The Squid's Ear Magazine

Gregg, J.J.: In Delicate Balance (IntangibleCat)

Referencing the "queen of morning ragas" Raag Bhairavi, Oregon-based sitar player and experimental musician J.J. Gregg performed these three improvisations immediately following a group meditation, each raga providing a distinct mood to take their listeners on a journey to complement their state of mind, weaving themes of inspiration and experience.

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product information:

Label: IntangibleCat
Catalog ID: CAT-22
Squidco Product Code: 33169

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Indigo Yoga Studio, in Salem, Oregon, on October 11th, 2019.


J.J. Gregg-sitar

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Recorded immediately following a group meditation, "in delicate balance" takes that spiritual energy and amplifies it back to listeners. The album's title refers to Raag Bhairavi where I interweave several themes "in a delicate balance" of inspiration and experience.

"J.J Gregg's depth of passion for his music and his attention to nuance on the sitar is masterful. His study and use of traditional ragas is beautifully filtered through his own touch and personal experiences in other genres of music. I've witnessed J.J's music bring people together. I personally listen to his performances and find myself with more peace in my own world."-Danny Koentopp, Koentopp Guitars

"Sitarist J.J. Gregg is a sensitive, adept musical ambassador. His latest album, "in delicate balance," explores the musical and emotional possibilities of three ragas. The concise "Raag Bhairavi" track, in particular, is an excellent gateway for listeners wanting to get acquainted with the music of South Asia. Its unusual and introspective mode, [as well as its] accessible length...make this track ideal listening for newcomers as well as connoisseurs."-Dr. Pamela Moro, Author of "Violins: Local Meanings, Globalized Sounds"

Artist Biographies

"A dynamic yet meditative sitar player, J.J. Gregg performs improvised and pre-composed music. With over a decade of hands-on training in India, J.J. immerses western experimental and jazz music into the traditional world of the sitar. He has performed on the sitar in India, Japan, Thailand, and throughout the U.S.

Born and raised in rural Illinois, J.J. spent his teenage years performing and recording experimental rock music. In the year 2000, J.J. moved to Pune, Maharashtra, India to attend a study abroad program and met internationally renowned sitar player Ustad Usman Khan. For the past twenty-one years, J.J. has studied sitar and South Asian Classical Music under Khan's guidance at Naad Mandir in Pune, India. He returned to India seven more times to study with Khan, most recently in December 2018.

In 2016 J.J. Gregg teamed up with dancer Peter de Grasse to create 'Malkauns Meditation,' a collaborative performance based on improvisation in contemporary dance and South Asian Classical Music. The piece premiered at Whitman College in 2017, and they performed together in 2018 at both the Seattle International Dance Festival's 'Art on the Fly' and the UNESCO affiliated World Dance Congress in Mumbai, India.

Just released in August 2022, JJ teams up with tabla player Pavan Kanekal on the concept album 're-cycling'. Recent solo sitar albums include, 'in delicate balance,' in 2020 and 'opening up,' released in April 2018. In December 2021, J.J. Gregg and poet Sherman released their collaboration 'Hell might be a place,' which combines poetry, sitar, and improvisational percussion and hearkens back to J.J.'s many years as an experimental rocker and recording artist.

J.J. Gregg lives in Salem, Oregon where he teaches private and group sitar lessons. In addition to his years of study at Naad Mandir in India, J.J. Gregg holds a BA in Mathematical Economics from Colorado College and a Masters of Education from University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to performing and teaching, J.J. continues to increase productivity in his organic garlic patch and front yard garden with the help of his curious (and hungry) toddler."

-J.J. Gregg Website (

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Track Listing:

1. Raag Yaman 23:32

2. Raag Kirwani 13:13

3. Raag Bhairavi 10:21

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Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Stringed Instruments
Guitarists, &c.
Cultural Musics from Around the World
Solo Artist Recordings
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