, Ronald Shannon Jackson), as well as Morrocan Sintarist Hassan Hakmoun. Having deeply studied the Near Eastern, and North African traditions he incorporated the tonal palette, rhythms, and forms of these traditional musics while never losing sight of his American roots and the importance and freedom of improvising. He has performed in Africa, Canada, Holland, India and Italy. He has performed at Lincoln Center, The David Rubinstein Atrium, The Turkish Embassy, The Pakastani Embassy, the Asian Society, The Natural History Museum, The Metropolitan Museum, The Himalayan Museum of Art and The United Nations among countless other venues in NYC and the United States. He has performed on NPR and PBS. He has played on Grammy Nominated recordings. He has been awarded grants from the Turkish American Society and The Maryland Council For The Arts. He was nominated for an 2012 Independent Music Award.
RAVI PADMANABHA is a percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, improviser/composer. His initial interest was in drum set which later led to a variety of world instruments. From an early age, Ravi was exposed to Indian Classical music. At age 18, he began his formal Tabla studies with Pandit Ananda Gopal, and later with Pandit Samar Saha of Calcutta. He then continued with Tabla Maestro Pandit Sharda Sahai. He worked for Trivini, an Indian Classical Music organization, which allowed him to meet and learn more about his rich musical heritage.
While living in Buffalo Ravi spent many years performing in a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, world, and experimental music. He has helped form many groups, such as Hylozoa with Steve Baczkowski on winds, Tala Rasa with Ron Locurto on guitar, and Omkara with Naryan Padmanabha on santoor and Aneal Padmanabha on guitar. Ravi has performed at Buffalo's Drum Day and Maelstrom Percussion Ensembles Master Drummers Program.
In Indian Culture it is not uncommon for people to pursue such diverse fields as music and science. Besides music, Ravi has excelled in academics. He received a Doctorate of Dental Surgery, DDS in 1997 from the University at Buffalo Dental School.
"...I dig the way both of these musicians move together, their lines of notes flowing in a most mesmerizing way. Each solo by Tom, tells a story and takes us along with him to exotic places. Superb, at times sublime and always engaging."
-Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, nyc