Since 2001, Free Planet Radio has been bringing its exciting and innovative world-jazz-classical music blend to both concert stages and classrooms. Based in Asheville NC, this musical partnership began with a clear mission statement as “the shared vision of three multi-instrumentalists exploring the infinite and seamless relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound.”
Free Planet Radio performances expertly weave the improvisatory element of jazz, and the subtleties and harmonic vocabulary of Western classical music, with Middle Eastern, Indian and North African melodic and rhythmic structures. Performing mostly original compositions, even while playing extremely complex melodies and time signatures, the trio always maintains a sense of accessibility, spontaneity and easy engagement with the audience. They have performed with jazz singer Lizz Wright, poet Robert Bly, Turkish instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, bluegrass violinist Casey Driessen, flute virtuoso Rhonda Larson, Armenian singer Mariam Matossian, and Persian violinist Farzad Farhangi. In 2014, Free Planet Radio was awarded a prestigious grant from Chamber Music America commissioning and performances of a new set of works with the Opal String Quartet. In 2016, the trio travelled to the People’s Republic of China for a 20 city tour of their finest concert halls.
Emerging from three of the country’s finest music schools, Free Planet Radio consists of two-time Grammy winner Eliot Wadopian leaping effortlessly between rhythm and melody on electric and string basses; River Guerguerian on an extensive array of global percussion instruments including Middle Eastern frame drums and doumbek, the Indian kanjira, African djembe, and Western drum set; and Chris Rosser exploring melody on the 17-stringed Indian dotar, Turkish cumbus oud, guitar, piano and melodica.