Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café to open 30th Anniversary Season of Music Haven

Music Haven launches its 30th anniversary season with a scintillating night of Indian pop music featuring Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café and special guests Crossroads—Jay Gandhi & Yacouba Sissoko.

The performance by originally scheduled season opener Raghu Dixit has
been canceled due to visa issues. And while disappointing to have to cancel, Music Haven is excited to continue to be able to produce an artist from India to launch the season.

“We are thrilled to present Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café regional debut at Music Haven,” says Founder/Producing Artistic Director Mona Golub. “We wanted to start this special season with a trip to India and we are staying the course. Arya’s music is vibrant and inspiring, as it takes Indian tradition for a contemporary spin.”

The timeless verses of the 15th-century Indian mystic poet Kabir come alive through the music of Kabir Cafe. Founded by social activist Neeraj Arya, Kabir Cafe has pioneered Kabir Rock, which blends the vibrancy of folk music from the Indian region of Malwa and the discipline of Carnatic (or Indian classical) music with the gritty energy of rock and dance vibes of reggae and pop. The group is comprised of Arya, a former protest singer; mandolin player Raman Iyer; Mukund Ramaswamy, a rigorously schooled Carnatic musician; drummer Viren Solanki, from a family of Kabirpanthis
(followers of Kabir’s teachings); and a former music teacher and bassist, Poubuanpou Britto KC, who only got to know Kabir through the band.

Kabir Cafe has been featured on the nationally syndicated show The Dewarists in India, collaborated with famed Bollywood composer and
singer Vishal Dadlani and been featured on BBC’s Arts Hour. Their songs “Hoshiyar Rehna” and “Man Lagyo Yaar Fakiri Mein” are part of the Bollywood films Badshaho and Hindi Medium respectively.

The quintet’s second album, Kabir Cafe Live, was released in early 2019.

With Crossroads, bansuri virtuoso Jay Gandhi and kora master Yacouba
Sissoko explores the grand musical traditions of West Africa and India.
Both hail from families with ancient musical ties, and together have
worked with contemporary musicians from Baaba Maal and Harry Belafonte to Paul Simon and Lauryn Hill. They will be joined by David Ellenbogen on guitar and Ehren Hanson on tabla.

Bring your appetite for more than great music, because food and drink will be available for purchase at this, and every, show at Music Haven this summer.

Michele’s Charcoal Pit returns to serve hungry Music Haven fans for
all of the Sunday global concerts in 2019. Mike’s Hotdogs will be on
hand for all other performances. Ben & Jerry’s will also scoop premium
ice cream at each show.

The international food feature for Raghu Dixit will be pea and potato
samosas with chutney, chana palak on rice with naan, and chicken tikka
masala on rice with naan from Shalimar Restaurant.

Wine and local craft beverages from Wolf Hollow Brewing Company and
Nine Pin Cider are available throughout the season.

In the case of inclement weather, Proctors remains the official rain
site for The Music Haven Concert Series.

The Schenectady Foundation and Price Chopper/Market 32 are the
Co-presenting Sponsors for the Music Haven Concert Series.

Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café at Music Haven is sponsored by M&T Bank,
Ellis Medicine and Fingerpaint.

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