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BRM Weekly: Anjna Swaminathan, Arooj Aftab, and Rafiq Bhatia

  • Jalopy Theatre and School of Music 315 Columbia Street Brooklyn, NY, 11231 United States (map)

$10 Advance | $15 Door | 8pm | BRM Weekly Raga Jam- 10pm

An evening of improvised music by three South Asian American musicians, each of whom brings intentionality, play and expression to exploring their unique musical traditions and idioms in conjunction with creative music. Their shared sound takes inspiration from Raga music, Sufi music, jazz, rock, electronic music and everywhere in between.

Anjna Swaminathan is a versatile violinist, composer, and multidisciplinary artist. A disciple of the late violin maestro M.S. Gopalakrishnan and H.K. Narasimhamurthy, she performs regularly in Carnatic, Hindustani and creative music settings. Her current mentors include Samarth Nagarkar (Hindustani music) and T.M. Krishna (Carnatic music). In the summer of 2014, Anjna was a participant at the celebrated Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, where she worked closely with eminent jazz and creative musicians, and led workshops on Carnatic music. As a theatre artist, writer and dramaturg with interests in the intersection of race, class/caste, gender and sexuality, Hindu vedantic philosophy, and the boundaries of postcolonial Indian nationhood, Anjna often engages in artistic work that ties together multiple aesthetic forms towards a critical consciousness. During the past few years, Anjna has delved into the realm of composition and is currently a fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.

An internationally acclaimed Sufi Musician, Vocalist and Songwriter, Arooj Aftab layers subtle, intricate, dynamic vocals over acoustic instrumentation, skillfully re-imagining indigenous soul with signature ‘cool.’

Paying homage to classical Sufi legends such as Abida Parveen and Reshma; neo-soul and jazz icons such as Sade and Ella Fitzgerald; and contemporary world musicians such as Marisa Monte and Fat Freddy’s Drop, Aftab presents an original, interactive sound embraced by young and old, South Asian and beyond.

Arooj is also an Audio Engineer, Producer and Sound Designer – distinct in her field as a Pakistani female. A graduate from Berklee College of Music, she is driven by her passion for music, technology, high-quality audio, and attention to detail. Arooj’s experience as an emerging engineer is impressive; having worked with outstanding talents in film, music, and radio, she has successfully established herself as a professional audio editor in New York City.

Heralded as "one of the most intriguing figures in music today" by the New York Times, composer, producer, and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia's music reconciles meticulous sound art with mercurial improvisation to deliver searing emotional intensity. His second album, Breaking English (2018, ANTI-) reveals "a stunningly focused new sound" (Chicago Reader) that is "mesmerizing" (XLR8R), "dark, powerful, inventive" (Stereogum), and "a thoroughly engaging experimental enterprise" (Wall Street Journal). "A guitarist who refuses to be pinned down to one genre, culture, or instrument" (New York Times), Bhatia is a member of the band Son Lux, and has appeared on recordings or in performance with artists across disciplines including Olga Bell, Sam Dew, Marcus Gilmore, Billy Hart, Heems, Helado Negro, Vijay Iyer, Lorde, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Sufjan Stevens, Moses Sumney, David Virelles, and numerous others.

**Special announcement for Musicians!** BRM cordially invites you to join us in the ongoing effort to cultivate a home for intercultural musical dialogue. We are happy to offer FREE ENTRY TO MUSICIANS AFTER 10 PM WHO COME WITH THEIR INSTRUMENTS AND ARE READY TO PLAY! Please come out and engage with one of NYC's most vibrant and diverse communities of improvising musicians hailing from all over the music world!

Earlier Event: October 12
Mondriaan Jazz Festival 2018
Later Event: October 25
BRM Weekly: Aditya Prakash