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BOLLYWOOD GHARANA ROCKED NYC!
    
New Yorkers saw a rocking performance at the Elebash Recital Hall on Friday June 7th by a very special band from Mumbai, BOLLYWOOD GHARANA, which is a crossover of Bollywood and classical music. The band performed Bollywood hits with a fresh twist of Indian classical music. It was a true treat for music lovers who were literally dancing in their seats throughout the concert!
 
Bollywood Gharana
 
The concert was presented by the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC), one of the pioneering non-profit arts organization, passionately dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of the arts and artists whose heritage lies in the Indian subcontinent in the performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and folk arts. The concert was co-presented with the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY). Bollywood Gharana was created by Abhijit Pohankar, the son of classical vocalist Pandit Ajay Pohankar. Abhijit , the master craftsman of fusion music, has once again created the perfect blend of classical music with popular Bollywood music. Bhavya Pandit, the lead vocalist of the band is a well known playback singer. Bhavya's singing truly stole everyone's heart with her mellifluous singing, wit and charm. She spread cheer with her effervescent attitude on stage. Gandhar Deshpande was the classical vocalist of the band. One can tell he has had rigorous training because the compositions he performed were authentic but he also made them sound very cool.Keyur Barve on drums, Rahul Deo on Bass & Sourabh Joshi on Guitar added more magic to the evening.
Bollywood Gharana
 

The executive director of IAAC, Sunil Hali called this the "breaking boundaries" concert!

The band presented many popular Bollywood songs from the 80s and 90s along with old and new classical bandishes (compositions), set in similar ragas simultaneously. The perfect blending of the Bollywood and classical made it a joy to listen to for non classical listeners not familiar with the music. The audience members were dancing in ecstasy during the finale of the evening.

Shampa Chanda, a student of Indian classical music said she found the concert to be very entertaining and informative ! She found how some of the ragas were juxtaposed with the Bollywood songs, very interesting.

Anurag Harsh, IAAC board member and classical vocalist said,"Bollywood Gharana is a refreshing introduction to what is possible when contemporary music is painstakingly weaved in with traditional classical music. Abhijit Pohankar is a wizard at this and the credit goes to his father the great Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Ajay Pohankar. Pandit ji used to come to my parents house often and his sargams I recall were the best I had ever heard in the world of classical music. He was also among the few classical maestros that had total command over Thumri and lighter musical forms. Much of Panditji’s finesse has come into Bollywood Gharana through his son Abhijit and this band has shown how to do “fusion” the right way. The impact Bollywood Gharana had on our audience was mesmerizing. This was a memorable concert that rocked NYC and we look forward to presenting more such concerts in the future".

While introducing the artists, Sunny Thakkar, the artistic director of music at IAAC had said to the audience members that they were all in for a treat. Well that was an understatement according to many audience members who could not stop singing praises of the band.

The evening saw audiences from all over the tri-state area. Dr. Urvashi Kapoor, an avid music lover traveled from far end of Long Island with 6 of her friends to watch the band live in concert. She was elated when they performed their signature number "Piya Tu Ab Toh Aja" along with a 100 year old bandish "Dholan Mende Ghar Aa". She said it was even better hearing them live and very happy she made the trip out to NYC!

IAAC would like to continue this musical journey and keep on bringing such magical musical evenings to New York City. It is only possible with the support of such audience members and music patrons. We hope that you all will join us for our future endeavors!

 
Bollywood Gharana
  
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