Doors 6:00pm/Show 7:00pm
Join us on Sat, July 22 for a 2023 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! concert featuring Ali Sethi, Raja Kumari, and Roshni Samlal.
Drawing from ancient traditions, Pakistani musician and author Ali Sethi’s compositions tell stories of exuberance and joy from the margins. Connecting disparate identities and genres, Sethi imbues his music with metaphors and wide-ranging themes, leaving it open to interpretation and welcoming in a broad audience. GRAMMY-nominated singer, songwriter, and rapper Raja Kumari opens with her fiery lyrics and explosive dance performances, paying homage to her Indian roots. Roshni Samlal, performing a DJ set, bridges communities with her unique poetry and sound collages.
*Please Note: A limited amount of chairs will be available at this show, but you are also permitted to bring your own. For our d/Deaf and hard of hearing communities, we will have an ASL interpreter at the left side of the stage during the first two acts.
About the artists
Playful connections — between masculine and feminine, East and West, folk and woke — have always figured prominently in Ali Sethi’s music which transforms South Asia’s love of metaphors and multiples into a panacea for our polarized world. Whether imagining a traditional poetry recital as a congregation of refugees in the video for his lullaby “Chandni Raat,” or vocalizing the monsoon in a symphony about war and migration at Carnegie Hall, Ali Sethi insists on making connections between disparate identities and genres until they become loose from their associations. “I load my songs with baroque themes and metaphors because they allow for multiple interpretations. It’s a gloriously campy worldview that gave me solace as an out-of-place kid in Pakistan. The imagery invites you in, teases you, seduces you with its romantic symbolism. Then it breaks your heart. Is this a song about forbidden love between two countries, two tribes, or two people? I want to make songs that empower every member of my audience.”
Raja Kumari is an American born, Grammy nominated, international singer, songwriter and rapper fiercely proud of her Indian roots. She creates music, art, and dance in a powerful, magnetic, and fresh combination of her background, upbringing, interests, and influences. She is a fearless, charismatic personality and natural-born storyteller whose songs are an undeniable sonic bridge between East and West. The music fuses the rhythms she absorbed as a trained classical Indian dancer with her love for hip-hop and her constant musical evolution as an artist. Kumari is one of the top female rappers in India and has graced the covers of numerous publications including Rolling Stone India. She was the first woman to headline NH7, India’s biggest music festival. She has co-written songs with Gwen Stefani, Fifth Harmony, Twin Shadow, Iggy Azalea, and John Legend, and most recently founded Godmother Records in order to have the freedom to pave her own way in music and to unapologetically bring her visions and dreams to life.
Roshni Samlal is a New York-based, Trinidadian tabla player who has studied within the Farrukhabad, Benares and Punjab gharanas or schools of Indian classical percussion. Born in Trinidad, she was introduced to the tabla by her vocalist father, Mukund Samlal who was an eminent singer and harmonium player in the renaissance of South Asian ancestral arts that swept through 1960’s Trinidad, pioneered by H.S. Adesh. Roshni is now a prolific local teacher and performer, both in traditional, soloist repertoire, as a classical accompanist (Pt. Krishna Bhatt, Steve Gorn, Sobroto Roy Chowdhury) as well as within a variety of jazz, experimental, and chamber ensembles (In D Ensemble, Arkinetics, Orakel). Roshni also explores creating sound design landscapes and Ableton beat production as a narratorial context for tabla solos, incorporating poetry and sound collages that speak to topics of indentureship, post-colonial Caribbean identity, and migration. She is the co-curator and producer of the Ragini Festival which focuses on spotlighting the work of artists engaged in traditional folk and innovative arts within the further reaches of the South Asian diaspora, focusing on Indo-Caribbean heritage. Roshni also crafts DJ sets influenced by her heritage and experiences as an immigrant during the 90’s.
Please note: RSVPing helps you stay up-to-date on show info, but does not guarantee entry. Bandshell entry is first come first served.