A musician, producer, radio host, David Ellenbogen has been making huge waves of late with the Brooklyn Raga Massive musicians collective. Their boundary-pushing programming and exciting performances have led to many sold-out shows and praise from the New York Times for “Preserving the past while blurring genres in an inventive spirit” and the Wall Street Journal for “Expanding the notion of what raga—the immersive, epic form of Indian music—can mean.”
As a guitarist, always hungry to learn more, David has studied and performed around the world including Mali, Ghana, India, Brazil and Cuba. He currently plays in Raga Cubana featuring Roman Diaz, many incarnations of the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars, with singer/composer Dana Hanchard, songstress Heather Fisch, and many others. He was initiated into the musical style of the Djeli’s a 800 year old tradition of West Africa by Abdoulaye Diabate and Famoro Dioubate with whom he played for years.
David’s almost two decades on the radio in New York City on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY have culminated into a podcast, NYC Radio Live, which features live performances and interviews from a huge gamut of musicians: from jazz legends McCoy Tyner and Yusef Lateef to rock royalty the Allman Brothers and Steely Dan to international innovators such as King Sunny Ade and Vieux Farka Toure. He also uses the podcast to document a myriad of beautiful global musical styles that may have no commercial market but are worthy of a wider audience as well as documenting the live concerts he produces including the popular Africa/India series.
Indian Raga is time-specific, certain music is only meant to be played at certain hours, so David’s radio shows and podcast which covered Indian Classical music led him to create the Ragas Live Festival, a 24- hour long live concert at Brooklyn’s sprawling venue Pioneer Works. The event broadcasts live on the radio throughout NYC (with some international partner stations as well) and features over 50 musicians in one hour sets over period of 24 hours. It is now entering its sixth year and has been called, “the most ambitious event in a city of ambition,” (90.3 FM Voice of Harlem.)
Working with Cirque de Soleil’s Joshua Geisler, David co-created the Acoustic Mandala Project, which explores the potential of raga based ambient music for yoga and meditation. Their music has recently been released by Putamayo records and they will soon host the first Sound Meditation event produced by the venerable World Music Institute. He has co-led many sound and Yoga retreat from upstate NY to Costa Rica.
With an emphasis on the joy of making music, David enjoys teaching and creating music with people of all ages. He plays for severely handicapped youth and in hospices and loves creating events and projects that bring diverse audiences and artists together.