Live in Houston

Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Ust Zakir Hussain performed in the Wotham Center (Houston) last night. They always bring the best out in each other and tonight was no exception! Guruji began with Raga Bhimplasi and was definitely in the mood. While tuning, his Santoor effortless and precisely fell  in tune, filling the hall with the microtones of the scale of Bhimplasi. This was just a glimpse of the sublime sur that we were going to be enveloped by tonight. The Alap Jor was unraveled with such peaceful energy, his... Read The Rest →

Evoke Festival 2013

Well, this was a great end to three very busy weeks! The Evoke Festival, is hosted every year and directed by the East West Players in LA, it nurtures artists and new performance works that expand the dialogue about the Asian Pacific American experiences. It was wonderful to get to know everyone involved and see there emotional, silly, funny and thought provoking works! Week one: Meet Shilpa Agarwal (Novelist/ Storyteller) and Sheetal Gandhi (dancer/ Choreographer) for the first time! Plan the performance with the help of festival director Alison M... Read The Rest →

A Wonderful interview of Guruji

I wanted to share a wonderful interview with my Guruji in 2003, it was taken by Michael Robinson in Pacific Palms, California. (Original link:http://www.azuremilesrecords.com/spiritualhighshivkumarsharmainterview.html). It continually inspires me and reminds me of the multi-faceted importance of music. It begins with an discussion of ‘Antardhwani: The Song Within’, an album in which Guruji composed a Raga of the same name, as a request from his listeners around the world who wanted a Raga to listen to while doing Yoga. Using this spring board, the interview guides you through Guru’s process of... Read The Rest →

40: Samurai versus Ninja!

Hi everyone, I had to tell you about my all time favorite animated series – Samurai Jack! It originally aired from 2001 to 2004 on Cartoon Network. In England I watched it on Toonami. (I’d rather not mention that the series was never finished and Cartoon Network unceremoniously pulled it of air!!!! ) It was epic, in every sense of the word. Genndy Tartakovsky and his team did an amazing job! The plot was very simple, an unnamed Samurai Warrior whose mission it was to defeat Aku – a shape... Read The Rest →

Annapurna Devi

Today, I came across an article on Annapurna Devi (also known as Roshanara Khan, her muslim name). I haven’t’ heard her name in a while, and the article has rekindled my curiosity surrounding her story.  She has been a mythological figure of sorts in Indian Classical Music: daughter of Allaudin Khan, sister of Ali Akbar Khan, first wife of Ravi Shankar, teacher of Hariprasad Chaurasia, Nikhil Banerjee, Aashish Khan, and obscure recluse who refused to perform for the public.  Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve heard several... Read The Rest →

Tragedy

December is usually a month associated with holiday, cheer, family, food, celebration, and comfort. Yet this December ungodly and inhumane acts like the shootings in Newton and the rapes in India have left all of us with a lot of questions. Why is this happening? How can we prevent these acts? What is the root cause? I don’t have the answers and am just as confused as the rest of us. But, despite seeing humanity’s lowest acts, my faith in humanity remains strong. We have been reflecting with family and... Read The Rest →

A tribute to Pandit Ravi Shankar

On Tuesday 11th December 2012 Legendary Sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away at the age on 92. His contribution to introducing Indian classical music to the world was unmatched by any other Indian musician. Today was his memorial and I was compelled to make this drawing as a tribute. k

SikhLens Round up! Day Three

Day 3, the final day. We had to arrive at the Chapman theater by 9am for a sound check. All of the artists trickled in slowly, some still in pajamas. 9am is not a good time for sound checks, but we all pulled through and got it done. Harjinder, the lead singer of the band Fatbook asked me if I could join him for an instrumental number during his set. I said “sure!.” It was only after that did we decided to ask each other what our names were 🙂... Read The Rest →

SikhLens Round up! Day Two

Day Two of the festival began Saturday morning for us. We tended to Kamaljeet’s Exhibition and answered questions about the art. When I say “we” here, I really mean Kamaljeet 🙂 It was then time for the Creative Sikhs panel. The panel began with a one on one conversation wtih IJ Singh and the moderator. Then the artists came out: Ishmeet Narula, Neelamjit Dhillon, Waris Ahluwalia, and Raginder Momi. Waris really told some inspiring stories that really hit me and Kamaljeet. For example, his simple attitude in addressing fear of... Read The Rest →

SikhLens Round up! Day One

This past weekend was the Sikhlens Art and Film festival. It was my third time participating at the festival and Kamaljeet’s second time. Kamaljeet was a featured artist this year and her paintings were on display throughout the festival. Her exhibition was made of up paintings that visually describe 8 ragas selected from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. Next to each painting was a QR code which could be scanned on your smartphone to hear Kamaljeet describe the raga followed by a short clip that played it. A... Read The Rest →

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