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cliffpeterson

Stereophile article on Rudresh Mahanthappa

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Kinda funny he said he didn’t feel comfortable as a brown person in Texas (totally understandable) but then went to Boston. 


this was a wonderful insight into his music. I wish more things like this came out in interviews  

But a revelation occurred while he was at Berklee. He went to India to play with a Berklee student band at Jazz Yatra, a festival that no longer exists. "It was my first time in India in over 10 years, my first time going as an adult, without my parents. And I was going there to play music. It was a lot to deal with. I was terrified. I was confronting head-on all these questions: 'How Indian are you? How American are you?' It was a mindfuck. Then I went to an all-night event in Bangalore. There is a tradition in India of concerts that go all night, 'til dawn. What I heard blew me away. It was unbelievable. I found out later that some of the greats of Indian classical music had performed that night, both Hindustani and Carnatic. I went to record stores the next day and bought as many cassettes and CDs as I could carry. And that's about all I listened to for a couple of years."

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On 9/5/2020 at 1:11 PM, jcam_44 said:

Kinda funny he said he didn’t feel comfortable as a brown person in Texas (totally understandable) but then went to Boston.

Not meaning to discount his experience, because I think he waas referring to his universtiy music school experience more than anything else (although he was the guest clinician at a freaking community college jazz clinic here in Plano a few years agou, ACK!), but looking at the language objectively, there are SO many "brown people" of ALL types  ALL over Texas that I lol-ed at the "face value" reading of that. Hell, if not for the "brown people who ARE Texas, this place would be Wyoming or some weird shit like that. Crazy fascist oil owners and mega-ranchers. Fortunately, there more than enough more that just that!

Having said that, though, the UNT experience was, is, and probably always will be (Kenton Hall!!!!) pretty tough to swallow for many types of people who come in from the "outside", and I fully hear what he is saying.

But Texas...the demographics tell the story, and there are more than a few parts of the state that are VERY "brown". God bless Texas, in spite of itself. We just don't ever stop evolving.

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The actual demographics of Dallas and the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

 
City of Dallas
%
Dallas-Fort Worth MSA
%
Non-Hispanic White
381,559
28.5%
3,428,304
46.3%
Non-Hispanic Black
322,074
24.0%
1,135,974
15.4%
Hispanic
561,455
41.9%
2,136,050
28.9%
Non-Hispanic Other Race
76,015
5.7%
700,151
8.7%
Foreign Born
339,659
24.9%
1,381,148
18.7^

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I guess who you are depends on how you relate to his remarks. My apologies for referencing this excerpt. 

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No apologies needed, I totally got what he was saying, it just sounded funny to me when considered outside of his immediate jazzschool context.

 

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