Washington DC: On September 15, The Kaveri Kannada Association celebrated their much awaited Kaveri Ganesha Hubba 2012 at the Langley High School in McLean, VA. Kaveri is a cultural organization representing the Kannada speaking people living in Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington DC area. Their mission is to propagate the rich language, culture, music, dance, and drama of Karnataka among the Kannadiga populace.
It was refreshing to see a large turnout at the event and the excitement that was written all over the faces of the audience as they filed into the auditorium. The event was preceded by Sri Ganesha pooja and was followed by a dazzling cultural show which exhibited the multifaceted talent of the performers. The highlight of the event was a two hour high-octane and scintillating performance by the contemporary folk rock band from Bangalore ?The Raghu Dixit Project? currently on the final leg of their U.S. tour. The band?s music is a fusion of Indian ethnic music and styles from different parts of the world. The band consists of Raghu Dixit – Vocals / Acoustic Guitar, Gaurav Vaz – Bass Guitar, Wilfred D’moz – Drums / Percussion, Parth Chandiramani ? Flute, and Bryden Lewis ? Lead Guitar. With over 500 shows in 12 different countries to their credit, the band needs no introduction. In 2008, The Raghu Dixit Project?s debut album Antaragni: The Fire Within went on to become the highest selling non-film music album of that year. The band has played many shows globally including in the United States, the UK, Korea, Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, and India. In June 2011, the Raghu Dixit Project performed at several venues at the Glastonbury Festival.
Raghu Dixit emphasizes that their music is a true representation of today?s India – ethnic and rooted at the core, but at the same time, global in its outlook. He got his big break in Bollywood when composers Vishal and Shekhar spotted him during his performance at Zenzi in Mumbai in 2007. Raghu?s self-titled album became the biggest selling non-Bollywood record in India. In 2008, he debuted as a music director in the Kannada film industry with Psycho and also composed and sang in the Bollywood movie Quick Gun Murugan. His recent soundtracks in the Kannada films, Just Math Mathalli and Kote, was a big hit with the audience. He made his Bollywood debut with the film Mujhse Fraaanship Karoge in 2011. Bass Guitarist Gaurav Vaz started playing for The Raghu Dixit Project in late 2006 and also manages the band. ?I started managing the band as well and have seen the band grow from smaller beginnings in Bangalore to being called a ?Cultural Export? from India, and being counted easily as one of the best bands in the country right now?, Gaurav says. Wilfred D’moz, Bryden Lewis, and Parth Chandiramani have also been an integral part of the band and take pride in its success.
The Kaveri Kannada Association members were treated to a wide variety of songs from the band which pulled out all stops to keep the crowd entertained and engaged by injecting rich creativity in their songs through an artistic delivery of fusion music. They got the crowd swaying to their opening song ?Hey Bhagwan? and also cajoled the audiences to join them in singing ?Lokada Kalaji?. They performed songs that included ? ?Madeshwara? from the Kannada movie Psycho and ?Neene Beku? which sent the crowd into a nostalgic burst of dancing in the vicinity of the stage. The band successfully was able to get those in the audience that were not brave enough to take to the dance floor to join in the party by breaking into a sudden burst of high energy music drawing on blues, rock, reggae, bhangra, Latin and Sufi in a commixture of languages ? English, Kannada, and Hindi.
It was a delight to watch a local Bangalore band perform right here in the heart of the nation?s capital city ? Washington DC and listen to music in languages that are dear to our heart. The band wrapped up their performance for the day with their popular number ?Mysore Se Aayi? which Raghu Dixit has also performed in April 2012 for Queen Elizabeth II of England and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, at a spectacular Diamond Jubilee Pageant marking 60 years since her accession to the throne.
The band has just completed their U.S. tour and will now be taking their shows to more countries. You can catch their show next month at the Bangalore OKtoberfest 2012. The band is determined to continue on its trajectory of success and given the meteoric rise in their popularity, this is certainly not a tall order.
Author: Ashrita Santhumayor