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The Sonoma County Libraries Present
Ancient Future In Concert

Celtic Raga Program Featuring Matthew Montfort (scalloped fretboard guitar, Glissentar) with Ferhan Qureshi (tabla)

Saturday, September 25, 2010, 2 pm
Rincon Valley Library
6959 Montecito Blvd.
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
Info: Call Anne Marie Murphy at 707-537-0162
Adm: Free
Venue Website:

Ancient Future Duet

Ancient Future Duet Photo
Ancient Future Duet Hi-Res Photo by Julie Marten (848 k):

Celtic Raga Program

Celtic (kel'tik), adj. of the Celts, their Indo-European languages, culture, etc.
raga (räg'a), n. [Hind.] a melodic recipe for a mood including ascending and descending note patterns and a hierarchy of note importance

Strains of ancient Celtic music and Indian raga emanate from this high energy improvisatory duet featuring world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort and tabla wizard Ferhan Qureshi. One of the variations of the virtuoso world fusion music ensemble, Ancient Future, this duet has performed in a variety of settings, from the huge audience (police estimate of 35,000 people) at the Summer of Love 30th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco, to a standing room only three hour bar gig in Southern Oregon, to the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain near Barcelona.

"It was heart-warming to see teenage girls in swirling dresses swaying and twirling to the Indian themes (almost like morning ragas) of Ancient Future, one of the morning performing groups."--Philip Elwood, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER (review of Summer of Love performance, that according to the San Francisco Chronicle, was famed concert promoter Chet Helm's "crowning achievement")

Planet Passion by Ancient Future

Planet Passion CD Cover
Planet Passion

Planet Passion by Ancient Future (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2010) $17.98: Buy Link. (>YTmusic.)

Hi-Res CD Cover Art of Planet Passion (1.6 MB):
One Sheet with Streaming Audio for Planet Passion:

Planet Passion by Ancient Future has been re-issued with 64-Bit Tuned Harmonic Mastering to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band. The seventh Ancient Future recording features nineteen top masters of of Indian, Nepali, African, Cuban, Celtic, Arabic, Palestinian, Jewish, Indonesian, Chinese, Eastern European and American music traditions performing music on the theme of mythical stories of love.

“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. Featuring instrumentation from Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East, Planet Passion is a mythical story of love, flirtation, seduction, courtship, marriage and longing. Manose Singh’s bansuri flute and Matthew Montfort’s scalloped fretboard work stand out in this eclectic, visionary global village, where each track features its own unique set of players. 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

Matthew Montfort

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

As leader of the world music group Ancient Future, Matthew Montfort has devoted himself to the scalloped fretboard guitar since 1978. Montfort is a pioneer among guitarists who have had their fretboards scalloped in order to play various forms of world music that require intricate note-bending ornaments while still being able to play chords. 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 guitar. He has performed concerts worldwide, from the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain to the Festival of India in Mumbai. 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 debut CD, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar earned rave reviews and a feature in the December 2009 commemorative Les Paul issue of Guitar Player Magazine.

Photo of Matthew Montfort
Matthew Montfort Hi-Res Photo 2 by Julie Marten (1.6 MB):

Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Matthew Montfort

Seven Serenades CD Cover
Matthew Montfort

Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar by Matthew Montfort (Ancient-Future.Com AF 2008) $17.98. Buy Link. (>YTmusic)

Hi-Res CD Cover Art of Seven Serenades (912 k):
One Sheet for Seven Serenades with Streaming Audio:

Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar is the debut solo recording by Ancient Future leader Matthew Montfort. The recording showcases his pioneering work on the scalloped fretboard guitar, a special modified instrument able to produce ornaments more characteristic of the sitar. This first solo effort features his improvisational music.


GuitarPlayer.Com Presents "Purple Raga" on Glissentar

Guitar Player Video

Download Guitar Player Magazine Story on Matthew Montfort
5 Page Guitar Player Magazine/ Media Report (1.4 MB):

In conjunction with a feature on Matthew Montfort, is hosting a video of him performing his "Purple Raga" composition live at Ancient Future's 30th Anniversary Concert on a Godin Glissentar, an 11 string fretless guitar endorsed by Montfort. It is the first recording available of Montfort performing on the Glissentar. The video is also available on youtube.

Soul Serenade for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar

Matthew Montfort on Youtube
Matthew Montfort Performing 'Soul Serenade' at Ancient Future's 30th Anniversary Concert:

Recorded at Ancient Future's 30th anniversary concert, 'Soul Serenade' is also on Matthew Montfort's debut recording, Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar. This live version is now available as an mp3 download exclusively to subscribers to the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings at


Seven Serenades Media Report
Seven Serenades Media Report (3.9 MB):

“Because Montfort’s guitar has a scalloped fretboard, his fingers touch only the strings, enabling him to produce ornaments more characteristic of the sitar. This album reveals a thorough knowledge of Hindustani microtonal ornaments, transferred in ways that create one of the most distinctive guitar sounds in contemporary music. However, it also reveals a lifetime of exploration in world music, which can be immediately summoned in a flash of inspiration. When this level of mastery is reached, there is no need to rewrite. The first improvisation has the depth of a reworked composition.” – Teed Rockwell, INDIA CURRENTS, March 2009

“The mind-bending playing abilities of guitar virtuoso, Matthew Montfort, stems from the note-bending capabilities of the scalloped fretboard guitar. This produces a different sound than the more familiar guitar, because the fretboard is carved out, so the fingers only touch the strings. Musically, the songs verge on a flamenco-Indian-jazz continuum. This is partly due to Matthew's playing technique and the sitar-like sounds of his guitar. For everyone interested in the sounds of guitar, especially fans of Bob Brozman or Ben Bowen King, then this is definitely for you.” – Matthew Forss, INSIDE WORLD MUSIC

“This longtime world music/fusion guitarist offers a solo and lightly-backed recording for acoustic 'scalloped fretboard' guitar, and however that may differ from a regular guitar, he plays it just beautifully, at times hypnotically, and makes it sound like some sort of sitar hybrid on a 'modern raga,' a 'Celtic raga,' and even a 'purple' one based on Jimi Hendrix's music. With even the dreaded didj blending in tastefully, this is a very fine set, meditative and rhythmic all at once.” – Steve Heilig, THE BEAT

“Matthew’s playing is always impeccable, filled with subtle emotion and even wanderlust. I don't know of anyone who plays quite like Matthew. His mastery of the scalloped fretboard guitar seems unequaled.” – Steve Ryals, FRESH TRACKS

“Leader of the world-music band Ancient Future since 1978, Matthew Montfort has adapted many string instrument styles – from sitar to zither – to his guitar. His special scalloped fretboard allows him to tweak the strings in unique ways, but his virtuosity is a lot more than technical.” – David Rubien, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“It isn't every day that acoustic guitarists make their instrument sound a lot like an Indian sitar, but that is exactly what Matthew Montfort accomplishes on the instrumental 'Seven Serenades for Scalloped Fretboard Guitar.' Through it all, Montfort demonstrates that even though he has considerable chops and technical prowess, he is much more interested in feeling and expression than technique. This 56-minute CD is an adventurous, consistently engaging demonstration of what Montfort can accomplish on the scalloped fretboard guitar.” – Alex Henderson, ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Ferhan Qureshi (tabla)

Ferhan Najeeb Qureshi is a senior disciple of tabla maestro Ustad Abdul Sattar Tari Khan, who is universally recognized as one of the foremost tabla players performing today. Ustad Tari Khan learned tabla from Miyan Shuakat Hussain Khan, the most celebrated tabla nawaz (performer) in Pakistan's musical history. Prior to studying with Ustad Tari Khan, Ferhan took his initial lessons in Hindustani (North Indian classical) music theory and practice with Surrinder Mann Singh (a senior disciple of the late Ustad Allah Rakha). Ferhan studies the Punjab gharana of classical tabla which both of his teachers represent. Primarily performing the tabla lehara (tabla solo), Ferhan Qureshi has also accompanied numerous distinguished classical artists both in the United States and in Pakistan, including: (Vocalists) Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan, Ustad Latafat Ali Khan, Ustad Sukhawat Ali Khan, Ustad Altaff Hussain, Riffat Sultana, Rita Sahai, Shri Mukesh Desai, and Tina Mann, (Instrumentalists) Ustad Habib Khan, Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami, Ustad Zunain Khan, Ustad Asad Qizilbash, Arshad Syed, Srinivas Reddy, Parag Chordia, Nasir Syed, Dr. Waheed Siddiqui, Josh Feinberg, Arnab Chakravarty, among others and (Kathak dancers) Farah Sheik and Sonia Mann. Ferhan has also had the honor of accompanying Ustad Ali Akbar Khan for many years during Khansahib's vocal and instrumental classes at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael. Although his primary focus is classical and traditonal music, over the years Ferhan has also collaborated and/or performed with numerous organizations and artists in modern applications of the tabla, including the Dhamaal Artist Collective, (for which he is a founding member), The Lines Ballet, Non-Stop Bhangra, and Dj Chebi Sabaah, among others. Ferhan currently is the Director of Artist Management at Bol Records and is diligently working towards the promotion of traditional Pakistani and Indian music in the Bay Area.

43 Word Radio Announcement

The Ancient Future duet featuring scalloped fretboard guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort with tabla accompaniment by Ferhan Qureshi will perform a free concert on Saturday, September 25th, at 2 pm at the Rincon Valley Library, located at 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa, California. For more information, call 707-537-0162.



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