Turquoise Lake is a collaboration between Afghan American vocalist Humayun Khan and renowned composer and guitarist Douglas J. Cuomo. Blending the raga tradition of southeast Asia and poetry of Sufi masters with the harmony and improvisation of jazz, they create a joyfully virtuosic music that celebrates the cultural diversity that is America's highest ideal.
An eight piece ensemble, made up of members from a range of backgrounds and faiths, features Khan on vocals and harmonium, Cuomo on electric guitar, augmented by tablas, drum kit, trumpet, saxophone, piano and electric bass. The ensemble draws on the raga traditions of North India and Afghanistan, Farsi poetry of the great Sufi masters, Afghan folk melodies and ghazals, along with the improvisational techniques of jazz and rock.
At the heart of Turquoise Lake is the melding sounds from the East with those from the West, but there is another, deeper purpose as well. We are committed to the ideal that music can serve serve as focal point for bringing together people (both musicians and audiences) from different countries, upbringings, and religions in the service of a higher purpose - to experience together a communal joy and celebration. In this we are in fact a very American band, for this is one of America’s highest ideals. Turquoise Lake reminds us of the possibility of what the world could be; and in fact what it already is, if only you have a chance to experience it that way.
Humayun Khan, a widely-hailed Afghan singer and composer, is known for his brilliant performances as a virtuosic vocalist and harmonium player who has developed a unique style blending Farsi poetry with Indian classical Ragas. He has performed on many recordings and soundtracks, and in various venues throughout the world, including the Gnaoua and Asilah International festivals in Morocco, The Kennedy Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Composer and guitarist Douglas J. Cuomo has written music for the concert and opera stages as well as film, television and theatre and for performers including Denyce Graves, Christine Brewer, The Romero Guitar Quartet, Maya Beiser, Evelyn Glennie, Jeffrey Zeigler, Ashley Bathgate, Kathleen Supové, Chanticleer, The Young People’s Chorus of NYC, and others. Among his work film and television work is the theme for Sex & The City, and many others. Both Khan and Cuomo are strong advocates of cultural understanding through music.