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Aakash Mittal

Brooklyn, NY            

Performer, Composer, Educator Hailed as “A fiery alto saxophonist and prolific composer” by the Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Aakash Mittal is sculpting a dynamic voice that touches American and Indian traditions. His self-released album, Videsh, was regarded as, “point[ing] toward new possibilities in improvised music.” (Denver Post) As a composer and improviser, Mittal employs colorful dissonances, meditative silences, and angular rhythms expressing environments and spaces ranging from the American west to the dense streets of Kolkata. Mittal has performed nationally at such venues as The Dakota (Minneapolis), The Cultural Center of Chicago, The Blue Room, (Kansas City) and Dazzle Jazz Club (Denver). Internationally, Aakash Mittal has led a quartet at the Congo Square Jazz Festival in Kolkata, India. As a sideman, Mittal as performed in Kolkata with world- renowned percussionist Pandit Tanmoy Bose’s Taal Tantra, andwith the creative music ensemble Kendraka. In 2012 Mittal toured Mexico with Ravish Momin’s Trio Tarana. Other collaborations include PI Recordings artist Amir Elsaffar, avant- garde poet Bhanu Kapil, Yells at Eels with Dennis Gonzalez, and Joining Hands with bharatnatyam dancer Anjal Chande. As a composer, Aakash Mittal has written extensively for jazz quartet composing over fifty new works. Other commissions include, Urban Raga (2011), Transitions (2011), and Questions of Identity (2012) for the Playground Ensemble; Octet on Raga Yaman (2009) for the Ethos West Chamber Orchestra. In 2012 Mittal wrote Meditation for Pictures on Silence saxophone and harp duo. As a leader, Mittal has self-released four recordings, Possible Beginnings, Videsh, Thumbs Up EP, and Ocean to rave reviews. Aakash Mittal’s awards and honors include the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music (2012) and the Herb Albert/ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award (2013).Aakash Mittal is a 2013 American Institute of Indian Studies Creative and Performing Arts Fellow.

Articles by Aakash Mittal:

Conversations February 1 2018 | By Aakash Mittal
Milford Graves: Sounding the Universe

It is difficult to place Milford Graves into a category. He is lauded as a master drummer of the 1960s avant-garde jazz scene, credited with inventing the martial arts form...

Articles October 31 2016 | By Aakash Mittal
Questions of Identity

How do we straddle the line between individuality and the cosmos without becoming homogenized masses or superficial categories?

Articles October 24 2016 | By Aakash Mittal
New York City Heartbeats

The human body offers a reservoir of largely unexplored creative material. When we design music with an understanding of biology, we further remove ourselves from static practices and embrace fundamental...

Articles October 17 2016 | By Aakash Mittal
Street Music, Noise, and the City of Joy

Music is a choice the listener makes and the difference between music and noise is a matter of perspective. The streets can be our concert halls, and every listener can...

Articles October 11 2016 | By Aakash Mittal
A Universal Music

When Hafez Modirzadeh pushed Aakash Mittal to move beyond ethnic stylizations towards a concept of universal music, it was a life-changing moment that sent him down a path of inquiry,...