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Ancient Future Performs at Trinity Chapel

On 38th Anniversary of the First Ancient Future Concert

Photo of Mariah Parker, Matthew Montfort, and Vishal Nagar
Hi-Res Photo
of Mariah Parker, Matthew Montfort, and Vishal Nagar by Devki (2.1 MB)

Featuring World Guitar Pioneer Matthew Montfort, Tabla Virtuoso Vishal Nagar, and Pianist/Santurist Mariah Parker

Celebrating the exact 38th anniversary of their first concert, the trailblazing world music group Ancient Future will perform as part of the Trinity Chamber Concerts Series in Berkeley on February 11, 2017.

Blending ancient world music traditions from fiery flamenco to resonant raga with the contemporary colors of jazz and rock, this variation of the world fusion music group Ancient Future features world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort, renowned Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar, and composer/pianist/santurist Mariah Parker performing new music and favorites from the band's eight ground breaking recordings.

Ancient Future is the first and longest running musical organization dedicated exclusively to the mission of creating world fusion music. The term was coined by bandleader Matthew Montfort in 1978 to describe Ancient Future’s unusual blend of musical traditions from around the world. BILLBOARD calls the group “trendsetters” for their early contributions to the movement, which seeks to show how people from different cultures can grow by learning from each other. Their first concert was February 11, 1979, at the original Sleeping Lady Cafe in Fairfax, California.

Saturday, February 11, 2017, 8 PM
Trinity Chamber Concerts
Trinity Chapel
2320 Dana Street between Bancroft Way & Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
Tix: $20 general, $15 senior/disabled/student. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Info and reservations: 510-778-1719 or email
Venue website:
Facebook Event.

Concert Poster

Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard and fretless guitars)

Photo of Matthew Montfort
Hi-Res Photo of Matthew Montfort by Julie Marten (2 MB)

The leader of the world music group Ancient Future, Matthew Montfort, is recognized as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists by for his work expanding the boundaries of guitar playing through the study of the world's great music traditions. For example, in 1979 Montfort immersed himself in an intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the scalloped fretboard guitar. In addition to his recordings as a bandleader, he has released two solo guitar recordings: Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar and Sympathetic Serenade. The December 2009 Les Paul issue of Guitar Player Magazine includes a full page feature on Montfort with a corresponding GuitarPlayer.Com video and lesson entitled "The Music of Jimi Hendrix Applied to Indian Raga." He has performed worldwide, from the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain to the Festival of India in Mumbai, and live on national radio and TV shows such as the Echoes Living Room Concerts on Public Radio International and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. He has worked with many world music legends, including tabla phenomenon Zakir Hussain and Chinese zither master Zhao Hui. Montfort wrote the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India, which has been used by many musicians to improve their rhythm skills.

Matthew Montfort's Custom Martin Scalloped Fretboard Guitar

Matthew Montfort's Custom Martin Scalloped Fretboard GuitarScalloped Fretboard Detail
Hi-Res Photo of Martin guitar by Alan Perlman (3.6 MB)
Hi-Res Photo of scalloped fretboard by Alan Perlman (6.6 MB)

Matthew Montfort is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar, an instrument with a modified fretboard in which the wood between frets has been carved out in order to facilitate intricate note-bending ornaments. His new custom guitar is the result of a collaboration between Montfort, Dick Boak of the Artist Relations Department of C.F. Martin & Co., and San Francisco luthier Alan Perlman. Dick Boak has been involved in the conception of more than one hundred and forty signature guitar collaborations with the top musical talents of our time. Starting in 2014, he worked with Montfort to help design the instrument, which features a very large sound hole to add volume, an extra upper bout sound hole so that Montfort can hear the guitar better, a cutaway with extra frets protruding into the sound hole to accommodate his extended playing range, and a short scale yet wide neck to allow for greater string bending capability. Master luthier Alan Perlman scalloped the fretboard and added other finishing touches to complete this amazing instrument in 2016.

Vishal Nagar (tabla)

Vishal Nagar
Hi-Res Photo of Vishal Nagar by Inni Singh (5 MB)

"He has magic in his hands" - Hindustan Times

Vishal Nagar is considered one of the most gifted tabla players of his generation. Born into a family of musicians, Vishal has been surrounded by music in an extremely musically creative and artistic environment. Since childhood, he has been fascinated by tabla and began to play at an early age. Vishal had his initial training for a with the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan of the Delhi Gharana and continued his training under the guidance of Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan of the same Gharana (school). Along with the dense and rare tabla repertoire taleem which was he received from his Ustad, he also has had intense rhythmic (layakari) training from his mother, the renowned and highly respected Kathak dancer and vocalist, Urmila Nagar. Starting his performance career at the age of eight in Patna, Vishal has performed around the globe including performances in many cities in India, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Thailand and the United States. Vishal has been praised in the Indian press for his unique combination of melodic tabla sound production with masterful command of rhythm and has also been awarded with the Ministry of Culture Scholarship from the Department of Culture. Vishal has expanded his cultural boundaries and collaborated with musicians from around the world, including Ghanaian guitarist Koo Nimo at WOMAD USA (a leading world dance and music festival started by Peter Gabriel).

Mariah Parker (composer, santur)

Photo of Mariah Parker on santur
Hi-Res Photo of Mariah Parker (1.7 MB)

Mariah Parker, while completing her degree in music at UC Santa Cruz, worked with ethnomusicologist Fred Lieberman and Mickey Hart on the “Planet Drum” project. She has performed in festivals in the US and Europe, and worked with many musicians including composer Pauline Oliveros, the late Dumisani Maraire (renowned composer from Zimbabwe) and others. She has studied with jazz great Art Lande and Latin jazz pianist extraordinaire Rebeca Mauléon, and performs regularly with the trend-setting world music group Ancient Future. She released her first solo recording of her compositions, Sangria (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2017), in February of 2009. Her CD release party and debut of her Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble drew a full house at the famous Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland. Since then, the band she leads featuring such veteran performers as Paul McCandless of the group Oregon has performed her compositions to rave reviews at notable festivals and concert venues, from which a live album has been recorded and is scheduled for release in 2016.

New Releases on Ancient-Future.Com Records

Yearning for the Wind

Yearning for the Wind CD Cover
Hi-Res Square Cover Art (1.1 MB)

Yearning for the Wind by Ancient Future (Ancient-Future.Com AF-90352).

Yearning for the Wind is the first audio/video release in Ancient Future history. Within a week of its release, Yearning for the Wind rose to the top of the Ethnocloud World Music Charts, earning #1 spots in both the video and audio track categories, and propelling Ancient Future to the #1 rated artist spot.

Yearning for the Wind on YouTube
YouTube Video URL:

Composed by scalloped fretboard guitar innovator Matthew Montfort, Yearning for the Wind is a poignant piece based on Rag Kalyan, an evening raga that corresponds to the Lydian mode. The composition also incorporates harmony and other guitaristic elements. A duet with Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar, who is considered one of the most gifted tabla players of his generation, Yearning for the Wind is set in matta tal, a nine beat rhythmic cycle. As a bridge between the slow and fast sections of the piece, Vishal Nagar performs an elegant tabla solo over the soft nine beat groove that slowly builds up to a vibrant rela (a fast tabla composition characterized by rapid drum rolls).

The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings

Temporary CD Cover

The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings by Ancient Future (Ancient-Future.Com AF-2030).

The next Ancient Future record is fan funded. There is already over an hour of music in A.F.A.R available right now to supporters, with more tracks coming as money is raised for production.

Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert

Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert CD Cover
Hi-Res Square Cover Art (1.1 MB)

Indo Latin Jazz Live In Concert by Mariah Parker (Ancient-Future.Com AF-20142).

To be released 1/20/2017, Indo Latin Jazz Live in Concert captures the magic of the concert debut of Mariah Parker's Indo Latin Jazz Ensemble in front of a full house at Yoshi’s in Oakland, as well as subsequent concerts at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage, the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley, and Bob Weir’s TRI Studios in San Rafael.

92 Word Radio Announcement

Celebrating the 38th anniversary of their first concert, the trailblazing world music group Ancient Future featuring scalloped fretboard guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort, tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar, and pianist/santurist Mariah Parker will perform as part of the Trinity Chamber Concerts Series on Saturday, February 11, at 8 PM at Trinity Chapel, located at 2320 Dana Street between Bancroft Way and Durant Avenue, in Berkeley, California. For reservations, call 510-778-1719 or email Tickets are $20 general, and $15 for seniors, disabled, and students. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


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