THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL'S FIRST-EVER CONCERT DEDICATED TO BOLLYWOOD MUSIC AND CULTURE FEATURES INDIA'S PRE-EMINENT COMPOSER AR RAHMAN
SUNDAY, JULY 16 at 7 PM
Media Sponsor: KCRW
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and KCRW present Bollywood Night! on Sunday July 16 at the Hollywood Bowl. This is the second of six Sunday evening performances that comprise the 2006 KCRW World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Although Indian artists have been featured in the past, this is the Hollywood Bowl's first night completely dedicated to the music and culture of India. Infectious song, breathtaking dance, and colorful movie clips on the Bowl's side screens make for a night of wonder, surprise and spectacle. This evening's host is Tom Schnabel, the Philharmonic's Program Director for World Music.
India's premier composer and musical genius, AR Rahman, performs for the first time in a non-South Asian venue for Bollywood Night!. Rahman is the man who has redefined contemporary Indian music, and is the pride of the Indian nation and a role model for millions around the world. Hailed by Time magazine as the 'Mozart of Madras,' Rahman is one of the most successful artists of all time, and according to a BBC estimate has sold more than 100 million albums of music from more than 50 movies.
The more traditionally based Musafir perform energetic hybrid versions of Indian folk and popular music. Musafir has performed to enthusiastic crowds at hundreds of concerts and festivals all over Europe. Bollywood Night! features several notable special guests including Sukhwinder Singh, Hariharan, Sadhana Sarga, Madhushree, and Anisha Nagarajan, the lead actress and star of the Broadway musical Bombay Dreams. Global Rhythms, a fifty piece choir and percussion ensemble from Miami University in Ohio, conducted by Ethan Sperry, a former member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, joins AR Rahman for this special evening. Raagapella, Stanford University's all-male South Asian a cappella group, specializes in the fusion of South Asian and Western music, and joins this incredible lineup of talented musicians for Bollywood Night!. Local dance troupe Bollywood Step Dance performs innovative routines, and Sher Foundation brings Southern California's most talented bhangra dancers to the stage.
Upcoming KCRW World Festival performances also include the Flaming Lips, Thievery Corporation, and Os Mutantes, on July 23; Bob Marley: Roots, Rock, Reggae Festival 2006 on August 13 with Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Ozomatli; the Gotan Project, Zero 7, Jose Gonzalez, Sia, and Matthew Herbert on August 27; and on September 10, country music legend Willie Nelson-country roots-rocker Ryan Adams, and "torch and twang" singer/songwriter Neko Case present the finest in American music.
AR Rahman has won 17 Filmfare awards (the Indian equivalent of the Oscars), 3 MTV awards, 4 IIFA awards, 6 TamilNadu State awards, 6 Zee awards, 4 screen awards and more. He has also been given the prestigious Padmashree (the highest civilian honour in India) award by the Government of India in the year 2000 for outstanding contribution to the Indian film industry. Rahman is widely considered as the man who single-handedly revived public interest towards Indian film music. In 1991, noted film maker Mani Ratnam offered Rahman a movie Roja which was a run-away success and brought nation wide fame and acclaim to the composer. Rahman followed up Roja with Gentleman, Thiruda Thiruda, Kaadhalan, Bombay and Minssara Kannavu all of which were huge chartbusters and were dubbed in Hindi as well. Other hits in Tamil include Alaipayuthey, Kandukondein Kandukondein, Jeans, Mudalvan, Kannathil Muthamittal, Boys etc. His foray into Hindi movies started off with a big bang in the superhit Rangeela followed by Dil Se, Taal, 1947/Earth, Pukar, Lagaan , Zubeida, Meenaxi, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Yuva, Tehzeeb amongst others all of which had huge album sales. His more recent releases include, Swades, Ah-Aah, Bose: The forgotten hero, The Rising, Water and Rang De Basanti all of which have been critically acclaimed and well received. In 2001, Andrew Lloyd Webber, the well known composer of musicals like Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar e.t.c. invited Rahman to compose for the musical, Bombay Dreams, which opened to packed houses at London's West end. The show had an unprecedented run for 2 years and later premiered at New York's Broadway. Rahman is also involved in other charitable causes. In 2004, he was appointed as the Global Ambassador of the Stop T B Partnership, a project by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He also supports charities like Save the Children, India and as a producer on the single 'We can make it better' by Don Asian alongside Mukhtar Sahota, A.R. Rahman showed his charitable side again with all proceeds going to the Tsunami victims, as did his 2004 Tsunami relief concert in India.
Bollywood Step Dance provides professional dance training and troupe performances for stage shows, music videos, film premieres, television/movies, media and corporate events, concerts, wedding receptions, private parties, workshops, classes, social/public events at a national and international level. Most recently, the Bollywood Step Dance troupe was featured in a Bollywood film and a sitcom for CBS. YOGI, Artistic Director/Choreographer of Bollywood Step Dance, has performed in over 150 live stage shows across the world. His work has also been showcased in many Indian music videos and Bollywood movies. His style includes developing new and innovative routines through dance styles like Jazz, Hip-Hop, Bollywood freestyle, Bhangra, and other Indian Folk dances. Rashmi Goel, Co-Founder/Dancer of Bollywood Step Dance has been dancing for 15 years and performed in numerous stage shows and made television appearances. Her work experience entails being a live stage emcee and a television host/producer for both the American and South Asian markets. Saloni Ashok Swarup, an accomplished Choreographer/Dancer, has spent five years working in Bollywood under prestigious choreographers and has performed in numerous stage shows. She is currently pursuing her passion for dance by attempting to bring the Bollywood style of dance to the U.S. and International markets.
Hariharan the son of well-known Carnatic musician Smt. Alamelu Mani and Late Shri H.A.S. Mani, had his initial training in Carnatic music, but later switched over to the Hindustani style under the aegis of Padmashree Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Kahn. In the '80s Hari turned to ghazal singing. Since then, he's cut a variety of ghazal albums like Aaab-shar-e-ghazal with Asha Bohsle and Hazir with Ustad Zakir Hussain. Gulfam, released in 1993, won him the Diva Award for Best Album of the Year and he achieved Double Platinum sales for the same. In 1997 Paigam fetched him Double Platinum sales again. He has released 25 ghazal albums, four Colonial Cousin albums, three fusion albums, and a variety of other streams of music. Since his debut in playback singing in 1977, Hariharan has sung over 300 Hindi film songs under various music directors. The song "Mere Dushman Mere Bhai" won him the National Award. Hariharan also has a number of Tamil songs to his credit. In 1996, Hariharan and Leslie Lewis formed a band called Colonial Cousins, and the video for the song "Sa Ni Da Pa," from their self-titled maiden album, won the MTV Indian Viewer's Choice award in New York. The album also won the Best Album, Best Pop Song, Best Production Values, and Viewer's Choice Award in 1996 at the [V] Channel Awards Night. Hariharan has performed various concerts for the Kargil Relief Fund and for mentally challenged children's institutions. He's also performed exclusive concerts for the ex-Prime Minister at Kumaragam in 2001 and at Goa in 2002. He rendered the invocation song at Parliament on January 26, 2000, during the centenary of Independence.
Madhushree originally named as Sujata Bhattachya, was just seven years old when she was introduced to the legendary music director, Madan Mohan, which changed her life. He was so impressed by her voice that he decided to take her under his guidance and was the first to predict that her talent in Khayal gayaki would hold her in good position as a playback singer in Hindi films. Since then Madhushree has become a versatile singer and performer with true star quality and has been credited with playback singing for super-hit films like Rang De Basanti, Kisna, Swades, Yuva, Kal Ho Na Ho, Kuchh Naa Kaho, Tehzeeb, Saathiya, and many more in Bollywood. She has also performed with legends of the music industry, like A.R. Rahman, Udit Narain, Hariharan, Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, Alka Agnik, Chitra, and Sadhana Sargam, to name a few. Winning the Sony Stardust Award 2005 for Best Female Singing Sensation for her song "Kabhi Neem Neem…" in Yuva was the turning point of her life, and Madhushree as singing star was born.
Musafir was conceived in France by Hameed Khan, a tabla player. Hameed Khan's background in jazz, Arabic music, North Indian classical music, Breton music, and various crossover styles has produced an eclectic aesthetic. Hameed's inspiration was to showcase Rajasthan in a "folkloric cabaret." Musafir's original compositions combine Rajasthani rural folk music with influences from Qawwali (Muslim devotional music), Indian film music, Arab popular music, and Hindustani (North Indian classical) music. Musafir is featured on the CD Gypsies of Rajasthan (Blue Flame) and some members appeared in the film Latcho Drom, a staged documentary of gypsy music. In The Gypsy Caravan, a musical component of Musafir portrays the symbolic and historical connection of Roma to northwest India. The band is composed of professional musicians who inhabit the Thar desert in northwest Rajasthan. They are members of the Langa, Manghaniyar, and Sapera groups. Langas are Muslim and are able to lead a sedentary life because they have a stable patron-client relationship, unlike the Sapera who migrate in search of work. Langas are known for their improvisations and their instrumental and vocal ornamentation. Men and women often perform together. Manghaniyars, like Langas, are sedentary Muslims whose home extends over the border into Pakistan, but their patrons are mostly Hindu Rajputs (a high caste) and Hindu Charans (a caste of poets, bards, and historians). The Saperas (from the word Sap, snake) are a sub-group of the migrant community of Kalbeliyas, who travel with mules and dogs. Their dances, often performed by women, are featured in Musafir. They specialize in curing snakebites and in snake charming. Langas play the sarangi, a vertically held bowed stringed instrument. The kamaycha (vertically held string instrument) is the trademark instrument of the Manghaniyars but is now being replaced by harmonium (small keyboard introduced into India by the British). The performers of Musafir play multiple instruments and sing.
Anisha Nagarajan originated the lead role of Priya in the Broadway production of A.R. Rahman's Bombay Dreams (Broadway Theatre). Other Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Hair (Actor's Fund Benefit, New Amsterdam Theatre) and Snapshots (45th Street Theatre). Anisha's regional theater credits include Princesses (5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle) and Song Cycle of a Life (O'Reilly Theatre, Pittsburgh). She performed for the President and Queen Elizabeth at Winfield House, Regents Park, London. She has also performed at the Samuel Tilden Mansion in Gramercy Park and at Carnegie Hall, New York. Anisha's expertise and interests include piano composition, piano performance, and Indian vocal music. She has studied piano performance under Natasha Snitkovsky and piano composition under Lucas Richman. She has studied vocal music under teachers such as Joan Lader in New York and T. R. Subramaniam, S. R. Janakiram, and Aruna Sairam in Pittsburgh. She is a recognized alumna of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied theatre at the Stella Adler Studio.
Raagapella is Stanford University'sall-male South Asian focus a cappella group. The group aims to blend Western singing forms with a multitude of musical traditions styled in the subcontinent, bringing a unique flair to the genre. With performances throughout the greater Bay Area and across the West coast, Raagapella has sung in venues ranging from campus dormitories to packed auditoriums. In 2005, Raagapella won the National South Asian A Cappella Championship at UC Berkeley and released its debut album "Raags to Riches" to much critical acclaim, including two perfect scores from the Recorded A Cappella Review Board, the only album of its genre to ever do so.
Sadhana Sargam has worked with almost all well-known music directors, such as Naushadji, Ravindra Jain, Laxmikant Pyarelal, R.D. Burman, Kalyanji Anandji, Rajesh Roshan, Anand Raj Anand, Anu Malik, Nadeem Shravan, Jatin Lalit, Anand Milind, Viju Shah, Babul Bose, Sandesh Shandilya, and many more. Sadhana has also worked with music directors of the south as well, including A.R. Rahman, Illaiya Raja, Karthik Raja, Deva, and Vidya Sagar. Sadhana's talents were ultimately recognized when she won the National Award for the Year 2001 as the Best Female Singer for her Tamil song "Patta Cholli," from the movie Azhaghi, composed by the legendary music director Illaiya Raja. Her latest award is the Pan Parag Zee Cine Award for the year 2003, for the song "Kuch Na Kaho" from the movie Kuch Na Kaho, composed by Shankar, Ehsaan, and Loy. Sargam has to her credit the first International Chinese Project, Warriors of Heaven and Earth, in which she sang the song "Khamoshi mein pukar hai," composed by A.R. Rahman. She has also won numerous Best Female Playback Singer awards. Being a versatile singer, Sadhana has not limited herself to playback singing, but has sung on many acclaimed albums too - Kabhi Aasoon Kabhi Khushboo Kabhi Nagma, Oh My Love, Tanhai, and her latest, Chana Ve.
Sukhwinder Singh's first effort in Hindi films, "Aaja Sanam," went largely unremarked, even though the music carried the names of Laxmikant-Pyarelal. The song simply disappeared in the whirlpool of Bollywood, leaving him in much the same state. And then, along came Dil Se. A R Rahman, always interested in something new, used Sukhwinder for the unforgettable "Chaiyya chaiyya," and for the singer, that was that. Sukhwinder is now regarded as a sensitive and eloquent singer. Other films followed, notable among which are Taal, Biwi No 1, 1947 Earth, Daag, Dillagi and Thakshak have now made him a household word. Sukhwinder owes a large part of his success to Rahman's encouragement. Rahman and Sukhwinder are presently working very closely together, and the duo have decided to make music that is not tailor-made to fit in with films, but to venture into realms where they can truly express themselves.
Sher Foundation spans a decade of Southern California's most talented Bhangra dancers. These men bring a style of Bhangra that is rare to find these days; they value grace and tradition in their captivating, unique style. Their hope is to bring a part of history, culture, and a flavor of Punjab to the stage.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 38th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2006, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the second year in a row at the 17th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
SUNDAY, JULY 16 at 7 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
In order of appearance:
With special guests:
Dancers from Bollywood Step Dance
Tom Schnabel, host
Media sponsor: KCRW
Tickets ($5 - 93) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at HollywoodBowl.com. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.
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Adam Crane, 213.972.3034; Lisa Bellamore, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034