Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the two "Carte Blanche" artists this year. Rudresh Mahanthappa was pronounced Alto Saxophone Player of the Year by prominent jazz magazines like Downbeat and Jazz Journalist. His sound is described as “a mix between the rhythmic investigations of Steve Coleman and the introspective searching lyricism of John Coltrane”. Rudresh is American by birth, but a son to Indian immigrants, and his roots can be heard extensively in his work. He is always on the lookout for new ways to improvise and express his compositions, and finds inspiration in contemporary composed music and classical Indian music, as well as in the music of John Coltrane and Charlie “Bird” Parker. Today, Rudresh will play with his new fusion group Samdhi. In the project, he combines the complex melodic and rhythmic elements of both South Indian music and the traditions of jazz. This within an electro-acoustic format consisting of David Gilmore on electric guitar, Rich Brown on electric bass, Damion Reid on drums and Anand Ananthakrishnan on mridangam (an Indian drum).