MARG Group

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Chennai, July 13, 2009: Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, the professional music college being established at MARG Swarnabhoomi, by MARG Limited, India's fastest growing integrated infrastructure company, in partnership with world renowned guitarist and composer Prasanna, will present the first-ever fully residential international performance workshop for musicians in India at MARG Tapovan, a 77 acre nature reserve signature project of MARG Ltd.

The music performance workshop, 'Unlock your potential' to be held from August 17-22, 2009 directed by Prasanna and comprising an all-star faculty of Prasanna and guitarist David Gilmore [Wayne Shorter, Joss Stone, Trilok Gurtu], bassist Mike Pope [Chick Corea and the Elektric Band, Al Di Meola, Michael Brecker] and 8-time Grammy Award winning drummer Rodney Holmes [Santana, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter], is for intermediate to advanced musicians of all instruments from all around the world. The curriculum for the workshop will include lectures, one-one private lessons, coaching student bands, listening sessions, interactive sessions, jam sessions, band performances, recitals, and a lot more.

Faculty and participants will live in beautiful half – acre garden villas in MARG Tapovan with top class facilities including private swimming pools, a business centre, Wi-Fi facilities, Snooker, Table tennis, gym etc. SAM will provide practice rooms, ensemble rooms, amplifiers, drum kits and all other infrastructure. This workshop is sure to be a unique experience for musicians from around the world to live, learn and make music with some of the best professional musicians in the world in beautiful and unspoilt nature.

The application packet can be downloaded from Space is limited, so participants are requested to register early. More info available at SAM web site or by calling Mr. Shriram Bharathan, Workshop Co-ordinator at +91-97909 64952

Speaking on this endeavour, Mr GRK Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, MARG Group said, "Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music is a great platform to promote music education, and it gives us immense pleasure to organise this first-ever music workshop in India, bringing together international performers to enhance the performing skills of musicians. The workshop to be directed by Prasanna will offer musicians - a unique opportunity to share their music styles with fellow musicians, interact and perform as well. Also, the residential nature of the workshop at MARG Tapovan with lush green surroundings, will itself give a refreshing experience for both the faculty and students".

Mr Prasanna, President, Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, speaking on this music venture, "There are only a few institutions in the world that offer such residential music performance workshops with top class performing artists as faculty. I am thrilled that we are able to bring such an initiative to India at an affordable price for the students. My friends David, Mike and Rodney are among the most sought after musicians in the world today and I am honoured to have them. India is full of talented musicians eagerly looking to take their playing to the next level, but they don't have access to the kind of learning our musician friends in many other countries do. I also think this is a great way to start opening India up as place of learning for musicians from other countries also am grateful to Marg Ltd. for generously giving us the incredibly beautiful 77 acre MARG Tapovan reserve with gorgeous half acre garden villas for us to live and make music for a week. I invite musicians from India and abroad to come and take advantage of a fantastic Indian experience".

This is the first of a series of initiatives that Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM) will be bringing to India to create a platform to cater to the long-felt need for top quality contemporary music education in India. SAM will be commencing its first term in July 2010.


Prasanna – Program director/ Guitar faculty

Prasanna plays guitar like nobody on the planet –

Prasanna is one of the most outstanding guitarists and composers of his generation. He is the world's best known performer of traditional Indian Classical Carnatic music on the guitar and goes even further by extending his signature style to Jazz, Blues and Rock. Prasanna has performed with such luminaries as Victor Wooten, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Joe Lovano, A.R.Rahman, Airto Moreira, Larry Coryell, Anthony Jackson, Aka Moon, Omar Hakim, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Illayaraja, Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer, Aka Moon, Trilok Gurtu, Steve Smith etc. Prasanna has released 14 albums as leader including 11 Carnatic albums, 'Electric Ganesha Land', 'Be the Change', 'Peaceful' and 2 DVDs 'Live in Sedona' and the guitar instructional DVD 'Ragamorphism'. Prasanna's film scores include the 2009 Oscar Award winning documentary 'Smile Pinki'. As an educator, Prasanna has taught such top class musicians as guitarists David Fuiczynski, Gustavo Assis Brasil and Rubens De La Crte, trombonist Garo Saraydarian, drummer Mauricio Zottarelli, Violinist K. Ishibashi and Pianist Marc Rossi. Prasanna was guitar faculty at the prestigious Banff Jazz Summer workshop in 2008. He has given lectures, clinics and residencies at MIT, Berklee College of Music, Banff Center for the Arts, Harvard University, Arizona State University etc. Prasanna is an alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology and Berklee College of Music.

Mike Pope - Bass faculty

"Can play like I have never heard anyone play" – Victor Wooten "His virtuosity on electric and acoustic bass is rare even by today's standards" – John Pattitucci With such respect and admiration from some of the greatest bass players in the world, Mike Pope is a real renaissance man. He is known the world over for his bass playing stint with the legendary Chick Corea and the Elektric Band. Mike has performed with such artists as Al Di Meola, Victor Wooten, David Sanborn, Manhattan Transfer, Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Blood Sweat and Tears, Bill Bruford, Joe Locke, Randy Brecker, Steve Smith, Prasanna and several others. Mike has released two highly acclaimed albums as a leader, 'Walk your dogma' and 'Lay of the Land' featuring an array of star guests. In addition to his formidable talent as a bassist, Pope has been designing the electronics for Fodera basses for the last decade. He engineers and builds the proprietary preamp circuit that is used in virtually every Fodera bass. Mike now has his own company MichaelPopeDesign which makes high quality bass pre-amps.

Rodney Holmes – drum faculty

Rodney Holmes is a 'rare blend of lightning limbs and artistic vision' as one critic put it. An 8-time Grammy Award winning drummer best known for his work with Rock legend Carlos Santana on several tours and the multi-platinum selling album 'Supernatural', Rodney's prodigious drumming talent has also graced the music of some of the greatest stars in Pop, Jazz and Fusion world including Rob Thomas of Matchbox twenty, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, Joe Zawinul, Lee Ritenour, Larry Coryell, Don Byron, Victor Bailey, Alphonso Johnson etc. Rodney has also toured with other diverse artists like jam band favorites Steve Kimock and Jim Weider, the David Gilmore quartet and Indian guitarist Prasanna among others. Rodney is featured on the Brecker Brothers' 1994 Grammy Award winning album 'Out of the loop'. Rodney also pushes his innovative drumming into the realm of electronica, trip-hop, drum n' bass and ambient music, the results of which are on display on his first solo CD 'Twelve months of October'. Rodney is also a highly most sought after drum teacher touring around the world offering clinics, master classes and drum workshops.

David Gilmore – guitar faculty

David Gilmore is one of the trail blazing guitarists of his generation. His explosive guitar playing has driven bands as diverse as Wayne Shorter band, Steve Coleman's Five Elements, Trilok Gurtu's Crazy Saints and Rudresh Mahanthappa's Samdhi. David has recorded 2 albums as a leader 'Ritualism' and 'Unified Presence' and has played on over 50 albums as a session guitarist. David has performed with such acclaimed artists as Cassandra Wilson, Christian Mcbride, Melissa Etheridge, Ravi Coltrane, Boz Scaggs, Marcus Miller, Joan Osbourne, Aka Moon, Isaac Hayes, Will Calhoun, Vijay Iyer and Prasanna among others. He is known worldwide for his work with Grammy winning R&B singing sensation Joss Stone. He has toured with Joss all over the world and performed with her at the 2005 Grammy Awards show and on her live DVD 'Mind, Body and Soul Sessions'. David is featured on the 1997 Grammy Award winning Wayne Shorter album 'High Life'. A passionate educator, David Gilmore was guitar faculty at the prestigious Banff Jazz Summer workshop in 2009. David Gilmore is currently an Associate Professor at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.