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Category: Press

Inauguration of Carnegie Mellon University’s Ninth President, Dr. Subra Suresh – November 15, 2013

I am looking forward to the events on November 14th and 15th at Carnegie Mellon University to celebrate the inauguration of our new President Dr. Subra Suresh.  I am already amazed at the exciting things that Dr. Suresh has already put into motion for our University and cannot wait to formally celebrate his appointment and dream about the future.


Carnegie Mellon University is pleased to announce a series of inaugural events to welcome its ninth president, Dr. Subra Suresh.  The formal investiture ceremony will take place on November 15, 2013.

Google Executive Chairman Dr. Eric Schmidt will be the keynote speaker, and Dr. Suresh will deliver the inaugural address.

In addition, symposia and discussions are planned for President Suresh’s inaugural year with the theme of “Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Lives.”

Dr. Subra Suresh

Dr. Subra Suresh

Schedule of Events

NOVEMBER 7, 2013

The Study of Human Diseases at the Intersections of Engineering, Sciences & Medicine

A Lecture by President Subra Suresh

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
No tickets required

NOVEMBER 14, 2013

Campus-wide Celebration
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., University Center
No tickets required

Symposium: Leveraging the Data Sciences
3:00 – 4:15 p.m., McConomy Auditorium | * Webcast Available
No tickets required

Symposium: New Paradigms of Teaching and Learning
4:30 – 5:45 p.m., McConomy Auditorium | * Webcast Available
5:45 – 6:30 p.m., Showcase: Connan Room
No tickets required

Dinner (by invitation only)
Omni William Penn Hotel
6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

NOVEMBER 15, 2013

Symposium: Opportunities and Challenges in Energy and Climate
10:30 – 11:45 a.m., McConomy Auditorium | * Webcast Available
No tickets required

Inaugural Luncheon (by invitation only)
Carnegie Music Hall Foyer (just a short distance from CMU campus)
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Investiture Ceremony & Reception

3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Carnegie Music Hall | * Webcast Available

No tickets required

All events will be held in the University Center on the Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh Campus, unless otherwise noted.


Subra Suresh (born May 30, 1956) is the ninth and current president of Carnegie Mellon University.

A distinguished engineer and scientist, Suresh served as Director of the National Science Foundation from 2010 to 2013. Before his appointment to NSF, he was the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was the Dean of the School of Engineering (2007-2010).

In October 2013, Suresh was elected to the Institute of Medicine, the branch of the U.S. National Academies that honors researchers in medicine and health care. He already had been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2012) and the National Academy of Engineering (2002). Suresh is one of only 16 American scientists to be elected to all three branches, and the only current university president to hold this distinction.

His appointment as president of Carnegie Mellon University was announced on February 5, 2013.[1] Commenting on Suresh’s tenure at NSF, President Obama stated, “We have been very fortunate to have Subra Suresh guiding the National Science Foundation . . . . [He] has shown himself to be a consummate scientist and engineer — beholden to evidence and committed to upholding the highest scientific standards. He has also done his part to make sure the American people benefit from advances in technology, and opened up more opportunities for women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups. I am grateful for his service.”

In 2011, Suresh received the Padma Shri award, India’s fourth highest civilian honor, bestowed by the President of India.[16] Other honors include the 2006 Acta Materialia Gold Medal; the 2007 European Materials Medal, the highest honor conferred by the Federation of European Materials Societies comprising 27 countries (he was the first scientist based outside Europe to receive this medal); the 2008 Eringen Medal of the Society of Engineering Science; the 2011 General President’s Gold Medal from the Indian National Science Congress; the 2012 R.F. Mehl Award from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society; the 2011 Nadai Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); and the 2011 National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies. He also received ASME’s 2012 Timoshenko Medal, the highest global recognition in the field of theoretical and applied mechanics.

In 2006, Technology Review magazine selected his work on nanobiomechanics as one of the top-10 emerging technologies that “will have a significant impact on business, medicine or culture.” Suresh received the Franklin Institute‘s 2013 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science for “outstanding contributions to our understanding of the mechanical behavior of materials in applications ranging from large structures down to the atomic level. This research also showed how deformation of biological cells can be linked to human disease.”[17][18]

Suresh also received the Alan Cottrell Gold Medal for his pioneering work on fracture and fatigue of materials at the 2013 International Conference on Fracture.

Suresh has been elected to ten science and/or engineering academies: U.S. National Academy of Engineering; U.S. National Academy of SciencesAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences; the U.S. Institute of Medicine, Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering; Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences; German National Academy of Sciences; Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences; Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy; Indian National Academy of Engineering; Indian Academy of Sciences (Bangalore). He is a recipient of nine honorary doctorate degrees from universities in the United States, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, India, and China.

Suresh has been elected a fellow or honorary fellow by all major materials societies in the United States and India, including the Materials Research Society, the American Society for Materials International; The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the American Ceramic Society; the Indian Institute of Metals; and the Materials Research Society of India.

Suresh graduated from high school in Tamil Nadu, India, at the age of 15. He received his BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in Chennai in May 1977 and his MS from Iowa State University in May 1979. He completed his doctoral thesis two years later, in August 1981, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving a ScD. He is the first Asia-born professor to lead any of the five schools at MIT, and the first Asia-born scientist to lead NSF.


GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse, NJ from 9/24-10/27/13

I am having a blast in rehearsals for Ken Davenport’s new musical Gettin’ The Band Back Together (previously known as Garage Band: the musical) at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. Performances run September 24th – October 27th, 2013. Opening night is scheduled for October 4th at 8PM.

Getting_the_band_back_together_flyer1This original Mike Myers/Will Farrell style ensemble musical is about four high school friends from a small town in New Jersey, who, while grappling with turning 40, reunite their hometown garage band to reclaim their dreams and finally triumph over their high school nemesis.

The cast is incredibly talented with the resumes that speak to their superb singing, acting, dancing and instrumental skills. The rehearsal room is a constant source of fun as we are having a ball collaborating with the creative team here in New Brunswick, NJ. I am hopeful that this funny, poignant musical will be a hit here and later up the New Jersey transit lines to Manhattan.  You definitely will be humming the tunes back home from the theatre.

I won’t give away too much, but our re-formed band of heroes are called “Juggernaut.” It consists of four high school classmates: I play Robbie, the dermatologist on keyboards;  my fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus Mitchell Jarvis (Rock of Ages) is Mitch the investment banker and lead singer;  Jay Klaitz (High Fidelity) is Bart, the high school math teacher on Bass; Adam Monley (Mamma Mia!) is Sulley, the hometown cop on drums, as the reuniting band mates.  Newcomer to the band is Evan Daves (The Coast of Utopia) on guitar.  The cast also features two-time Tony nominee Alison Fraser (GSP’s Lend Me a Tenor, Gypsy on Broadway) as Sharon, Mitch’s mom, and another fellow Carnegie Mellon alumnus and classmate of mine Brandon Williams (TV’s “Entourage,” “Stay at Home Dad”) as Tygen, the band’s high school arch-nemesis.  The company is rounded out by Heather Brave (Circle of Friends) as Billie , Michelle Duffy (Leap of Faith) as Dani, Ryan Duncan (Soul Doctor) as Dr. Patel, Sr., Deidre Goodwin (A Chorus Line) as Officer Roxy, Christopher Gurr (Memphis national tour) as Sargent Sullivan & JP, Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Ritchie, Emily McNamara (NEWSical the Musical) as Tawney, and Tad Wilson (Wonderland) as the Mayor.

photo courtesy of Ken Davenport productions

The cast and creative team of “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” at George Street Playhouse. photo courtesy of Ken Davenport productions

Mitch Jarvis (MITCH) on a Coffee Break

CMU Alumnus Mitch Jarvis (MITCH) on a Coffee Break

Jay Klaiitz (BART) on Bass in “Juggernaut” music rehearsal

Evan Daves,Ryan Duncan, Heather Brave,

Evan Daves (RICKY), Ryan Duncan (Dr. PATEL), Heather Brave (BILLIE) in GTBBT Rehearsal at Davenport Studios, NYC 8/27/13

Fellow CMU Alumnnus Brandon Williams (TYGEN), Deidre Goodwin (ROXY), Emily McNamara (TAWNEY) at Davenport Studios in NYC 8/27/2013

Fellow CMU Alumnnus Brandon Williams (TYGEN), Deidre Goodwin (ROXY), Emily McNamara (TAWNEY) at Davenport Studios in NYC 8/27/2013

Tony Award-winner John Rando (Urinetown, GSP’s Toxic Avenger) is director of Gettin’ The Band Back Together which is written by Ken Davenport and The Grundelshotz, with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg, and music and lyrics by Mark Allen.  Fred Hartenstein is Stage Manager.

Orchestrations are by Doug KatsarosFred Lassen serves as musical director, Kelly Devine is choreographer. Creating the world of the play are scenic designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Ken Billington, costume designer Gregory Gale and sound designer Peter Fitzgerald.

George Street Playhouse is run by Artistic Director David Saint.  It was founded in 1974 by former Rutgers faculty member Eric Krebs.

Discount code using the word BOMBAY

GSP flyer advertising the 2 for 1 discount code using the code BOMBAY

A 2 for 1 ticket deal is available using the code “Bombay” which harkens back to my Broadway debut as the lead in AR Rahman’s Bombay Dreams.

Read more about Gettin’ the Band Back Together

George Street Playhouse

Manu Narayan, Alison Fraser, Garth Kravits, Emily McNamara and More Set for Gettin’ The Band Back Together at George Street Playhouse, September 24-October 27, 2013 – Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Alison Fraser & Mitchell Jarvis to Lead GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at George Street Playhouse; Full Cast Announced by

Manu Narayan appointed to the Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

When Dr. Jared Cohon, the outgoing president of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), set up an appointment to talk with me in May, I assumed that we were going to discuss some of the details regarding my duties as Master of Ceremonies for the June 15th CMU Inspire Innovation Gala in Pittsburgh, PA.

I quickly realized that this conversation was about something bigger and much more personal to me. Dr. Cohon stunned me with the invitation to join the Leadership of Carnegie Mellon University as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Fully aware that there is a Silicon Valley Manu Narayan who, unfortunately for me, has most combinations of the name as his email and other usernames, I asked Dr. Cohon if he was sure that he was asking the right guy. He assured me that this Manu Narayan is whom they wanted: the actor/musician. I was beside myself – thrilled and at the same time stunned. But it was an easy decision, I heartily accepted!

On July 1, 2013, I began my three year term on the Carnegie Mellon University Board of Trustees as a Young Alumni Term Trustee, joining new president Subra Suresh and the distinguished members of the Board (listed below). As an alumnus of the College of Fine Arts, School of Music, with a double degree in Vocal Performance and Saxophone Performance, and as a performing arts professional, hopefully I bring a unique perspective to the University that has given me much.


ECONOMIC TIMES: Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees (July 20, 2013)

HINDUBUSINESSLINE.COM: Artiste Manu Narayan named trustee on board of Carnegie Mellon University (July 20, 2013)

INDIAEXPRESS.COM: Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees (July 20, 2013)

BUSINESS-STANDARD.COM: Manu Narayan, Bajaj among Carnegie Mellon University trustees (July 20, 2013)

Photos & Video: Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Manu Narayan, Deep Singh and More

Manu Narayan, Rajika Puri, Kannan Vasudevan and More Set for THUMBPRINT, A New Contemporary Opera, by Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz at The Watermill Center

Manu Narayan, Mark Bennett, Lea Salonga, Michael K. Lee and Stafford Arima Among 2012 Craig Noel Award Nominees

Multimedia: Manu Narayan Dazzles as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross

cmu logo 2


Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a global research university with more than 12,000 students, 92,000 alumni, and 5,000 faculty and staff.

CMU has been a birthplace of innovation throughout its 113-year history.

Today, CMU is a global leader bringing groundbreaking ideas to market and creating successful startup businesses.

Their award-winning faculty members are renowned for working closely with students to solve major scientific, technological and societal challenges. They put a strong emphasis on creating things—from art to robots. Their students are recruited by some of the world’s most innovative companies.

CMU has campuses in Pittsburgh, Qatar and Silicon Valley, and degree-granting programs around the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America.

  • In 2012, Times Higher Education of London ranked CMU No. 22 in the world, and No. 15 among U.S. universities.
  • In a 2010 Wall Street Journal poll, job recruiters looking for new hires ranked CMU No. 1 in computer science, No. 4 in finance and No. 7 in business. CMU ranked 10 overall.
  • Nearly 35 percent of CMU’s students are from 115 countries outside the US, giving the university one of the 10 most international student bodies, by percentage, among four-year U.S. institutions.
  • CMU has ranked No. 1 among all US universities without a medical school in the number of startup companies created per research dollar spent since 2007. Find out more: CMU’s Entrepreneurial ecosystemhelping to create startup companies– Greenlighting Startups 
  • In the past 15 years, CMU faculty, students and alumni have created more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs.
  • CMU is a world leader in robotics. CMU’s autonomous vehicle, Boss, earned the $2M prize for winning the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. Now, CMU researchers are developing a flying car, and working to land and operate a robot on the moon through Google’s Lunar X Mission—a project that combines technology and art.
  • CMU attracts award-winning talent. Current and former faculty and alumni are winning top awards in art, science and technology.
  • With 100 percent of CMU’s electricity coming from green power sources, the university ranked as a green power leader by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Currently in the final stages, the university’s “Inspire Innovation” campaign has already reached its $1 billion goal.

CMU consists of seven schools and colleges: Carnegie Institute of TechnologyCollege of Fine ArtsDietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences,  Heinz CollegeMellon College of ScienceSchool of Computer Science and the Tepper School of Business.

cmu logo

Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University

Officers of the Board

Raymond J. Lane, Chairman
E. Kears Pollock, Vice Chairman
James E. Rohr, Vice Chairman
Subra Suresh, President
Mark S. Kamlet, Provost and Executive Vice President
Jay Calhoun, Treasurer
Mary Jo Dively, Vice President and General Counsel
Cheryl M. Hays, Secretary
Charles A. Kennedy, Chief Investment Officer
Karen T. Khan, Assistant Secretary
Robbee Baker Kosak, Vice President for University Advancement
Elizabeth Milavec, Assistant Treasurer
Michael Murphy, Vice President for Campus Affairs
Amir Rahnamay-Azar, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Ex Officio Trustees

Subra Suresh, President
Darlene M. Harris, President, Pittsburgh City Council
Roberta Klatzky, Chair, Faculty Senate, Carnegie Mellon University
Steven Price, President, Andrew Carnegie Society
Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
Antoinette Ungaretti, President, Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Life Trustees

John R. Bertucci, Chairman, MKS Instruments, Inc.
Frank Brunckhorst, Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Inc.
Erroll B. Davis, Jr., Interim Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools
Linda A. Dickerson, Principal, 501(c)(3)2
Philip L. Dowd, Sherick Enterprises, LLC
Dina Dublon
Howard Ellin, Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom
Edward H. Frank, Vice President, Apple, Inc.
Yoshiaki Fujimori, President and CEO, LIXIL Group Corporation
Ira J. Gumberg, President and CEO, J.J. Gumberg Co.
Teresa L. Heinz, Chairman, Heinz Family Philanthropies
Torrence M. Hunt, Jr.
Tod S. Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, The NPD Group, Inc.
Raymond J. Lane, Partner Emeritus, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Bruce McWilliams, CEO and President, SuVolta
Ambar Paul, Director, Caparo Group Limited
E. Kears Pollock, Retired Executive Vice President, PPG Industries, Inc.
James E. Rohr, Executive Chairman, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Jonathan Rothberg, Founder and Chairman, Raindance Technologies and Ion Torrent Systems
David S. Shapira, Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Giant Eagle, Inc.
J. Lea Hillman Simonds
Manoj Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Deloitte
James C. Stalder
Donald E. Stitzenberg, Principal, CBA Associates
David Tepper, President and Founder, Appaloosa Management
Mary Ann Ulishney, Vice President and Wealth Specialist, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Sunil Wadhwani, Chairman and Co-founder, iGATE Corporation
Paula Kauffman Wagner, Producer/Owner, Chestnut Ridge Productions

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Term Trustees

Joel Adams, General Partner, Adams Capital Management, Inc.
Kushagra Bajaj, Vice Chairman, Bajaj Group
Luis Ball, President, Allegheny Medical Systems LLC
Ronald Bianchini, Co-founder, President and CEO, Avere Systems
Aristides Candris, Senior Consultant, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC
Eric Cooper
David Coulter, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Warburg Pincus LLC
Russell Crockett
Jeanne Cunicelli, Partner, Bay City Capital
Francisco D’Souza, President and CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions
Evan Frazier, Senior Vice President, Community Affairs, Highmark, Inc.
Dirk Gates, Chief Executive Officer, Xirrus, Inc.
James Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO, Fox Filmed Entertainment
Eric Giler, Chief Executive Officer, WiTricity Corporation
Edward Grefenstette, Chief Investment Officer, Dietrich Charitable Trusts
Roy Haley, Retired Chairman of the Board, WESCO International, Inc.
Oscar Harris, CEO and Founder, Turner Associates
Jeffrey Housenbold, President and CEO, Shutterfly
Larry Jennings, Jr., Senior Managing Director, ValStone Partners, LLC
Erren Lester, Director, Product Management, The Advisory Board Company
Candace Matthews, Chief Marketing Officer, Amway Corporation
David McCormick, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Bridgewater Associates
Michael McQuade, Senior Vice President for Science and Technology, United Technologies Corporation
William L. Meaney, Chief Executive Officer, Iron Mountain
Anne M. Molloy, Executive Director, Posner Fine Arts Foundation
Manu Narayan, Performance Artist
David Porges, Chairman, President and CEO, EQT Corporation
Roy J. Shanker, Consultant
Ajit Shetty, Retired Chairman of the Board, Janssen Pharmaceutica
Luke Skurman, CEO and Founder, College Prowler, Inc.
Lip-Bu Tan, Chairman, Walden International; CEO, Cadence Design Systems
Rohet Tolani, Managing Director, Tolani Shipping (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Thomas Tull, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Legendary Pictures
Carol A. Williams, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Engineering, The Dow Chemical Company

2013-2014 Board of Trustees – Emeritus Life Trustees

Paul A. Allaire, Former Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation
Arthur H. Aronson, Retired Executive Vice President, Allegheny Teledyne
Carol R. Brown, Former President, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Robert M. Brown, III, President, B-III Capital LLC
Frank V. Cahouet, Retired Chairman and CEO, BNY Mellon
Lucian Caste, Retired Owner, Lucian Caste Architects & Engineers
Douglas D. Danforth, Retired Chairman and CEO, Westinghouse Electric Corporation
W. Logan Dickerson, President, Lindwood Farm, Inc. & Protos Foods, Inc.
Edward Donley, Former Chairman, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
William B. Ellis, Retired Chairman and CEO, Northeast Utilities
Cynthia Friedman, Co-owner, Union Real Estate Company of Pittsburgh
Henry J. Gailliot
Claire W. Gargalli
William Goldsmith, Chairman of the Board, Nucon Energy Group
Richard D. Hamilton, Retired Director of Product Supply, Procter and Gamble
Wilton A. Hawkins
Orion Hoch, Chairman Emeritus, Litton Industries
T. Jerome Holleran, Chairman, Precision Medical Products, Inc.
W. Lee Hoskins, Retired Chairman and CEO, The Huntington National Bank
Justin M. Johnson, Retired Judge, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
Patricia Askwith Kenner, President, Campus Coach Lines
David M. Kirr, Partner, Kirr, Marbach & Company
Hans W. Lange
Edward E. Lucente
Thomas A. McConomy, Retired Chairman of the Board, Calgon Carbon Corporation
Jack E. McGrath, Retired Senior Vice President, Booz & Company
Regina Gouger Miller, Owner/Artist, Ginger and Spice; Regina Gouger Miller Studio
Lindsay J. Morgenthaler
Alessandro Ovi, President, TechRev srl
Norman F. Parker, Retired President, Varian Associates
Charles J. Queenan, Jr., Retired Senior Counsel, K&L Gates LLP
John G. Rangos, John G. Rangos, Sr. Charitable Foundation
David M. Roderick, Former Chairman and CEO, United States Steel Corporation
Vincent A. Sarni, Retired Chairman and CEO, PPG Industries, Inc.
Joyce Bowie Scott, J. Bowie Scott Studio
Raymond Smith, Chairman, Rothschild Continuation Investments
William P. Snyder, III, President and Chairman, The Wilpen Group, Inc.
W. Lowell Steinbrenner, Retired Chairman, Contours, Ltd.
James M. Walton, President Emeritus, Carnegie Institute
Konrad M. Weis, Former President and CEO, Bayer Corporation

VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “MUSTT, MUSTT” in Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

This is one of the famous and very difficult Urdu / Sufi / Qawwali songs from the great Master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He recorded a famous non traditional version with Peter Gabriel.

While I was offstage, I was touched that Frank introduced me as …”having taken the Yiddish theatre world by storm”

Thanks to you, Frank for giving me the opportunities and the introductions!

Read the rest of this entry »

VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “Venkatachala Nilayam” in Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

“Venkatachala” is a special song for me.

I grew up listening to my parents singing with their friends.

It is also one of the first songs I learned while studying with my Carnatic classical  Saxophone Guru- ji Sri Kadri Gopalnath in Mangalore, India

It was a pleasure to sing it with Frank , Deep, and the band who picked it up effortlessly.

I hope that you enjoy it!

Read the rest of this entry »

VIDEO: Sarah Gordon and Manu Narayan sing “Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro” Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.


MO ASAPRO, MA ADABRO… (in Yiddish)

w/ special guests Manu Narayan, Sarah Gordon, and Jeremiah Lockwood
LIVE at 2013 Washington Jewish Music Festival
16th street JCC, Washington, DC

Photos: Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

Frank London, Bandleader, Trumpet, Arranger, Composer
Deep Singh – Dhol, Percussion
Manu Narayan – Vocalist
Sarah Gordon – Vocalist
Jeremiah Lockwood – Guitar, Vocalist

The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars Include:
–Aaron Alexander. Drum Set
–Ron Caswell, Tuba
–Brian Drye, Trombone
–Patrick Farrell, Accordion
–Michael Winograd, Clarinet

Photos: Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

I had the pleasure of singing with Grammy award winning trumpeter Frank London and master percussionist Deep Singh this past Tuesday, May 7, 2013,  as part of the Washington Jewish Music Festival at the 16th Street JCC, Washington DC.

Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

The concert also featured Yiddish Poet/Klezmer Singer Sarah Gordon, Guitarist/Singer Jeremiah Lockwood, and The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars: Aaron Alexander (Drum set); Ron Caswell (Tuba); Brian Drye (Trombone); Patrick Farrell (Accordion); and Michael Winograd (Clarinet).

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

I always enjoy singing with Frank. The music making in rehearsals and performance is fun and exhilarating, and he always has the best musicians.

Manu Narayan, Aaron Alexander and Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan, Aaron Alexander and Frank London. Photo by Lia Chang

Although I had sung with Frank, Aaron, and Ron around Europe as a part of Frank’s A Night in The Old Marketplace, and had done months on Broadway with Deep Singh during Bombay Dreams, this was the first time that we and the rest of the band collaborated on this new material. The prep for this concert was a little different for me because I was battling a horrible cold through the first two rehearsals, the set list was filled with songs that many of us had not done before, and we were performing music from seemingly opposite ends of the music spectrum. But we found common ground quickly.

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Klezmer, historically the Jewish wedding, dance and spiritual music of Eastern Europe and West, is sometimes combined with other styles of world music, such as Jazz, Gypsy, Pop, etc. Similarly the South Asian music on the set, Punjabi Bhangra, South Indian Karnatic, North Indian Hindustani, Pakistani Qawwali, and Bollywood Film music, are the wedding, dance, and spiritual music of the various regions of the South Asia and are often combined with other styles. I am always struck by how much the melodic scales that I hear in Klezmer, echo in the south Indian Classical Ragas that I grew up listening to, and then studying. It was wonderful to feel the rhythmic and harmonic instruments add to the South Asian Melodies, in addition to Deep and his Dhol adding interesting eastern and western dance grooves to the Klezmer Music. Each of us dove head first into understanding melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, and language specificities of each song. In the end, it was a great collaboration all around.

Sitting: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Frank London; Standing: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Michael Winograd, Ron Caswell, Patty Farrell, Brian Drye and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Sitting: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Frank London; Standing: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Michael Winograd, Ron Caswell, Patty Farrell, Brian Drye and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

The Frank London Klezmer Brass All-Stars kicked off the evening with a medley of Klezmer tunes including: Wedding Crown Heights, German Hora, Moldovian Hora and Fast Hasidic Nign. Deep and Jeremiah played Zalubij Se;  Sarah Gordon joined in with Shabbos in Feld & Lubo Nign; and then I joined in completing the band, singing Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s hit Mustt, Mustt. Other songs in the rest of the set included Klezmer tunes Lustige Hasidim; the South Indian Karnatic Classic Purandara Dasa song Venkatachala Nilayam; A.R. Rahman’s Chhaya, Chayya from the film Dil Se and Bombay Dreams. Other items included Jeremiah singing a Cantorial style song while accompanying himself on the guitar, and a new song composed by Frank with Yiddish lyrics written and sung by Sarah: M and M.
VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “MUSTT, MUSTT” in Klezmer /Bhangra Concert w/Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.
VIDEO: Manu Narayan sings “Venkatachala Nilayam” in Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

Front Row: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Manu Narayan, Frank London, Michael Winograd and Brian Drye. Back Row: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Ron Caswell and Patty Farrell. Photo by Lia Chang

Front Row: Deep Singh, Sarah Gordon, Manu Narayan, Frank London, Michael Winograd and Brian Drye. Back Row: Jeremiah Lockwood, Aaron Alexander, Ron Caswell and Patty Farrell. Photo by Lia Chang

During the concert, the sold out audience of fellow musicians and music festival patrons, which included former Ohio Representative/Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth, and fans were on their feet, dancing and clapping throughout the 100 minute concert.

Sarah Gordon, Aaron Alexander, Manu Narayan, Ron Caswell, Frank London, and Michael Winograd. Photo by Lia Chang

Sarah Gordon, Aaron Alexander, Manu Narayan, Ron Caswell, Frank London, and Michael Winograd. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Winograd plays a custom built "C" clarinet, handmade for him in Canada. It has a beautiful sound, somewhere between a Shenai and a western orchestral clarinet. Always in tune which is not normal on a C clarinet. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Winograd plays a custom built “C” clarinet, handmade for him in Canada. It has a beautiful sound, somewhere between a Shenai and a western orchestral clarinet. Always in tune which is not normal on a C clarinet. Photo by Lia Chang

A highlight of the night was the popular song, Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro. It appears in many languages and is a traditional cumulative song sung on Passover and found in the haggadah. It enumerates common Jewish motifs and teachings. It is meant to be fun and humorous. Sarah sang our version in Yiddish with the audience clapping and singing along. The solo section was fantastic with each of our musicians taking a turn, then culminating in the final percussion duel. The song has lyrics that count in Yiddish to 13.
VIDEO: Sarah Gordon and Manu Narayan sing “Mo Asapro, Ma Adabro” Klezmer/Bhangra Concert w/ Frank London’s Klezmer All-Stars, Deep Singh at the Washington Jewish Music Fest.

The encore was a three song medley with Frank starting an instrumental jam on his hit Mi Yamalay which segued into the Bhangra hit Tunak, Tunak, Tun and then ending with Sarah rocking out on a final Yiddish song.

At the end, the audience held nothing back, they stood clapping and singing for the entire encore. They gave a lengthy, loud, appreciatve standing ovation, and their after concert giddiness seemed to be a good omen for the future of our “Klezmer Brass All Stars Bhangra Concert Extravaganza!”

It was nice to meet Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich. They were so kind and are real fans (rightfully so) of  Michael and Frank.

Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich with Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich with Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

It was also nice to hang out with some old friends after the concert. I was so happy to see my old roommate from Carnegie Mellon University, Tim Conley and a dear family friend whom I grew up with in Pittsburgh, Padma Natarajan and her friend Amy. All three came out on short notice and it meant a lot.

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh, is one of those musicians who inspires me every time I either hear him play or I am singing with him. I am proud to call him brother and friend. On Tuesday night, he was solely on Dhol, the punjabi wedding and Dance drum, playing it at different times as the loud dynamic Punjabi Wedding instrument it was made for, at other times with light stick work like the Cuban timbales, and still at other times with his fingers like the south Indian Mrudangam. He has the percussion abilities and talent of all of the master percussionists in India, while having the facility to introduce the best pop, reggae, Hip Hop, rock and roll beats without needing a machine to keep the beat steady. He is a machine, a talented, calculating, hand/ eye/ ear coordinating Machine !!!! When he plays you feel like you are in the best pocket the best groove, which is probably why Sting, Mark Mothersbaugh, Malkit Singh, Hariharan, Falu Shah and many many others ask for him to be in their studios and play on their concerts. A renowned percussionist/composer/studio musician, Deep Singh was born in London, England, and is currently based in NYC. Singh began to play the Tabla at the age three, and at the age of seven became the youngest disciple of Ustad Allah Rakha. Singh’s professional career started at the age of nine, and since has performed at prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, London; The Royal Festival Hall, London; The Waldorf Astoria, NYC, Carnegie Hall, NYC, among many others. Singh has accompanied the finest musicians from India such as Dr.Aruna Sharma, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Sultan Khan, Hariharan, Ghulam Ali and many more. He is currently touring a concert of Indian classical music and working with other percussion bands.

After many years of playing in the NYC downtown club scene and merging Indian sounds with rock/pop, he is now coming out with his own unique style of music. With his years of experience as an Indian classical musician and playing with western bands, Singh is revered as a master in blending music from the East and West.

Deep Singh, Frank London and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

Deep Singh, Frank London and Manu Narayan. Photo by Lia Chang

As always, the hit of the night was Frank London. With his infectious energy, his amazing horn solos, and his ability to organize and conduct the concert on the fly. I am always amazed at his tirelessness and ability to expertly digest different styles of music and quickly arrange them for his bands.

Frank London (trumpeter, composer, bandleader) is a member of the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowieπs Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 cds. His own recordings include INVOCATIONS (cantorial music); Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars’ DI SHIKERE KAPELYE and BROTHERHOOD OF BRASS; NIGUNIM and THE ZMIROS PROJECT (Jewish mystical songs, with Klezmatics vocalist Lorin Sklamberg); THE DEBT (film and theater music); THE SHEKHINA BIG BAND; the soundtrack to THE SHVITZ; the soundtrack to Perl Gluck’s THE DIVAHN and four releases with the Hasidic New Wave.

His projects include the folk-opera A NIGHT IN THE OLD MARKETPLACE (based on Y.L. Peretz’s Bay nakht oyfn altn mark), DAVENEN for Pilobolus and the Klezmatics, Great Small Works’ THE MEMOIRS OF GLUCKEL OF HAMELN and Min Tanaka’s ROMANCE. He composed music for John Sayles’ THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET and MEN WITH GUNS, Yvonne Rainer’s MURDER AND MURDER, the Czech-American Marionette Theaterπs GOLEM and Tamar Rogoff’s IVYE PROJECT.

He was music director for David Byrne and Robert Wilson’s THE KNEE PLAYS, collaborated with Palestinian violinist Simon Shaheen, taught Jewish music in Canada, Crimea and the Catskills, and produced CD’s for Gypsy Ledgend Esma Redzepova, and Algerian Pianist Maurice el Medioni.

He has been featured on HBO’s “SEX AND THE CITY,” at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Lincoln Center Summer Festival, and was a co-founder of Les Miserables Brass Band and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.

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Manu Narayan in concert with Grammy Award winning Klezmer Artist Frank London on May 7th at the Washington DC Jewish Festival

Manu Narayan is singing again with Grammy award winning Frank London (Band leader/ composer/ trumpet, The Klezmatics, A Night in the Old Marketplace) and master Percussionist Deep Singh (Broadway’s Bombay Dreams, collaborations with Sting, Malikit Singh, Devo) in what is being billed as a Klezmer Brass All-Stars – Bhangra concert extravaganza for The 2013 Washington Jewish music Festival.

The concert is on Tuesday May 7th at 730 PM at the Washington D.C. JCC (1529 16th St, NW, Washington, DC) and also features Klezmer singer Sarah Gordon (lead singer for Yiddish princess), guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood (lead singer for Sway Machinery, guitarist for The Balkan Beatbox) and musicians Aaron Alexander (drums), Ron Caswell (Tuba), Brian Drye (trombone), Patrick Farrell (accordion), and Michael Winograd (woodwinds).

Tickets can be purchased at here

5/2/2013 Rehearsal at Rivington Studios, NYC. Photo by Lia Chang.

Back Row (l to r) Manu Narayan, Aaron Alexander, Frank London, Ron Caswell, Deep Singh. Front Row (l to r) Sarah Gordon, Patrick Farrell, Jeremiah Lockwood on 5/2/13 at Rivington Studios, NYC. Photo by Lia Chang.

My performance as “Ricky Roma” garners a 2012 SD Critics Circle Craig Noel Award nomination “Outstanding Featured Actor”

I am very honored to have received a San Diego Critics Circle 2012 Craig Noel Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male for my work as Ricky Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.

Congratulations to my fellow castmate James Sutorius who is also nominated in the same category, Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play, Male, for his work as Dave Moss and our Set Designer Todd Rosenthal for his nomination in Outstanding Set Design.

Other nominated friends are nominees in Outstanding Featured Performers in a Musical, Male and Female (respectively): Michael K. Lee and Lea Salonga for their wonderful work in the musical Allegiance at The Old Globe; Outstanding Sound Design nominee Mark Bennett for his work in The Illiad at La Jolla Playhouse; Outstanding Ensemble nominee: the cast of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots also at La Jolla Playhouse; and Outstanding Ensemble nominee: the cast of Scottsboro Boys at The Old Globe of which my buddy Cliffton Duncan was one of the leads.

You can see the full list of 2012 Craig Noel nominees at backstage pass with Lia Chang. Other articles about the nominations are on and in San Diego’s North County Times.


La Jolla Playhouse’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross ran from September 18 – October 21, 2012. Our critically acclaimed production was directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and in addition to James and myself, featured actors Peter Maloney as Shelly Levine, Jeff Marlow as James Lingk, Matt MacNelly as Baylen, Ray Anthony Thomas as George Aaranow, and Johnny Wu as John Williamson. In addition to Todd Rosenthal, the Designers and creative collaborators on the play were: Set design; Toni Leslie James, Costume design; David Lander, Lighting design; David Corsello, Sound design; and Shirley Fishman, Dramaturg