Hi, my name is Kerry Kriger. I created the indianflutemusic.com website. My main instrument is the bansuri, the bamboo flute of northern India. From 1999 to 2008 I was fortunate enough to study North Indian Classical music with one of India's greatest flute masters, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. I also play the guitar, ukelele, jaw harp, glockenspiel, piano, drum set and various hand drums (my favorites being tabla and darabuka).
"Hi Kerry, I am writing to say an enormous thank you! You are a true music master and inpiration to the world".
-- Alison Duffy, Tasmania
If you play Indian Classical Music, you likely would benefit from having a copy of my upcoming 203-page book "Compositions for Bansuri". Please be sure to sign up for the IndianFluteMusic mailing list so you hear when the book gets officially released. You'll also get updates on when I have an upcoming concert, a new CD, or when I upload a video or mp3 to this site.
"Kerry, I have been inspired way more by you than all other sources I have stumbled upon ever. Keep doing what you are doing."
— Mohammad Twaha, Canada
Jamming on top of Mt. Gower, Lord Howe Island, Australia, overlooking the world's most southerly coral reef:
A sunset Marwa jam in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea:
Taking a flute break going up Venezuela's Mt. Roraima, (Arthur Conan Doyle's "Lost World"), one of the oldest places on the planet, and home to some of the best acoustics:
Sunset moonrise flute, Death Valley style:
A rainforest melody at Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica:
A high altitude afternoon raga atop Wheeler Peak, Nevada:
Another day on the beach, in Santa Teresa, Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica:
Brewing up a storm on top of Little Devil's Tower, in the magnificent Black Hills of South Dakota:
Flute under the midnight sun in Stikkysholmur, Iceland.
Some afternoon flute action above the Kaieteur Falls, in the Pakaraima Mountains of central Guyana:
Jamming raga Simendra Madhyam, Miami style, no place like South Beach:
A sunset flute melody in Red Rock Canyon National Scenic Area, Nevada:
A fantastic day on the South Sister in central Oregon (well worth a 6-hour hitchhike):
Playing flute in the stream after a long day looking for jaguars in the Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke, Central Amazonas, Brazil:
Mountain jam in Bukhansan National Park, South Korea:
Flute jam amidst the 2,500 year old ruins of Aspendos, in southern Turkey:
Some bansuri action on the banks of the Ganges, at the Dasaswamedh gat in Varanasi, India:
A smoking crater jam on top of Mt. Ngaurahoe, in Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand:
Enjoying the afternoon sun at Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming:
Mid-day flute above Gingko Petrified Forest and the Columbia River Gorge, former home of the Wanapum Indians, central Washington:
Throwin down at the Selfoss waterfall in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, Iceland:
No sellouts here. Playing raga Madhuvanti in the the 2300yr old Grand Ampitheatre of Ephesus in western Turkey:
High Plains Drifter - New Year's morning flute jam in the geysers of one of the world's most spectatular places, Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni:
Reflecting on flute melodies at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon:
Sunset jam in Panama's San Blas Archipelago, looking out at Kuanidup Chico, the island I had to myself for a few nights:
Midwinter's flute jam under the Big Waterfall in Croatia's fabulous Plitvička Jezera National Park:
Flute For The Frogs! Enjoying the shade during a late afternoon's hike in The Needles, Canyonlands National Park, Utah:
This one's from a concert I played with Jay Parikh on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C. one hot October day:
Jamming with Chris Berry at the Natural Bridges Migration Festival in Santa Cruz February 9th, 2013:
Live at Divinitree, Santa Cruz, CA, March 30th, 2013:
Bamboo Flute in the tropical dry forest of Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica:
Above Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, California:
Here's my flute response to that Sarah Palin woman:
Here's me and my brother Chad playing a quick rendition of raga Madhuvanti at the Aspendos ruins in Turkey:
I also play tabla, the most common drum of northern India. More info coming soon...
I also play the darabuka (a.k.a. darbuka, dumbek, Egyptian tabla), which is the most common drum throughout the Middle East and North Africa. My favorite darabuka is my smallest, which I got in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. It's portable, and perfect for walking and drumming.
Christmas day drum jam at Baska Beach, Krk Island, Croatia:
Enjoying the sunshine high in Slovenia's Julian Alps, with Mt. Triglav in the background:
In Yosemite National Park, California:
Here's a sunset drum jam on the beach I camped at for three nights, in front of Cabo Matapalo, on the Peninsula de Osa in Costa Rica:
Drumming for Obama - Part 1 (like nothing you've seen before):
Drumming for Obama - Part 2:
Drumming for Obama - Part 3:
The talking drum is one of the traditional drums from the Ashanti region of Ghana. It is capable of producing an amazing array of sounds. I visited Ghana in September 2011. I saw this blind guy throwing down a pretty tight beat on the talking drum, (accompanied by the blind guy whose hand is on his shoulder; he was playing two metal things you click together with your fingers). They sounded pretty damn so I gave them 2 cedis ($1.33)...food for a day.
He inspired me to buy this talking drum an hour later from the rasta guy in the picture. I'll add some mp3s of me playing to this site soon.
Jamming in Elmina, Ghana:
"Drum circles with Kerry kriger are amazing and life changing."
-- Stacy Bynum, Colorado
If you are a talented, motivated musician and would like to play some music, contact me. I can play classical or fusion. It is fine if you have no training in Indian Classical Music so long as you are into experimentation and improvisation, and have the ability to jam in unusual scales and/or rhythms (I could teach them to you). I am open to playing with any capable musician(s), regardless of instrument, acoustic, electric or percussion.
I travel a lot. I'll be in:
California in March/April 2015
Kentucky and Virginia in May 2015
Belize in July 2015
Virginia and New York in August
Australia in September/October 2015 (maybe!)
India February 2016 (maybe!)
The following are people or bands that have either taught me to play, inspired me to play, blown my mind in some way, expanded my conception of what music is or can be, or passed on their knowledge to people who in turn have influenced or inspired me:
Vijay Raghav Rao, Phish, Led Zeppelin, Ravi Shankar, Hariprasad Chaurasia, The Beatles, Ali Akbar Khan, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Funkadelic, Neil Young, Jeff Lang, Cas Lucas, Samrat Kakkeri, John McLaughlin, Devendra Murdeshwar, Panallal Ghosh, Allaudin Khan, Bismillah Khan, Zakir Hussain, Anindo Chaterjee, Nikhil Banerjee, Alla Rakha, that dude with the flute on the ferry in Greece, Raghunath Seth, Bhimsen Joshi, John Coltrane, Wazir Khan, Mian Tansen, Swami Haridas, Bilaskhan, ZM Dagar, Billy Cobham, Black Sabbath, Chris Berry, Chad Kriger, Chris Lait, Travis Jenkins, and anyone else I've enjoyed listening to or playing with.
"I don't know what it is, but Panda seems to really love Indian music. I have to keep her away from the computer speakers when it's playing. When she hears your flute she always comes out from wherever she's hanging to listen close up. Very odd cat indeed, with a propensity for Eastern music." -- R. Owen; Federal Way, WA
"May the Great Spirit meet all of your needs for your gift to us all, the knowledge of the Divine Bansuri". -- Kevin Cage
"Damn Brother, Alap in Darbari is magical! You have spent many years.. and your knowledge is supreme. Tripping out on your eastern theory and the Ragas." -- Dax Hunter; Drummer for Frogs Gone Fishin, Boulder, CO
"I quite liked the tunes and photographs...you are just awesome and left me spellbound to see what i wished for years from many Indian artists." -- Venkat Eswar
The first nine years of my musical journey I played pretty much exclusively bansuri, with the thought that if I focus on one instrument, I will be able to master it, as opposed to becoming good but not great on many instruments. Now I play many instruments and derive enjoyment and knowledge out of everything I play. I feel I have gotten to the point where I can make quality music out of any instrument, given a few minutes (or perhaps days if it is an instrument like the ney, didgeredoo or bansuri, on which it takes a while to produce any sound..as opposed to a drum or piano, on which anyone can get a sound out of).
So if someone would ask me "Should I focus on one instrument, or explore several?", I would say just follow whatever feels right to you, and surrender to the flow of the universe.
After nine years I started to feel the need for a drum. At the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia in December 2006 I walked past a shop selling Egyptian drums. I sat down and jammed with Tarik the owner and had fun playing. I had only had a few drum lessons in my life (on tabla) but playing the drum felt pretty natural, all I was doing was applying my knowledge of rhythm acquired from nine years of bansuri playing. A few days later I bought a darabuka from him and have been thoroughly in love with drums (especially drumming while walking, a fabulous use of what otherwise would be time...just walking). When it comes down to it, I like portable instruments, so darabuka is fabulous as I can throw down rhythms while wandering around town or a festival, or on top of a mountain. I went to Turkey in the summer of 2007 and bought two darabukas at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; one is large and the other is very small -- so small they told me it was a toy drum for kids. I bought the small one for $12 and it has given me (and others) perhaps thousands of hours entertainment. I once travelled halfway across Costa Rica to retrieve it after I forgot it at a restaurant I had been eating at. When I returned to the USA in 2007, I met Samrat Kakkeri, who was performing with John Wubbenhorst (an excellent bansuri player). Samrat's musicianship blew me away and I started taking tabla lessons from him. I still take lessons when I see him, though more often we just jam (me on bansuri, him on tabla). Shen Flindell had his tabla maker in Varanasi, India make me a new set of tabla and those are what I currently play on. I also bought a talking drum in Kumasi, Ghana in September 2011. More generally, I think I can play pretty much any drum...rhythm is rhythm. Sometimes I just clap my hands and slap my body to get a rhythm going; you'd be amazed at the number of sounds your own body can produce.
"Drum circles with Kerry Kriger are amazing and life changing."
-- Stacy Smith Bynum
I got a horrible guitar my first year of college. I learned how to play a few lines of Creeping Death and kind of had I Know You Rider. When the first string broke, I never got it re-strung. Over the years if there was a guitar nearby me when I'm out and about, I'd pick it up and mess around, usually playing on one string because it is easy for me to visualize the chromatic scale on a single string and therefore I can play my Indian music on it. On April 30th, 2011 I went with my friend Mike Chang to the local Guitar Center to check out electric guitars. I had been wanting one for a while. I didn't plan to buy one, I just wanted to mess around, and thought Mike could provide me with some expertise to assist me when I would eventually buy one (thanks go to Mike for what did indeed turn out to be expert advice). Mike pointed me out a Slash Signature Series guitar on the wall. I laughed at the thought of having a Slash guitar. I tested a Fender Stratocaster. I didn't like how it sounded I was actually thinking to myself maybe I should just stick with flute. Then Mike handed me a beautiful guitar. I hit a few notes and it just sounded good. When it feels good, you know it. That was all there was to it. Mike came up and asked me what I thought. I said it was great. He told me it was the Slash Signature Series Gibson Epiphone guitar. I looked at it and indeed there was an engraving of Slash. Cool, Sweet Child of Mine is one of the greatest songs ever written, and if the guitar is good enough to enable Slash to sell tens of millions of records, it should do for me. I bought it without hesitation.
A month later I bought a Fender Blues Jr. amp and a BOSS ME-25 multi-effects meter. Electric guitar is the first electric instrument I have taken up. I love exploring a whole new realm of sound (electric and effects) and style and can't wait until I can play it on stage, which shouldn't be long. It's nice to have the musical knowledge built up (through years of dedicated practice) to be be able to start a new instrument and learn it far faster than one could when they are an absolute beginner.
I only play them when I end up in a place with one. My favorite is the Yamaha piano in the lobby of the Westin Hotel SFO; nice to play while waiting for the airport shuttle!
Here I am enjoying a short but sweet piano session at the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation's Daybreak Star Center in Seattle:
I'm self-taught on the ukelele. I tune my ukelele to EBEA so I can strum while soloing. From here I call the 3rd string down (E) my Sa (tonic), and generally move up that and the A string as if I'm playing Indian music...this gives me easy to find Indian scales -- and an original sound.
Jamming with Chris Berry at the Natural Bridges Migration Festival in Santa Cruz, CA February 9th, 2013:
I am also an ecologist, and am the Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!, America's first and only public charity dedicated to protecting amphibians. You can learn more about my frog conservation efforts here. Thanks!
"I went through your site www.indianflutemusic.com & also listened to your playing. It was amazing to be honest. Your concern towards environment and music has inspired me to a great extent."
-- Ashish Rana, Chandigarh, India
"He is a really great flute player not to mention one fantastic advocate for frogs!"
-- George Sellers, South Carolina