Ancient Future
Gig Seeker Pro

Ancient Future

Band World Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"The Key to Ancient Future"

"The key to Ancient Future is its ability to present various styles of music in settings that are accessible but still exotically charming. The net result is an infectious sound that simultaneously entertains and challenges." - Edward Tywoniak, BAM

"Beautifully Wrought Interplay"

"Many artists have been running toward world music, trying to inject new life into their compositions. For most, it's a superficial exercise; but for Ancient Future, it's at the core of what this band has been doing since the late '70s. And the band traverses this fusion terrain with deft arrangements and beautifully wrought interplay." - John Diliberto, TOWER PULSE!


"Marvelous rhythmic patterns ... truly magnificent tonal balances ... the shifting dynamics,the fabric of the ensemble, the emergence, (then gradual disappearance) of melodic lines and the esprit de corps are MESMERIZING." - Philip Elwood, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

"Essential Musicality"

"Leader Matthew Montfort's synthesis of styles and sounds isn't superficial -- he plucks the essential musicality of several traditions without discounting them. Beautiful world fusion music." - Roger Carlberg, ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN

"Like a Rolling Stone"

“Rolling Stones of fusion.” - THE BEAT

"One Step Ahead of the Game"

"The time has definitely come for world fusion music. Ancient Future is one step ahead of the game; on their side is the philosophical parallel between global consonance and world peace."

"Global Village of Musicians"

“Laying the groundwork for some of today's most successful world beat acts, Ancient Future has grown into a global village of musicians...from Africa, India, Asia, America and the Middle East. The tunes included are diverse, yet equally captivating, evoking all that is most appealing about music from a global village.” - ­CD NOW

"Rebuild at the Sub-Molecular Level"

"Northern California's ... 'world fusion' band do more than simply throw together players and instruments from East and West. They rebuild at the sub-molecular level, puréeing the varied melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic idioms into tuneful ... compositions." - ­GUITAR PLAYER


Visions of a Peaceful Planet (1979, Ancient-Future.Com 2004)
Natural Rhythms (1984, Philo/Rounder 9006)
Quiet Fire (1986, Narada Lotus 1012)
Dreamchaser (1988, Narada/Sona Gaia 154)
World Without Walls (1990, Narada/Sona Gaia 163)
Asian Fusion (1993, Narada Equinox 63023)
Music from the Tealands (2000, Putumayo PUT180-2)
Planet Passion (2002, Ancient-Future.Com AF 2001)
Asian Lounge (2005, Putumayo PUT 244-2)

Many of these CDs are available on and
Ringtones are available at
Planet Passion has reported airplay on over 585 radio programs, and is being released in India in 2006.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The music of Ancient Future is an exhilarating fusion of exciting rhythms and exotic sounds featuring virtuoso musicians from around the globe. Their music combines contemporary jazz and rock with the irresistible rhythms of Africa, Bali, India, the Middle East and South America, the rich harmonies of European classical music, and the melodic knowledge of the whole world.
Formed in 1978, Ancient Future is the world's first and longest running musical organization dedicated exclusively to the mission of creating world fusion music.

Two of the founding members, Matthew Montfort and Benjy Wertheimer, were childhood friends in Boulder, Colorado, who dreamed of forming a band together. In the summer of 1977, Wertheimer and Montfort came to Northern California to study North Indian classical music at the Ali Akbar College of Music. There they met the members of the Diga Rhythm Band (an offshoot of the Grateful Dead featuring tabla master Zakir Hussain, Mickey Hart, and Jerry Garcia), moved into the house that the group rehearsed in, and formed a new band including Diga Rhythm Band members Tor Dietrichson, Jim Loveless, Ray Spiegel, and Arshad Syed (see his biography). The new band rehearsed at the Grateful Dead studio and performed a number of concerts before splitting up into two groups: a Latin band, and the world fusion music group Ancient Future. Ancient Future can therefore be thought of as having formed as an offshoot of an offshoot of an offshoot of the Grateful Dead.

The original members of Ancient Future studied with the master musicians of many world music traditions, from Balinese gamelan director Madé Gerindem to North Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan. They used their knowledge of world music to create something new and uniquely their own that is respected by pundits from the cultures whose traditions are a part of the mix. For example, according to INDIA CURRENTS, Ancient Future "plays with technical brilliance and gypsy-like fire," and their music "demonstrates the continuing beneficial influence of Indian music upon world culture."

Over the years, Ancient Future has expanded its musical vision through collaborations with master musicians from more than two dozen countries, cultures, and musical traditions who are now an integral part of what is today more than just a band. Ancient Future has grown to become a large multinational music ensemble with many smaller ensembles within it, enabling Ancient Future to realize its core mission of creating world fusion music.

Ancient Future has released seven full length studio CDs selling over 150,000 units: Visions of a Peaceful Planet, Natural Rhythms, Quiet Fire, Dreamchaser, World Without Walls, Asian Fusion, and Planet Passion. Over one million legal mp3 files from three of these releases on Ancient-Future.Com Records have been distributed commercially. This of course does not count files distributed illegally (Ancient Future's leader, Matthew Montfort, was selected as the proposed Class Representative for Independent Musicians Against Napster due to the large number of Ancient Future files being traded illegally). Ancient Future has also recorded two live CDs and a video (for release on DVD) of a live concert featuring four different versions of the band.

Ancient Future has performed over a thousand shows worldwide, headlining such venues as Carnegie Recital Hall (New York City), Great American Music Hall (San Francisco), Hult Center for the Performing Arts (Eugene), Yoshi's (Oakland), Sangeetha Indian Music Concert Series (St. Louis), and even a night club called Atlantis in Beirut, Lebanon, with a Piranha tank in the middle of the dance floor and a bar that doubles as an aquarium. They have appeared at every type of festival imaginable including the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra (near Barcelona, Spain), Asian/Pacific Festival of Fortune, Northwest Regional Folklife Festival, Oregon Country Fair, Sand Harbor Jazz Festival, California WorldFest, Monterey World One, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and the Summer of Love 30th Anniversary in Golden Gate Park. Dance versions of the band have pumped up dance crowds at techno/DJ events such as the Groove Garden and Harmony Festival's Techno Tribal Dance with their 100% organic loop-free grooves.