Category Archives: India & Pakistan: music, culture, social issues

Dance’s Healing Power: A Seed is Planted in Brooklyn; A Flower Grows in Pune

Text by Richard Bennett

At first glance, a dance class for people with Parkinson’s disease seems like a contradiction in terms. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system whose most obvious symptoms are movement related. Yet Olie Westheimer, who was facilitating a Parkinson’s support group in Brooklyn, had a hunch that rigorous dance training with world-class dancers and live music was exactly what her members needed.

Olie Westheimer at Gel Health 2009 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

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Concert Review: Richard Bennett creating a unique and soulful blend of jazz piano with raga

Richard Bennett

Photo by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Date: March 20, 2015
Venue: the Ruben Museum (NY)
Review by Dawoud
(All videos approved by the artist)

Pianist Richard Bennett has been making waves in the music community with his very original interpretations and experiments with applying Indian ragas and their inner concepts to the piano. On the spring equinox, he brought his work to the Rubin Museum of Art.

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CD Review: “Mumbai Masala,” Richard Bennett and Dhanashree Pandit Rai Take a Foray into Raga Fusion

Mumbai MasalaArtist: Richard Bennett and Dhanashree Pandit Rai
Title: Mumbai Masala
Label: Times Music
Genre: nu Indian music/Indian jazz/West meets East?

CD Review by Dawoud Kringle

Pianist / composer  Richard Bennet is one of the forefront musicians who are blending Indian raga with jazz. He released several groundbreaking recordings (including New York City Swara, Raga & Blues, Rhapsody in Yaman, etc.), and performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Guggenheim Museum, BAMcafe, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and NJPAC. He has toured the world with various jazz and blues ensembles.

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CD Review: The Bombay Royale… a musical romp through the mythology of cinema music born of the blending of eastern and western subcultures

The Bombay RoyaleArtist: The Bombay Royale
Title: The Island of Dr. Electro
Label: HopeStreet Recordings
Genre: synthesizing Indian classical and folk music with Western styles such as surf, rock and disco/soundtrack

CD Review by Dawoud Kringle

Formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 by musical director and saxophonist Andy Williamson, The Bombay Royale is an 11-piece Australian band fronted by singers Parvyn Kaur Singh and Shourov Bhattacharya. Taking soundtracks of 1960’s and 1970’s Bollywood movies as their main source of inspiration, their music synthesizes Indian classical and folk music with Western styles such as surf, rock and disco. In their beginning, they played covers of popular Hindi songs from the 60s and 70s. They have since composed and performed original music.

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