Amirtha Kidambi is invested in the performance and creation of music, from free improvisation and jazz, to experimental bands and new music. She is a soloist, collaborator, and ensemble member in groups including the early music inspired avant-folk band Seaven Teares, Mary Halvorson's latest quintet Code Girl, analog percussion and light ensemble Ashcan Orchestra performing the works of Pat Spadine and Darius Jones’ vocal quartet Elizabeth-Caroline Unit. As an improviser, she has collaborated with Matana Roberts, Tyshawn Sorey, Daniel Carter, Ava Mendoza, Peter Evans, Trevor Dunn and many innovators in the New York scene. Notable performances include the premieres of AACM founder and composer/pianist Muhal Richard Abrams’ Dialogue Social, Darius Jones’ The Oversoul Manual at Carnegie Hall, electronic composer Ben Vida’s work Slipping Control for voice and electronics with Tyondai Braxton at the Borderline Festival in Athens, Greece, the late Robert Ashley’s final opera CRASH at the Whitney Biennial, a Jazz Gallery commission for Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl and Lea Bertucci's vocal quartet and electronics at Issue Project Room. Amirtha is the composer and bandleader of her quartet Elder Ones featuring Matt Nelson on soprano saxophone, Brandon Lopez on bass and Max Jaffe on drums, with Kidambi on vocie and Indian harmonium. The group has been commissioned by the Jerome Foundation through Brooklyn venue Roulette's Emerging Artist Commission and was the Artists-in-Residence at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, NY to record the group’s debut album, released in November 2016 on Northern Spy Records.
Elder Ones, a quartet performing the compositions of vocalist Amirtha Kidambi, lies nestled in a Venn diagram of diverse musical spheres and communities in New York City. Bandleader Kidambi performs on harmonium and draws her vocal influence from both Indian Carnatic and Western Classical training. With saxophonist Matt Nelson, bassist Brandon Lopez, and drummer Max Jaffe, the band expands its influence to the realm of hip-hop and free improvisation. Oscillating between modal, Sufi-like circular grooves and jagged, brutal rhythmic constructions