Shubh Saran w/ Roopa Mahadevan

April 3rd, 2022 9:30pm   Stage 2


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Shubh Saran

Shubh Saran is a New York-based guitarist, composer, and producer who has performed globally with his band throughout the United States, India, Canada, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Mexico. Having grown up in six different countries, his career has been shaped by a mixture of influences. Saran’s intricate compositions fuse sounds from modern jazz, neo-soul, and rock with classical and contemporary Indian music. In October 2021, Saran independently released his second full-length album and fourth overall release titled inglish – a groundbreaking work that explores concepts of assimilation, global identity, and native culture.

Pitchfork described inglish as “a heartfelt exploration of the ups and downs of being part of the world’s fastest-growing floating tribe—part global citizen, part cultural refugee,” and named the album to its list of Best Jazz and Experimental Music of 2021.

Before moving to New York City to start his music career, Saran studied at Berklee College of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. During this stage of his life, Saran was developing his craft, gaining opportunities to collaborate with artists such as A.R. Rahman, and establishing friendships and connections who would later in life become bandmates and collaborators. In 2017, Saran made his critically acclaimed debut with the release of Hmayra, and later followed up with H.A.D.D. (2018), and Becoming (2019). Throughout his career as a recording artist, each release has represented a different introspection for Saran.

His newest album inglish, entirely written, arranged, and produced by Saran, is a big step forward as an artist and composer. After releasing Becoming in late 2019, Saran and his seven-piece band toured briefly in the United States and India, and upon returning to the U.S. were faced with what became the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown. During this time, Saran quickly began writing and recording demos for what would ultimately transform into inglish. The new album explores new musical territory, as Saran incorporates predominant Indian and Middle Eastern instruments for the first time, while expanding the use of modular synthesizers in the momentous arrangements.

Roopa Mahadevan

Roopa is a leading second-generation Indian classical and crossover vocalist in the American diaspora, known for her powerful, emotive voice, versatility, and collaborative spirit. She leads the crossover ensemble Roopa in Flux, where she works with musicians in jazz, soul, and R&B, directs the innovative choir Navatman Music Collective, and sings for leading Bharathanatyam & modern dancers. Roopa also brings a critical commentary, humor, and authenticity to her work, often invoking her talents in dance and theater. Roopa trained in Carnatic music under Asha Ramesh and further under Suguna Varadachari through the Fulbright scholarship. Roopa has performed in diverse venues such as Chennai's Music Academy during the December festival, Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, which awarded her the title Kala Ratna, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, MET Museum, Chicago Cultural Center, and Hollywood Bowl, among others. She is a soloist on several albums, including Christopher Tin’s Grammy Award-winning Calling All Dawns, and has been chosen for residencies at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, Hedgebrook, Mass MOCA, and Joe's Pub (Working Group, currently). She recently received the prestigious Creative Work Fund grant. In a previous avatar, Roopa worked in public health policy, following degrees from Stanford University.