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USA/Canada Entertainment News
Music -> IAAC Music Festival
Salman Ahmad (Junoon) IAAC MUSIC FESTIVAL
Sunday July 30 @ 3 - 7 pm
featuring Salman Ahmad Junooni, Marina Alam, Shivamani, Karsh Kale
Summer Stage, Central Park, NYC
Admission Free

Indo-American Arts Council presents the IAAC Music Festival in association with Summer Stage, Central Park on Sunday July 30, 2006 from 3-7pm. This year's festival features Salman Ahmad aka Junoon, classical singer Marina Alam, India's most popular percussionist Sivamani and and NYLon-er Karsh Kale.


Salman Ahmad 'Junoon'

Salman Ahmad is a doctor by training and a rock musician by profession. Salman went to school in his birth place of Lahore, Pakistan and then moved with his family to New York where he went to Tappan Zee high school in Tappan, NY.

Salman Ahmad (Junoon)After graduating from high school in the U.S. he got his medical degree from Pakistan's King Edward Medical college in Lahore. While in med school he was also a member of Pakistan's first pop band, Vital Signs, whose debut album sold a million copies. The album included the mega-hit anthem "Dil, Dil Pakistan". The success of Dil Dil Pakistan made the vital signs into overnight Pop stars. This is when Salman decided that he was going to give up his stethoscope and pick up his guitar. He left the Vital Signs in 1990 and founded South Asia's biggest rock band, Junoon.

Junoon has sold over 25 million albums world wide and has the distinction of being the first ever rock band to be invited to perform at the U.N. general assembly by U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan back In 2001.

Salman has also been appointed as U.N. goodwill ambassador for hiv/aids. He has personalized the "I care,do you" U.N. poster campaign in Pakistan by paraphrasing a popular quranic verse "saving one life (from aids) is like saving the whole of humanity". Recently he has appeared in two documentary films: 'It's my country too' on muslim-Americans and 'Rockstar and the Mullahs' which has won a SAJA award. Both films have been broadcast worldwide on PBS and the BBC.

Junoon has won Channel V's "Best International Group Award" in India and has also been the subject of a VH-1 documentary ,'Islamabad:Rock City' presented by hollywood movie star Susan Sarandon.

Salman has been a passionate activist in promoting peace in the subcontinent. His efforts in bridgebuilding between India and Pakistan has resulted in a song/video he produced called Ghoom Tana. Ghoom tana appears on his latest solo album 'Infiniti' and is currently being broadcast on MTV desi in the United States.

Marina Ahmad Alam

Marina Ahmad Alam was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and has been training in Indian Classical music since the age of four. In Bangladesh she studied under the tutelage of Ustad Phul Mohammed Khan and Shri Bari Majumdar. She continued her training at Dhaka Music College and then studied at Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya in New Delhi, India.

Marina AlamMarina is a senior disciple of Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj, receiving training in the Mewati Gharana for over two decades. She regularly accompanies Pandit Jasraj, performing alongside him worldwide. Marina is currently also training under the guidance of Ms. Manik Bhide in the Jaipur Gharana. Marina has a wide repertoire and also performs thumris, ghazals, and bhajans. She has recently been experimenting with more contemporary styles such as jazz-fusion, which uniquely combines the depth of the Indian classical style with the free-flowing motion of jazz. She currently resides in New York and teaches several students across the Tri-State area.

Sivamani

Following in his father Mr. S. M. Anandhan's footsteps, Sivamani shared a passion for drumming and has been playing since the age of 7. His dazzing showmanship on large multiple percussion setup has wowed audiences round the world including Singapore,Toronto, Dubai, New York, Los Angle and Moscow to name just a few.

SivamaniHis multifarious skills have been much engaged for studio recordings and his work has enriched many bollywood film soundtracks. He has been a principal percussionist both live and on record for A R Rahman, one of the India's most prominent and innovative film composers whose musical 'Bombay Dreams' has recently been staged by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Apollo Theatre.

Sivamani has also performed for a wealth of other Artists including Zakir Hussanin, Billy Cobham, Louis Banks, U. Srinivasan (Mandalin), Shankar Mahadevan, Shankar, Ginger, and the Hollywood star Steven Segal.

Recently he has invited to London to perform at an event called 23 and a half days of Bollywood at the prestigious Selfridges store in London's Oxford Street. His shows heading the music aspect of this presentation which also featured fashion and dance.

He is one of India's best known and most colourful percussionist with a sparkle, presence and charisma unmatched in the entertainment world.

Karsh Kale ' Broken English'

Karsh KaleOn Broken English, London born and New York raised Karsh Kale balances his Indian heritage with rock 'n' roll, hip hop and atmospheric pop for his most diverse release to date. On this, his third studio release, Kale works with a talented cast of collaborators including MC Napoleon and vocalists Trixie Reiss (The Crystal Method), film composer Salim Merchant (one half of the “it” Bollywood composer team, Salim-Sulaiman) and Dierdre (Ekova).

Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-Lay) has spent much of the past five years watching music critics try to describe his music as some kind of hybrid of Eastern and Western, or traditional and electronic. And it’s true that his early goal of bringing Indian classical music into the Western pop mainstream led him to create some genre-busting global electronic music.

Like his contemporary, Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A., Kale has found a way to incorporate his roots into a thoroughly modern context. His first solo album, in 2001, Realize, established the young tabla-playing producer as a major force in the Asian Massive movement – a club-based phenomenon on several continents. Even then, Kale was telling reviewers that his goal was “to take this music to the next level.”

Part of that meant live performance, and Kale’s follow up album, Liberation, was a highly polished, tightly-produced collection that Kale and his band could perform live. Another part of the “next level” was getting to a point where the South Asian elements were simply an accepted part of the mainstream pop vernacular. On his latest CD, Broken English, Kale has cut a clear path through the World Music underground and emerged with an album of truly global pop.

Recently, Karsh Kale has been increasingly adamant that words like “exotic” don’t really apply to his music. “This music comes from New York,” he told one writer. “It really shouldn’t be treated differently from any other music that comes from New York.” And he’s right: it’s the Bhangra and Bollywood of Jackson Heights, the hip hop of Brooklyn and the South Bronx, the electronica of the Chelsea nightclubs, and the rock-n-roll of the Lower East Side.

Part of what makes Kale a central figure on the emerging international music scene is that he’s as hard to pin down as his music. He lives and works in New York, but was born in London to an Indian family. His live band, which features singer Vishal Vaid, is equally capable of pushing the groove and cranking it up to eleven or of performing a traditional North Indian ghazal, a light-classical form of music and poetry that is centuries old.

For generations of young Americans like Kale, these different musical styles aren’t really so different at all – it’s simply the music they’ve grown up with. During the course of three records, Kale and crew have gone from a buoyant but conscious fusion of Asian and Western music to the current state of the art, which Kale has termed “rocktronic organica” – unapologetically Indian and thoroughly American.

 

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