Inspiring performances at East-West Musical Jam

Singer Steve Balram Singh (left) and Aditi singing a duet
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Dr. Romesh Japra speaking after receiving his trophy

NEWARK, CA: The second East-West Musical Jam of the year was held last Friday, Nov 17 at Chandini Restaurant in Newark, California. The organizer for this evening of musical performances and complimentary dinner for guests was Srini Veeraraghavan, father of the lead featured singer, Aditi Srinivasan.

Aditi is a talented teenager, trained in both Hindustani and Carnatic music, and has been making great strides with her performances. She has even started recording singles with mainstream music companies. Her accompanying singers were Lahar Dalal and Steve Balram Singh, with another teenager, Poorna Hegde, chipping in.

Rakhi Sharma brought energy and ‘shaayari’ (Urdu poetry) to her role as emcee. She had also anchored the last East-West jam event earlier this year.

The singers had a wonderful band of musicians backing them, with Rohit on the keyboard, Hiwayat Ali on the drums, Raju on the ‘tabla’, Rajeshvar Singh on the guitar and Shiraz on the bass guitar.

There were several invited dignitaries: Mr. K.V. Kumar, White House Advisor to President Trump; Dr. Romesh Japra, cardiologist, Founder and Convener of Festival of Globe and Publisher, India Post; Dr. Kiran Patel, eminent doctor and philanthropist who has recently made a very generous donation to Southern Nova Scotia University and was also one of the Grand Sponsors along with his wife, Mrs. Pallavi Patel; Mr. Gajanan Bhat, producer of the Kannada film, “MOJO”, that was screened at FOG Movie Fest 2017 and Paul LeJoy, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Pacific Realty Group, one of the main sponsors who made a presentation.

Mr. K.V. Kumar and Dr. Kiran Patel could not attend.
The event had the support of other generous sponsors such as Dr. Sarbjith Hundal, Dr. Shakir Hyder; Sangita Datta of New York Life; Dr. Ria Singh of the Chiropractic and Massage Clinic in Fremont, CA
Srini made special mention of Ms. Poonam Bajaj of SITAARRE TV who covered the event.

Poorna Hegde commenced the vocals with “Jiya re, jiya re…” and followed with an English number, “All I Ask”, demonstrating a surprising range.

Aditi made her entry with the contemporary “Mahi Re…” and, in an ode to one of her favorite singers, the legendary Lata Mangeshkar, she sang, “Naino main badra chaaye…”.Lahar Dalal came on board with an emotional solo rendition of the title number of “AeDil Hai Mushkil”.

Then Rakhi introduced Steve Balram Singh for whom, she said, music is the best relaxation for the mind. Steve paired up with Aditi for a few popular duets beginning with, “Jaane kaise kahaan ikraar ho gayaa…” Lahar stepped in to sing “Aaj ki raat hona hi kya…” with Aditi.

As a solo singer, Lahar channeled great legends such as Kishore Kumar with “O mere dilke chain…” and Mohammed Rafi with “Gulaabi aankhen sharaabi yehdil ho gayaa…”.

In the interlude, Rakhi started an interesting trivia game for the audience, asking the band members to play tunes and audience members to guess the songs. The last one remained an unsolved puzzle as the next performance had to begin.

Aditi’s new single video, “Shine” was played on the screen. It is produced by Sony Entertainment Company and recorded at Abstract Recording Studio.

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Singer Steve Balram Singh (left) and Aditi singing a duet

Srini and his wife, proud mother Shalini, took to the stage to felicitate the attending sponsors, dignitaries and the band members.

Dr. Romesh Japra, the first to be honored, reminisced about how American born Indian children were referred to as ABCD or American Born Confused Desis, but were now American Born Confident Desis.
He said, “When they come up like this in the mainstream, it is wonderful.”

One of Aditi’s long-time supporters, Mr. Rashid Siddiqui, said that Aditi was “such an inspiration”, and hoped that she would do well in Hollywood and Bollywood.

Alka Bhatnagar, Aditi’s teacher for Hindustani classical music, beamed on stage as she extended her congratulations. She said. “I was really impressed to hear her sing. Keep it up.”

In turn, Aditi expressed her gratitude to everyone. “Thank you for supporting me at every step of my musical journey”, she said, adding, “None of this would have been possible without the support of my parents.”

Afterwards, Lahar Dalal did beautiful renditions of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s number, “Mazaaaagayaa” and”Sayyoni”.

Towards the end, the singers welcomed everyone to the dance floor and belted out a medley of old, new and remixed numbers from the Shammi Kapoor era, “Aaja…aaja”, “Badan pe sitaare…”,”Piya tu ab to aaja…” to the 70s “Dum maaro dum…”, the 90s “Tu cheez badi hai mast mast…” to the more recent “Baali…baali”, and the pop-Bhangra “Hai yo Rabba…”

Lakshmi Iyer
India Post News Service

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