Desis in the Grammy House!

Desis in the Grammy House!

It’s Grammys-time again and as has been for a few years now, there are a few desi names on the nominee list: Best Dance Recording, Dance/ Electronic Music Field “Don’t Let Me Down”—The Chainsmokers featuring Daya It would be hard to miss or not notice the edgy “Don’t...
The Rasa of Belonging

The Rasa of Belonging

A few days ago, the editor got me thinking about the concept of Rasa. “Entertainment is a desired effect of performance arts but not the primary goal. The primary goal is to transport the individual in the audience into another parallel reality, full of wonder, where...
When a Song Becomes An Anthem

When a Song Becomes An Anthem

Last month, this music column talked about how music captures the sentiments of voters. This month, we continue with the patriotic theme, but through a more enduring musical track, the National anthem: that of the United States and South Asian countries. Every country...
Punjabi Dhol, Cuban-Carnatic, All That Jazz

Punjabi Dhol, Cuban-Carnatic, All That Jazz

Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose saw the Jazz Summer Fest return for its 27th festival season last month. The quintessential Punjabi dhol was in the line-up, front and center of the eight-member Red Baraat band. Baraat is the Hindi word for wedding...
300 Instruments in the House

300 Instruments in the House

When Randy Armstrong has to create a specific piece of music that must evoke an Indian feel, he just orders a sitar from India. “Every piece of music has to be original in its creation and cultural fidelity,” he explains. That is how he has over 300 instruments in his...