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Celebrating 40 Years of World Fusion

Ancient Future Summer Festival Dates

Return Performances in the Central California Coast and Sierra Nevada

As part of the celebration of their 40th season of world fusion music, Ancient Future returned for the first time in decades to perform at the beloved music series Music at the Mine in Sierra City and Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo. Both concerts received two standing ovations!

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Festival Mozaic, San Luis Obispo, July 28 (Past Event)

Ancient Future Photo Circa 1990 by Irene Young (Links to 864 x 570 Screen Version)
Sepia for print (14.7" x 9.7" sepia jpg, 7.2 MB). Sepia for web (864 x 570 sepia jpg, 176 k).Ancient Future circa 1990. Photo by Irene Young. Pictured: Matthew Montfort (guitars), Jim Hurley (violin), Doug McKeehan (keys), Ian Dogole (percussion).

Ancient Future Featuring Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Jim Hurley (violin), Doug McKeehan (keys), and Vishal Nagar (tabla)

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 5 PM
Festival Mozaic
See Canyon Fruit Ranch

2345 See Canyon Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Tix: $45 grass, $60 table (sold out).
Venue Website:
Facebook Event URL:

Ancient Future returned to perform at Festival Mozaic for the first time since 2001. Their show featured the historic 'World Without Walls' lineup of Matthew Montfort on scalloped fretboard guitar, Jim Hurley on violin, Doug McKeehan on keyboards, plus Indian tabla master Vishal Nagar filling in for tabla master Zakir Hussain, who played on their World Without Walls release.

Montfort, Hurley, and McKeehan played well over a hundred concerts together on tours from 1988 to 1995. In 2011, they reunited to perform at venues such as the famed Yoshi's Jazz Club. In honor of the reunion concerts, World Without Walls was released digitally by Capitol Records for the first time ever at major digital retailers such as iTunes. Twenty two years after its initial release in 1990, broadcasters worldwide voted the record as one of the top 5 world music releases of 2012. Their uptempo virtuoso world fusion music is an exhilarating mix of jazz improvisation with the exciting rhythms, exotic sounds, and enchanting melodies of world music.

The concert was a tremendous success with all the table seating sold out in advance, and the lawn full of concertgoers day of show. The outdoor setting was spectacular, and the band received two standing ovations.

Additional Featured Musicians

Vishal Nagar (Indian tabla)

Photo of Vishal Nagar
Hi-Res Photo (300 dpi, 5" x 3") of Vishal Nagar

Considered one of the most gifted tabla players of his generation, Vishal Nagar wasn't yet born when Ancient Future performed their first concert in 1979. But he was being introduced to rhythm and melody while still in the womb, as his mother is the renowned Kathak dancer and vocalist, Urmila Nagar. He began to play tabla as a toddler as soon as he was tall enough to reach the drums. He had intense rhythmic training for a brief period with the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan of the Delhi Gharana, and after his Ustad's untimely demise, continued under the guidance of Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan. Vishal has had the privilege of performing with many renowned Indian classical artists including Ustad Shujaat Khan, Vidhwan Trichur Ramachandran, Pandit Ramesh Misra, and Kala Ramnath, and has also collaborated with musicians from around the world such as the Ghanaian Guitarist Koo Nimo with whom he appeared in WOMAD USA (a world music festival started by Peter Gabriel). He began performing and recording with Ancient Future in 2013, and has since performed seven tours with the band. He is prominently featured on Ancient Future's Yearning for the Wind, which was the highest rated recording on Ethnocloud for April 2014, holding #1 spots in both the video and audio categories.

Jim Hurley (violin)

Photo of Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been playing violin since 1969. He holds a B.A. in Music from Humboldt State University. Influenced profoundly by South Indian violinist L. Shankar, he incorporates styles from bebop to zydeco, European classical to Zairean soukous. He is well known for his performances with Ritchie Blackmore and Blackmore's Night (rock legend turned Celtic and Renaissance musician), American roots music leaders such as Grammy winners Queen Ida and Al Rapone, and swing legend Dan Hicks' Acoustic Warriors. He has toured Europe and Japan and performed at numerous major music festivals, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Jim Hurley has released two solo recordings, Primary Colors, and Finger Painting.

Kentucky Mine Amphitheater, Sierra City, September 1 (Past Event)

Ancient Future with Matthew Montfort, Aditya Kalyanpur, and Doug McKeehan
Color for print (6" x 3" jpg, 1.3 MB). Color for web (432 x 216 color jpg, 32 k). Pictured: Matthew Montfort (guitar), Aditya Kalyanpur (tabla), Doug McKeehan (keys).

Ancient Future Featuring Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Doug McKeehan (keys), and Aditya Kalyanpur (tabla)

Sunday, September 1, 3 PM
Music at the Mine
Kentucky Mine Amphitheater
100 Kentucky Mine Rd.
Sierra City, CA 96125
Tix: $22 adv., $25 door, $10 kids 7 to 17 years old. Kids 6 and under are FREE! Buy Tix.
Ticket URL:
Venue Email:
Venue Phone: 530-862-1076 (Chris Stockdale)
Facebook Event URL:

Ancient Future returns to perform at the Music at the Mine series at the Kentucky Mine Amphitheater for the first time since 2000. This uptempo program features world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort, virtuoso keyboardist Doug McKeehan, and world famous Indian tabla phenomenon Aditya Kalyanpur.

Montfort and McKeehan have played hundreds of concerts together with master musicians from many different traditions, and Montfort and Kalyanpur are known for their duet program that emanates strains of passionate flamenco and ethereal Indian raga and fires up crowds at outdoor festivals. This virtuoso trio's uptempo program is an exhilarating and improvisatory take on Ancient Future's broad repertoire.

Featured Musicians

Aditya Kalyanpur (Indian tabla)

Photo of Aditya Kalyanpur
Hi-Res Photo (300 dpi, 6.5" x 4.5") of Aditya Kalyanpur

Beginning his studies at the age of five under the vigilance of tabla maestro late Ustad Allarakha and tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, Aditya is considered as one of the most promising torchbearers of the Punjab Gharana style of tabla performance. Aditya was first seen with his guru Ustad Zakir Hussain for the famous "Wah Taj!" television commercial at the age of 11. Having the honor of being recognized as an "A" Grade Artist of All India Radio, he has given public performances along with his guru. Since then he has lent the enchanting music of his tabla to numerous commercials. We hear his tabla ringing in the background of the film "Everybody Says I am Fine" where Zakir Hussain composed the background score. To quote the acknowledging words of tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain for his young, talented disciple; "Even a young player like, say, Aditya Kalyanpur has the ability to approach the instrument with much more expertise than someone of his age would do 30 years ago." Honored with the title of 'Taal – Mani', Aditya Kalyanpur is the recipient of I.T.C's prestigious "Vidyasagar Award" as well as the "Sangeet Visharad." He has performed with many famous groups in a variety of genres, including the Rolling Stones.

Doug McKeehan (keys)

Photo of Doug McKeehan

Doug McKeehan started his piano studies at age five, and began his first professional work at the age of twelve. He studied music at the Oberlin Conservatory, Kent State University, and the University of Otago (New Zealand). He has toured Europe twice and spent considerable time in India studying with notable Indian music teachers such as Pandit Ram Narayan, Ustad Kursheed Khan and Pandit A.G. Bhattacharya. He has composed original music for stage and T.V. productions in San Francisco and Los Angeles and has been musical director of two original musical comedy productions. He cofounded Air Craft with violinist Bruce Bowers, which released a highly acclaimed progressive jazz album, So Near, So Far (Crafted Air CA 30100). Since joining Ancient Future in 1985, he has performed hundreds of concerts with the band.

Matthew Montfort (band leader, scalloped fretboard guitar)

Photo of Matthew Montfort
Hi-Res Photo
(300 dpi, 5" x 3") of Matthew Montfort

Matthew Montfort is the leader of the world fusion music ensemble Ancient Future. He is a pioneer of the scalloped fretboard guitar (an instrument combining qualities of the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar). Montfort spent three months in intensive study with vina master K.S. Subramanian in order to fully apply the South Indian gamaka (note-bending) techniques to the guitar. In 2009, he released his first solo guitar recording, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar, which debuted at #8 on Zone Music Reporter's Top 100 February 2009 World Radio Chart, and held the #34 spot on the Top 100 of 2009. He has performed concerts worldwide, including at the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain near Barcelona and the Mumbai Festival at the Gateway of India in Bombay. He has performed live on national radio and TV shows such as the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. 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.

Band Bio

"Ancient Future is a rare kind of band that might simultaneously aggravate purists, confound New Age dilettantes, seduce skeptics, and dazzle just about everybody else. Delicious compositions, intricate arrangements, crisp playing and impeccable production put these ambitious voyagers in a league of their own." - Derk Richardson, SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN

Formed in late 1978, 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 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.

Ancient Future has released seven full length studio CDs selling over 150,000 units: Visions of a Peaceful Planet, Natural Rhythms, Quiet Fire, Dreamchaser, World Without Walls, Asian Fusion, and Planet Passion. Over one million legal mp3 files from three of these releases on Ancient-Future.Com Records have been distributed commercially. Ancient Future is also featured on samplers selling millions of units on labels such as Putumayo and Narada. They are currently working on recordings for their fan funded Archive of Future Ancient Recordings. Over an hour of music in the archive is already available exclusively to supporters, with more to come as funds are raised.

Over the years, Ancient Future has expanded its musical vision through collaborations with master musicians from more than two dozen countries, cultures, and musical traditions who are now an integral part of what is today more than just a band. Ancient Future has grown to become a large multinational music ensemble with many smaller ensembles within it, enabling Ancient Future to realize its core mission of creating world fusion music. Through cross cultural exchange, Ancient Future has created a musical world without borders.


'World Without Walls' Reunion Video

Bookenka Youtube Video
'Bookenka' YouTube Video URL: Shown: Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar), Jim Hurley (violin), Doug McKeehan (keyboards, piano), Ian Dogole (percussion), Kash Killion (bass), and Mariah Parker (santur) at 'World Without Walls' Reunion.

Yearning for the Wind from A.F.A.R.

Yearning for the Wind on YouTube
'Yearning for the Wind' YouTube Video URL: Shown: Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar) and Vishal Nagar (tabla).

This evocative piece featuring scalloped fretboard guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort and Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar was produced for The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings, Ancient Future's ambitious ongoing fan-funded recording project featuring the many master musicians from around the world who perform with the band. On Earth Day during Ancient Future's 35th year performing, Yearning for the Wind was released through iTunes and other digital retailers and immediately 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 in June, 2014.

Relevant Recordings by Ancient Future

'World Without Walls'

World Without Walls CD Cover

World Without Walls by Ancient Future (Sona Gaia/MCA 163): CD - $24.98 (collectable signed copy).

As its name suggests, World Without Walls depicts a musical world without borders. Released in 1990, it features performances by such world music luminaries as Zakir Hussain, the master of the North Indian tabla. The inviting melodies and ingenious use of ethnic textures make this recording one of Ancient Future's most accessible and broadly appealing releases ever.

"World Without Walls speaks to a cultural enrichment, a melding of world culture with Ancient Future's own lush sense of melody and rhythmic drive." - John Diliberto, JAZZIZ

'Asian Fusion'

Asian Fusion CD Cover

Asian Fusion by Ancient Future (Narada Equinox ND-63023): CD - $24.98 (collectable signed copy).

Asian Fusion is a musical travelogue spanning the vast geographic and cultural expanse of Asia showcasing some of the top performers in the Asian music field, including Zhao Hui, China's preeminent master of the gu zheng (Chinese zither) and Bui Huu Nhut, a leading performer of the Vietnamese dan bau (a one-string Vietnamese instrument with an indigenous version of a whammy bar). Asian Fusion received much critical acclaim. It made the Tower Pulse! Top 10 Best Contemporary Instrumental Releases of 1993 List (#4) and was Guitar Player magazine's "Pick" for April 1994.

"This compilation of 12 songs influenced by the Far East has all the sweeping impact of epic movies such as 'The Last Emperor.'" - CHICAGO TRIBUNE

'Planet Passion'

Planet Passion CD Cover

Planet Passion by Ancient Future (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2010): CD - $17.98.

The classic lineup of Ancient Future performing these special reunion concerts also was featured on one cut on the Planet Passion CD: the song Socha Socha on which they accompanied sitar master Pandit Habib Khan. Originally released in 2002, it was remastered and re-issued in 2009 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first Ancient Future concert.

"If the members of the United Nations formed a world-fusion band, it might look and sound a little something like Ancient Future’s re-issue of their seventh recording. At its best, Planet Passion strives to preserve the world's vast musical heritage via international collaboration: the idea that one protects the old by creating something new. This is at the heart of fusion music and the heart of Ancient Future's global aesthetics, too: a diverse, unified world without borders, a multicultural community, a new, reconstituted sonic reality." - Ryan Allen, LEO WEEKLY, Louisville, Kentucky

'The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings'

Temporary CD Cover

The Archive of Future Ancient Recordings by Ancient Future. (Ancient-Future.Com AF-2030). Recording Newsletter Package (128 kbps MP3): $15. Download Supporter Package (320 kbps MP3): $25. Limited to 300 packages. Limited Edition CD Sponsor Package (CD quality .wav): $50. Limited to 200 packages. Honorary A & R Representative Package (Hi-res 24 bit .wav): $75. Limited to 100 packages.

During Ancient Future's 30th anniversary year, work started on the next project of the band: the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings (A.F.A.R.). To finance the project, a subscription system model is being employed to fund the recording through fans of world fusion music. There are already eight tracks in the archive available right now to subscribers, with more coming as money is raised for production.

'Yearning for the Wind'

Yearning for the Wind Cover

Yearning for the Wind by Ancient Future. Signed Audio/Video E-CD-R. List $17.98.

"Matthew Montfort has been sending us wonderful music for many years now… this newest EP is (without question) the best music I've ever heard him play! The 9:37 'Yearning For The Wind' is 'the' piece… Matthew is joined by Vishal Nagar on tabla, and they clearly show (sonically) the joy than can be achieved by well-placed and strictly focused music. The tabla percussion makes it far more than 'just another raga'… I'm very strongly impressed and moved by this single piece of music…. you'll find yourself spinning it over and over again." - Dick Metcalf, ZZAJ PRODUCTIONS



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