India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont
The theme is “One Day, One Stage, One Cause, One Mission!” And so, Mausaki and Asha for Education have teamed up with Shor Media to present Sound, Space and Soul, a musical event featuring Eastern Brew, 3 Decibels, Antariksh and Raagapella. Its main goals are to motivate local talent and to bring the artist community together in an attempt to raise much-needed funds for poor children in India.
For one evening four amazing rock bands will be performing under one roof to entertain for education. Eastern Brew plays contemporary music from India with a unique fusion flavor. They derive inspiration from various forms of world music such as Indian Classical, Sufi, Classic Rock, Pop, Jazz, RnB and Funk. 3 Decibels’ influences include the timeless late 60’s-90’s era rock bands as well as Rock/Fusion bands of the Indian subcontinent. Antariksh has been entertaining the Bay Area for the past six years with high-energy performances and are known to pack venues ranging from bars and clubs to much larger auditoriums. Raagapella is Stanford University’s all-male South Asian focus a cappella group with a repertoire of Bollywood pop, traditional cultural music and original fusion pieces.
Bringing it all together is Mausaki. As a matter of trivial pursuit, festivalgoers might be interested to know that Mausaki means “music” in Urdu/Persian. As an entity, Mausaki does double duty as a San Francisco-based Audio-Visual production company and as a group of individuals who work together with many different artists to create novel and unique productions, including “musical projects with poetry.” Examples of such fusion productions are “Tathaastu” with Project Pulse and “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi” with Eastern Brew. “It is something one has to experience,” explains Shekhar Hemnani, Mausaki Founder and resident poet, composer and director. He adds, “My ideal goal was to fuse poetry in such a way that there [is] a story going on during the concert and [that] all [of] the songs and [poetry] were connected and kept the audience wondering what’s next rather than just sitting there and listening to songs one after another.”
The bands are performing for Asha for Education, a secular non-profit organization that has been helping children in India for over 20 years. Its main focus is the belief that education is critical to achieve socio-economic change in India. It is dedicated to accomplishing that change by focusing on basic education and undertaking efforts that are holistic and all-encompassing (including supporting other persons/groups engaged in similar activities, raising the required human and other resources to achieve the group objectives, providing opportunities to individuals living outside India who wish to participate in Asha activities in India, and addressing other issues affecting human life).
Most of Asha’s success is due to its ability to identify, research, fund and sustain projects through a rigorous and comprehensive process. Yet perhaps what makes Asha most unique is that it is a purely voluntary-based/volunteer-driven organization. It is an impressive feat for an organization with such a global reach. Protima Pandey of Asha Silicon Valley puts it best, “We are all here in some capacity because of our education. We are privileged to have a great life. [We need to] use it in some small way to help others.” She encourages all who support the education of children to come to Sound Space and Soul, and be “entertained through charity.”
It will be a feast for the eyes, ears and soul. Also, not to be missed the release of Mausaki’s second album “SARV” (which means “everything” or “everybody”) at the event. “We are very excited and [are] really looking forward to the response from our audience,” enthuses Hemnani. Though he insists that the goal is educational, not promotional, and that there is a dire need to “keep good music with good poetry alive.”
Saturday, July 14. 6 p.m. Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose. www.ashanet.org/siliconvalley. $30-$50