Campus News

01.17.2018

Multiple Juno Award Winner Kiran Ahluwalia Performs Indian Fusion Music

Multiple Juno Award Winner Kiran Ahluwalia Performs Indian Fusion Music at Soka Performing Arts Center

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Aliso Viejo, CA – Juno Award winner Kiran Ahluwalia performs at Soka Performing Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre on Friday, February 16, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults; $26 for students, seniors, and active military families; and $22 each for groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets online at PerformingArts.Soka.edu or by calling 949-480-4ART (4278).

Kiran Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the great vocal traditions of India and Pakistan. Her original compositions embody the essence of Indian music while embracing influences from both the West and Africa, specifically the Sahara. With her five-piece group of electric and acoustic guitar, harmonium, tabla, and electric bass, Ahluwalia creates boundary-breaking songs that explore the human condition and transcendence of the self through love.

Ahluwalia was nominated four times for a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Award) and won for World Music Album of the Year in 2004 (Beyond Boundaries) and 2012 (Aam Zameen: Common Ground). Before composing her fourth album, Ahluwalia met her musical and marital partner Rez Abbasi. A New York City jazz guitarist with a Pakistani-American background, Abbasi’s accolades include “No. 1 Rising Star Guitarist” on Downbeat magazine’s International Critic’s Poll. His arrangements and ideas played a crucial role in influencing her to compose and present in a more modern sensibility. Together they traveled to Portugal to collaborate with fado musicians for Kiran’s fifth recording Wanderlust (2008 Juno Award nominee).

Born in India and raised in Canada, Ahluwalia has immersed herself in Indian classical music and Ghazal, a song form based on Urdu poetry, since age seven. Ahluwalia continued musical training alongside regular school and graduated from the University of Toronto. Afterward, Ahluwalia returned to India where she spent a decade of intense study with her classical guru Padma Talwalkar and her Ghazal guru Vithal Rao. At the same time, she traveled throughout the Punjab, embracing the style and approach of Punjabi folk songs. Later, after a chance encounter with the Malian group Tinariwen, Ahluwalia studied the guitar-driven approach of Tuareg music of the Sahara desert, and other West African music. She has toured regularly in North America and Europe, and has performed at desert festivals in Mali, Morocco, and India. 

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