Bhakti is the voice of Mahria Potter and the tabla rhythms of Gordon Assadi.
Forming in 2000, they have taken their respective knowledge of Indian music and
transformed it into a musical style all their own. Vraja, their first CD release captures
the wonderful musical chemistry that is the core of their sound.
The sounds of Bhakti originate with the folk traditions of Northern India, Pakistan and
the Middle East. The melodies are inspired by Sanskrit mantras and Bengali poetry. The
tabla drums of India give the rhythmic drive to the music, providing a moving bass and
dancing melodic rhythm all its own. The music ranges from deep trance-like grooves
(Krishna pranama and Jaya Radha-Madhava) to upbeat driving folk songs (Gaura-arati and
Yashmati) and then to exciting improvisations (Om Namo Shivaya and Shikshastaka).
Mahria draws on her experience as a vocalist and the years she lived in India to
breathe new life into the sometimes thousands of years old Sanskrit bhajans, mantras and
other devotional poetry.
Gordon, studying tabla with Vishal Nagar both in Seattle and India, has focused
specifically on the folk rhythms of India including bhajan, ghazal and Qawaali styles.
Pacific Moon is inspired by time spent on the NW Oregon coast. The use of Japanese
Shakuhachi Bamboo Flute techniques, the sounds of Japanese Koto player Elizabeth
Falconor and world percussion Glen Velez lend an international flavor to the productio.
Produced by David Lanz. Larry Mahlis plays tabla.
Capitol Hill: Secret Tracks
The Yang to the Yin of Whetzel's album Sum, "Capitol Hill: Secret Tracks" is a
high energy mix of South Asian, African and American music. Tabla and Darbouka beats
are combined with innovative throat singing and Whetzel's diverse palette of instruments
which ranges from Sarode to guitar, Riqq, to drum kit.
Indian Virtuoso tabla player Vishal Nagar appears on several tracks adding intense tabla
skills to the mix. Tucker Martine provides special audio effects on several tracks and
drum kit players Adam Lofstedt and Leftheri Mahlis bring some tasty beats. Canadian
guitar ace Gavin Douglas also appears on one track.
James Whetzel's music ranges from the sound of West African palm-wine guitar, to
Indian/Pakistani sarode and tabla, from throat singing, to darbouka, from rock, hip hop,
and ambient music, to special Whetzel style beats that combine rhythmic sounds from Africa and South Asia.
A versatile performer, composer, producer, and recording engineer, James performs solo and in ensemble.
Artists such as Andrew Carras, Lowell Lybarger, Vishal Nagar, Akoma Ensemble and Yaw Amponsah are
some of his usual collaborators. With Andrew Carras, James plays percussion on darbouka and tabla,
with Lowell Lybarger James plays guitar and sings palm-wine music and also plays Indian/Pakistani
music on sarode, with Vishal Nagar James does throat singing, and plays sarode, with Akoma Ensemble,
and Yaw Amponsah James plays palm-wine guitar music and does Asante court drumming.
In his solo shows James sings and performs on palm-wine guitar, and plays sarode and does throat
singing over specially composed Whetzel beats.