Friday, June 25, 2004

The New York Times on the Desi Scene

The New York Times on the Desi Scene

And now the New York Times, in their Arts section, has found (yet again) the neverending hipster desi scene in New York.

In a pretty well written piece, the Times discuss the burgeoning (I don't know if a scene is still burgeoning after five years) South Asian American Arts/Music/Culture that is thriving in the US and specifically in New York.

"HEN "Bombay Dreams," the musical about making it in the Indian film capital known as Bollywood, was imported from London to Broadway this spring, it introduced some listeners to the madcap eclecticism of filmi, the song-and-dance numbers that punctuate Bollywood's sprawling musicals.

But Broadway was the last to know about the rendezvous of Indian and Western music. The profound improvisations of South Asian classical music — from revered figures like Ravi Shankar as well as younger masters like the tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain — have long been welcome in the city's concert halls, although the classical circuit is largely quiescent in summer.

Jazz musicians have been absorbing ideas and collaborating with Indian musicians at least since the 1960's. Hip-hop has latched on to Indian rhythms, most notably last year when Jay-Z added a rap to Panjabi MC's "Mundian To Bach Ke" to remake it as "Beware of the Boys." In New York's clubs, the sounds of Bollywood and other South Asian fusions have been drawing crowds for years: some to dance, some to listen, some to mingle and network.

In the article you will find more on Aladdin, a Bangladeshi comic, Karsh Kale a South Asian-American musician prodcer, Vijay Iyer an amazing Pianist, Vivek Bald, DJ Rekha, and AR Rahman among others.

We all know all things South Asian have been cool for some time, and Bombay Dreams, Monsoon Wedding, and Bend It Like Beckham, have added to this hipness in recent times. But as Vijay Iyer noted, "It's very trendy right now to be associated with all things South Asian. I don't know how long that's going to last. But I can't escape it; this is what I am. And I'm going to be with this forever."

To read the full article, click here

And as an added extra incentive, the times has links to music by the Midival Punditz, Panjabi MC, and Karsh Kale.


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