As a young New York City based musician 23-year-old Richie Barshay holds down the drum chair for an incredibly diverse roster of bands. Barshay has played with Herbie Hancock’s Quartet since 2003 (beginning with the Gershwin’s World project), is a member of the U.S. State Department sponsored Afro-Caribbean group, Insight, works regularly with Argentine vocalist Sofia Koutsovitis, and has recently added tradition exploding ensemble, The Klezmatics to his list of employers. Straight-ahead, Afro Cuban, pop and Klezmer would be enough for most any ambitious musician, but Barshay is anything but typical. And like the great drummers who have influenced him – Tony Williams, Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette – Barshay brings something entirely new, fresh and inspiring to bear in what can loosely be called a jazz recording. Homework erases borders, creates new paradigms, and poses new questions. By merging various traditional styles -- both rhythmic and melodic -- under the umbrella of North Indian compositional tradition, Barshay bridges the past and present with his own version/vision of future.
“I felt that this was bringing something pretty original to the table,” Barshay says. “The writing is all Indian, it is not jazz with a little bit of flavor. And the instruments and the improvising is all American jazz. It is fusion, but somehow it is different. I am thinking like playing a solo with a complex tukra (Indian syllabic pattern) in your head.”