Music festival looks to jazz up Little Rock | KLRT


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An arts festival happening this month looks to “jazz” up Little Rock with the help of music students.

Art Porter Music Education’s “A Work of ART” kicked off in City Hall Monday with performances by music students from across the metro area.

The festival hopes to celebrate jazz and the legacy of little rock natives Art Porter, Senior and Art Porter, Junior, musicians who spread their love of jazz across the nation. 

One student performer says the education program taught him much more than just how to play, but ALSO how to appreciate everything music is.

“Over time, I met a lot of people who taught me what music is supposed to be and what it means to you,” Blake Bennett said. “So, music is also kind of just a journey in itself of just like self-discovery and just community. So, music can be a lot of things but to me, it’s education and community.”

The festival includes six performances in venues across the city, half of which are free. Upcoming performances include:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 1 at noon: Jazz on the River Plaza featuring Minors in Music, River Market Pavilions, 400 President Clinton Ave. (FREE) 
  • Wednesday, Aug. 2, 7 p.m.: Ronnie McBride, Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave.
  • Thursday, Aug. 3: 7 p.m.: Dr. Chelsey Green, The Rep, 601 Main St.
  • Friday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m.: Porter Players Jam Session, AC Hotel, 201 W. Capitol Ave. (FREE) 
  • Saturday, Aug. 5, 8 p.m.: Norman Brown, with a special performance by Lex Porter, Still Ballroom at the Robinson Center, 426 W. Markham St.

Tickets can be found on the program’s website,

All proceeds go to the APME scholarship fund.

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Start August with Great Live Music in NYC – The Aquarian


Everynight Charley recommends the following 60+ concerts in New York City this week. Contact the venue or the artists’ social media to confirm ticket availability, show times, COVID compliance, and other updates.

Monday, July 31

  • beabadoobee, Been Stellar at Terminal 5
  • Altin Gün, Rogê at Brooklyn Steel
  • Elle King at Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2
  • Stolen Gin, Richie Quake at Elsewhere Rooftop
  • Art Garfunkel, Jr. at City Winery NYC
  • Dove Blood, Mombs, Nevāda Nevada, Todd Goldstein at Berlin
  • Sasha Dobson & Friends at the Ear Inn
  • The T Blues Band w. Junior Mack & Hayden Fogle at Terra Blues
  • Richie Cannata’s Monday Night Jam at the Bitter End
  • Big Ed’s Blues Jam at the Red Lion
  • Open Blues Jam Mondays w. Joe Taino at Stitch Bar & Blues

Tuesday, August 1

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • Fall Out Boy, Bring Me the Horizon, Royal and the Serpent, Games We Play at Forest Hills Stadium
  • King Krule, Jerkcurb at the Kings Theatre
  • beabadoobee at Terminal 5
  • Royal & the Serpent at Rough Trade NYC
  • Cat Burns, Alia Kadir at Baby’s All Right
  • Rebounder, Ray Bull, Plastic Picnic at the Bowery Ballroom
  • Great Southern at City Winery NYC
  • JD Pinkus, Joecephus and the George Jonestown at the Kingsland
  • Tamar Korn & Friends at Barbes
  • SaRon Crenshaw (acoustic) at Terra Blues
  • The T Blues Band w. Bobby Bryan & Kelton Cooper at Terra Blues
  • Jason Green at City Winery Grand Central

Wednesday, August 2

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • Tyler Childers, Elle King at Radio City Music Hall
  • Pink Martini, China Forbes at the Rooftop at Pier 17
  • King Krule, Jerkcurb at the Kings Theatre
  • The Airborne Toxic Event at the Bowery Ballroom
  • Cafune, Juliana Madrid at Elsewhere Rooftop
    Grouplove (acoustic) at Rough Trade NYC
  • The Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra, the Lulada Club at Crotona Park
  • The Comet is Coming, Ibeyi, Aja Monet at SummerStage Central Park
  • The 502s at Hudson Yards Public Square and Gardens
  • Granger Smith w. Earl Dibbles Jr. at Irving Plaza
  • Loudon Wainwright III at City Winery NYC
  • LaMP at the Cutting Room
  • The Jamie McLean Band at the Bitter End
  • Mulebone at the Bitter End
  • The Andy Statman Trio at Barbès
  • Saddlemen, Fast Casual, Lyndsay Stone at Berlin
  • Michael Hill (acoustic) at Terra Blues
  • The David “Doc” French Band at Terra Blues
  • Armo at the Hugh Plaza
  • The Bakersfield Breakers at the 11th St. Bar
  • Seth Okrend at Stitch Bar & Blues

Thursday, August 3

  • P!NK, Brandi Carlile, Grouplove, KidCutUp at Citi Field
  • Tyler Childers, Elle King at Radio City Music Hall
  • NIKI, Kaz Moon at the Rooftop at Pier 17
  • Cavetown, mxmtoon, Ricky Montgomery, grentperez at SummerStage Central Park
  • Jorge Drexler, Cimafunk, Julieta Rada at the Lena Horne Bandshell at Prospect Park
  • The Airborne Toxic Event at the Bowery Ballroom
  • The Drums, Cold Hart at Webster Hall
  • Ruger, Jimmy October at Irving Plaza
  • John Waite, Jeffrey Gaines at City Winery NYC
  • Eddie Palmieri at Lincoln Center Dance Floor
  • The Rubinoos, Beauty at the Bowery Electric
  • New Myths, Hnry Flwr at Brooklyn Made
  • The David Peel Tribute Band, Exit 99, the Cynz, Crazy Mary, Rew Starr, Strange Majik, Blueberry High Heels, Bill Popp, Long Gone Day, Steve Bloom and the Bonghitters at the Parkside Lounge
  • Bayaz, MOVIE MOVIE, the Low Spirits, the Elevator Operators at Berlin
  • The PJ LaMariana Band at the 11th St. Bar
  • Days of Wild at the Red Lion
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Danna Paola Performs New Song With Steve Aoki at


Danna Paola made a splash at Tomorrowland this past weekend. The Mexican pop star performed live with DJs like Steve Aoki and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike at the EDM music festival in Belgium.

Tomorrowland first kicked off on July 21 at the Provinciaal Recreatiedomein De Schorre in Boom, Belgium. Danna Paola performed on the final nights of the festival on July 29 and 30. On Saturday night, she joined Steve Aoki to perform their upcoming collaboration, “Paranoia.” After previously teasing the song in Las Vegas, NV, a few months ago, she sang it live for the first time in front of thousands of people in the crowd.

Another star who joined Aoki during his set was Paris Hilton. The media personality and DJ debuted her collaboration with Aoki, “Lighter Without You,” at the festival. While there, Hilton also met Kid Cudi, Lil Jon, and Danna Paola. The “XT4S1S” hit-maker later posted her photos with Hilton and Lil Jon. She also shared a kiss with her boyfriend Alex Hoyer.

On Sunday night, Danna Paola was a special guest during Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s set. She is no stranger to the EDM scene. In March, she released the song “Mexico” alongside the DJ duo and Ne-Yo. For the first time, she performed the Kasango remix of the song live with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. 

Aoki hasn’t announced a release date yet for his song “Paranoia” with Danna Paola. Last month, he dropped “Invítame A Un Café” featuring Mexican-American singer Ángela Aguilar. He put a fresh house music spin on the classic “La Gata Bajo La Lluvia” by late Spanish icon Rocío Dúrcal. 

During a TikTok live, Danna revealed that later today (July 31), she will announce more information about her next single, “Tenemos Que Hablar.”

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Stray Kids step into the global spotlight at Lollapalooza


Midway through their historic Lollapalooza Paris set, Stray Kids’ resonant rapper Felix described their music as possessing “strange but special qualities.” They’ve concocted a word for this. It’s called “oddinary,” a portmanteau of “odd” and “ordinary.” It’s the idea that things considered peculiar will soon become normalized. They named an album after it. You could say an eight-member Korean boy group headlining one of the marquee international events on the summer festival circuit is the definition of oddinary, a radical display of ingenuity on a mainstream scale. 

As K-pop continues to dominate worldwide, its acts are becoming increasingly in demand on the global stage. Stray Kids join artists like BLACKPINK and j-hope in fronting major music festivals in the West — a testament to not only the industry’s growing influence and power but also Stray Kids’ prodigious popularity abroad. With three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, sold-out stadium shows in the U.S., and hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify, the group is on the precipice of superstardom. On Friday night, more than 60,000 people descended on the patchy grass fields of the Hippodrome ParisLongchamp to witness the fiery octet in action. 

Read more: 10 most criminally underrated Stray Kids songs

“When people think about boy bands, they think about the boy bands from the early 2000s, and it’s not that,” 31-year-old Julia explained on the grounds before their closing set. She’s been a fan of the group for the past few years, and she came from Poland to experience her first Stray Kids show. “Their music and performance, it’s refreshing.” 

[Photo by Kristy Sparow/ Getty]

For Sonja Conrads, a 25-year-old fan from Germany, it was a long time coming. The act hasn’t toured the region since 2019 after the European leg of their 2020 District 9: Unlock tour was canceled mid-pandemic. In traveling to Paris, she wanted to show the group “how loved they are in Europe, how big their fanbase is here, and the happiness they bring to us,” she told AP. She attended Lolla Paris with two friends she met online through their mutual interest in Stray Kids: Laninja, 33, who took the train from the Netherlands, and Nikolina, 25, from Northern Germany. Together, they arrived with the light sticks, keychains, and self-made merch in tow. They had previously attended the group’s Maniac Tour encore shows in Los Angeles in April. But the Lolla performance felt more special because Stray Kids were “so close to home,” Laninja explained, to which Nikolina added, “They seemed even wilder and more carefree on stage than what we were already used to. It was, in a way, a homage to the music they create.” 

Stray Kids don’t limit themselves to one genre. (“It doesn’t fit into any other box, it’s just Stray Kids,” Laninja said of their music.) Fusing elements of hip-hop with EDM, funk, hardcore, R&B, and pop, their signature sound is protean, like eclectic splatters of acrylic paint on canvas — always intentional in its loud disarray. Instead, Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N have become known for their undeniable technical prowess and staggering versatility. It’s the result of the creative autonomy they’ve established since their debut in 2018 when many of them were still teenagers. Led by Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, the primary architects of the group’s diverse catalog, Stray Kids express themselves freely through their music, delivering a barrage of bass-rumbling bangers with incisive lyrical finesse. Or, as Sonja explained, “It’s made by them, for us.” 

For Lollapalooza Paris, Stray Kids curated a lengthy 77-minute setlist that displayed the sheer distinctiveness of their discography and captured their explosive energy. Opening with a ceremonious chant of “Stray Kids everywhere all around the world” — a longtime rallying cry for the group and their fans — they set the tone with “Venom,” a slightly sinister web of trap and EDM that warns against falling for someone’s fatal charms. As eight inflatable spider legs (a Maniac tour prop) appeared on stage, however, it became clear they intended for it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

[Photo by Kristy Sparow/ Getty]

Joined by a live band, they doubled down on bombast with “Maniac” and “Thunderous,” the latter a potent mix of traditional Korean elements, heavy guitars, and hip-hop — which agile rapper Han called the group’s essence. They donned modern hanbok-inspired robes as vibrant swirls of Korean folk art were projected behind them, appearing through a boisterous sound storm made even more powerful by the live instrumentation. A celebration of Korean culture, it felt more like an anointment for K-pop’s wunderkinds. “They got their spice, their own recipe,” Nikolina said, a metaphorical reference to their hit 2020 single, “God’s Menu,” an aggressive barrage of rap and bass with a pinch of Kendrick Lamar that made the entire Lolla audience shout “du-du-du-du-du-du” at the top of their lungs. 

As Stray Kids drilled further through their performance, the full spectrum of their artistry came into view. “Domino,” a boastful hype track, concluded with a frantic drum-and-bass dance break led by beguiling dancer Hyunjin; the rock remix of “S-Class” showed off Seungmin’s vocal swagger; the debut stage of “Super Bowl,” the delectable English track off their most recent album, 5-Star, gave Lee Know and I.N opportunities to shine; “Topline,” a braggadocious anthem with Latin influences, allowed Han to flex his dexterous flow; and “HEYDAY,” a biting rap performance from the trio known as 3RACHA (Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han), ignited the crowd in a wave of screams — especially when Bang Chan knowingly bared his biceps.  

During “ITEM,” which opens with an 8-bit synth before Changbin bulldozes through the hook, someone from England I had met just hours prior had leaned over and said, “You didn’t tell me they were a nü-metal band.” Watching Felix command the stage with frontman charisma and Han evoke the aura of a rockstar with such ease, it’s not a far-fetched label. Since the group disrupted the scene with their gritty 2018 debut, “District 9,” a song about eschewing social norms and breaking free from conformity, they’ve forged their path as relative outsiders in a music market that frequently embraces trends. Stray Kids shed light on their darkest insecurities; they toe the line between confidence and arrogance, permitting themselves the space to gloat; and, most vital of all, they aren’t afraid to try new things, to dress up their wounds and move forward. The rawness on songs like “Lonely St.” called to mind a rock power ballad, the entire crowd moving in unison and rocking their hands — most of them holding light sticks — up and down. 

“What I love most is that they produce their own music, and it’s the music that they enjoy listening to themselves,” Laninja said. “It makes [the experience] so much more authentic.” 

[Photo by Kristy Sparow/ Getty]

“This felt like they were even closer to us,” Sonja explained. “More like a big family,” Nikolina added. “Being surrounded by [fans] and even the very few people who had no idea who they were but who were still vibing to their songs made me extremely proud… You could see how much they enjoyed the energy.” 

The more relaxed atmosphere encouraged everyone to let loose — “Bang Chan and Lee Know ripping their pants proved it,” Laninja joked after the set — and soak in the party vibes. Encore favorites “MIROH” and “Haven” went especially hard as fans jumped and danced in wild fervor, creating a palpable connection between fans and artists. “Festivals are about enjoying music together,” Nikolina said. “The energy they put out is absorbed and given right back to them.” You could see it reflected on their faces, the kind of joy a smile can hardly contain. It radiates through the atmosphere, bursting in the air like fireworks in the sky as it neared midnight in Paris, tangible and alive — a message conveyed through awe. 

“I wanted them to see that without even having to come here,” Sonja said, “them making us feel like we have someone who is always there for us and supports us is enough.” 

In a press conference before their Lollapalooza set, leader Bang Chan echoed a similar sentiment. “We can’t really say that we accomplished all of our dreams. That would be no fun,” he declared with a grin. “We’re still getting there. One dream that came true is that the eight of us found each other…and we found [our fans].” But their ambition will never be sated. “There’s so much more we want to accomplish. We’re going to keep going hard and see what else we can break.” 

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Rapper Warren Hue talks event’s return to Pasadena


Before Warren Hue had ever performed at the Head in the Clouds Festival, the 21-year-old Indonesian rapper understood the importance of the festival in championing Asian pop, rock, rap and electronic music from around the world.

“I would always watch it on YouTube,” says Hue, who returns for a third time when Head in the Clouds returns to Pasadena on Aug. 5-6.

“So Head in the Clouds has always been a big thing for me,” he says. “I was just a fan of it before, honestly. It’s one of the most wholesome crowds, like, respectful crowds.

“And it’s also with 88rising,” Hue says of the record label that, in addition to founding the festival in 2018, also releases his music. “So it’s like performing with family. It’s kind of nice.”

Head in the Clouds 2023 features a lineup topped by big names such as Jackson Wang, Niki, and Rich Brian, and filled out with increasingly well-known artists such as Rina Sawayama, DPR Live and DPR Ian, and Tokimonsta.

In addition to two full days of music, Head in the Clouds is bringing back the 626 Night Market to curate a special selection of food booths representing some of the best independent Asian cuisine in Southern California.

In addition to the Pasadena flagship festival, Hue played the first New York City version of Head in the Clouds earlier this year, as well as the Jakarta and Manila festivals in 2022. When his music career started to take off several years ago, Hue set aside his plans to study contemporary art at Parsons School of Design in New York City and moved to Los Angeles.

In an interview edited for clarity and length, Hue talked about the significance of Head in the Clouds and 88rising, the increasing popularity of Asian acts in the United States, and more.

Q: What was the impact of you performing at your first Head in the Clouds in 2021?

A: Definitely very, very, very significant in my opinion. I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes. It definitely brought a lot of new fans to my music. Even back in Jakarta, I would have a lot of people from California who would listen to my music. I was just super happy to see them in person and see that a lot of people from out here listen to my music. It’s a cool feeling.

Q: Talk about the role 88rising has had not only in your music but in championing Asian artists and Asian American artists to audiences.

A: 88rising has always been a very dream-like label to be on. When I was younger, just hearing all the content that they put out, I always thought it was unique and a cool way to showcase Asian artists. I’ve never really heard of, or even listened to, any Asian artists before 88rising. So they’ve definitely created a platform for a lot of Asians from around the world.

The festival is a huge one, for sure. It definitely helped a lot with my career. And just being almost like a family-oriented label is also a very big thing for me. Because I’d rather be close with who I’m working with instead of just being so separated and industry-like.

Q: Obviously, K-pop has become huge in the United States. But you and Niki and Rich Brian are breaking through from Indonesia. What’s it like to here from that background??

A: It’s definitely nice to know that Brian and Niki are also Indonesian and part of the label. There’s a comfortability factor ever since I came here, and we’ve shared relatable stuff. I do share some of (my Indonesian heritage) in my music already. But I’ve also always been a big fan of American music anyways. A lot of my favorite artists are from America. It’s a good position.

Q: In recent years, Asian artists have increasingly found fans and acceptance around the world. What’s changed to make that happen?

A: I think we’ve just slowly gotten bigger. We’re not there yet for sure. We’re still just scratching the surface when it comes to Asian music, well, not including K-pop. But now people are starting to gain more attention, and I think it’s just gonna go up from now. And the festivals do help. They’ve been doing very well for sure.

Q: You’d just moved to Los Angeles two years ago when you, Niki and Rich Brian collaborated on the single “California,” which reflected on the experiences all three of you have had here. How have you settled into L.A. since then?

A: Los Angeles has been very, very cool. I think I’ve just been more grounded as time goes by. Obviously, my mom being here is very vital, and she’s been supporting me throughout the whole journey. I’m definitely getting more comfortable. I’ve been moving a lot of places, moving in different apartments, checking different areas out.

Yeah, my first impression of California was a lot different for sure. It was definitely more of a shock for me. I’m just not used to how things go here.

Q: You’ve talked about L.A. rappers like Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt being inspirations to you before. Have you been able to meet or collaborate with any Los Angeles artists yet?

A: I definitely would want to collaborate with more artists out here. I don’t have connections with them as much, or I’m not like on a friendship level with a lot of artists out here. I had the chance to meet J.I.D., who is a great rapper. We were backstage at Coachella, just telling him much I appreciate his music and how much he inspired me.

Also, Brockhampton. They’re really cool people as well in person. I would definitely want to meet them a lot more, or just work on music with them. Even though they’re split up now, even as individual artists they’re really talented.

Q: Right around the time you were signing with 88rising, the label and co-founder Sean Miyashiro put together the soundtrack for Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.’ You ended up on four tracks, which must have been a thrill.

A: It was crazy because it was like the first two months of being signed with 88rising. Sean was like, ‘Hey, we have this movie soundtrack,’ and at first, I didn’t even what it was, until like a week after he told me it was for ‘Shang-Chi.’ That kind of just blew my mind because I was always a big fan of Marvel growing up, like, watching all the MCUs since (the first) ‘Iron Man.’

It’s insane to see how I would have this opportunity so early on. So I definitely had a mindset where I just needed to try extra hard when it comes to the writing process and making sure it thematically fit with the movie, too. I was very happy to be a part of it.

Q: So after Head in the Clouds, what’s next for you?

A: I’m working on a mixtape right now; it’s mainly focusing on experimenting with different genres like R&B and hip-hop a lot more. And I do have another project lined up after this mixtape which is going to be another album I’m to hopefully have come out next year sometime.

I’m trying to work on clothes as well. A fashion project. I feel like it’s very aligned with what I’m doing.

Head in the Clouds

When: Saturday, Aug. 5 and Sunday, Aug. 6.

Where: Brookside at the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena.

How much: Two-day passes are $269 for general admission, $425 for VIP, and $749 for South Bay Surf Club.

For more: Go to for tickets, set times, and all the other details.

626 Night Market at HITC 2023

Head in the Clouds Festival is our pick for the best music festival food in Southern California thanks to its collaboration with 626 Night Market, the largest night market in the United States, which curates a special food and beverage zone.

This year’s lineup includes 626 Night Market regulars including All Dat Dumpling, Baozza, Friedays, Ghostix, Luckyball Korean BBQ, Sandoitchi, Shake Ramen, Sugarmama Sugarcane, Sunday Cafe, Supreme Musubi, Tao’s Bao, and Waffleland.

In addition, Los Angeles restaurants including Bone Kettle, Bopomofo Cafe, Cocodealers, The Drunken Dumpling and IKI Ramen will be on site.

New this year is the Head in the Clouds’ Boba Village, a boba market of sorts with local boba vendors including Bobaful, Factory Tea Bar, Hey Hey, Milk + Tea, Sunright Tea Studio and Trà Space.

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Music transcends boundaries at inaugural DC South Asian



Ustad Amjad Ali Khan performing on the opening night of the DC South Asian Music Festival
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan performing on the opening night of the DC South Asian Music Festival; Photo: Courtesy Amarjeet Talwar & 247 Digital

By Shirish Nene

The thunderous applause, the swaying, toe-tapping crowds, and the chest-reverberating music are now silent. What’s left are reminiscing smiles and the melodies echoing in our minds.

The three-day DC South Asian Music Festival made a spectacular debut in the Washington, DC, area on July 21. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a strain of music wins a thousand hearts. Everywhere in the hallways of the Wheaton High School, the suburban Washington venue, I could hear people excitedly discussing what they had just heard and how they couldn’t wait for next year’s event.

The DC South Asian Arts Council (DCSAACI) aspires to be the leading ambassador of South Asian culture in the region and this music festival beautifully rounded out this mission already pioneered by the repertoire of film and literary festivals.

There are many South Asian musical events in the area, but this is the first one that encompassed such a rich variety of genres, geographies, and talent. Music melted boundaries as classical instruments and vocalists enthralled audiences with an assortment of traditional ragas, Rabindra Sangeet, and thumris. Popular Bollywood tunes were juxtaposed with Mirza Ghalib’s ghazals, Bulleh Shah’s Sufi songs, East-West fusion, and Marathi lavanis.

South Asian maestros and masters of ceremony from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the United States joined forces with those from Syria and Iraq to enthrall their audiences. The cultural exchange extended outside the auditorium with an amazing array of stalls offering South Asian clothing, jewelry, food, and even spiritual and meditation CDs from the Brahma Kumaris.

One of the hallmarks that sets DCSAACI festivals apart was the personal ambiance and connection between the artists and the audience. It was my pleasure to open DCSAMF 2023 to carry on this tradition.

On opening night with emcee Pooja Shah Talwar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, his sons Amaan Ali and Ayaash Ali Bangaash, along with renowned tabla players Anubrata Chatterjee and Ishaan Ghosh drew in and held the packed audience spellbound.

READ: DC South Asian Music Festival hits DMV this July (July 4, 2023)

The incredible acoustics of the 900-seat auditorium were the perfect setting for the event. Vishwas Shirgaonkar, Suryaksha Deshpande, and Ravi Shreyas demonstrated what an irresistible force classical singing continues to be.

Alif Laila (sitar), Anubrata Chatterjee (tabla), Laith Alattar (oud) and Khaled Maoulaoui (Arab percussion) opened with a riff on raga Kirwani a raga that demonstrated shared musical foundations between the Far and Middle East. The duo of Sid Lahiri (guitar) and Harsh Khinchi (vocals) won hearts with their ghazals. Actor, director and producer Noor Naghmi shared some fascinating background about Vatsala Mehra as she along with Bobby Rozario (guitar), Haroon Alam (tabla), Ganesh Jagtap (dholak), and Ravi Shreyas (harmonium) capped the evening in a rousing performance.

Acknowledged as the Queen of Ghazals, Vatsala Mehra easily demonstrated that her versatility and prowess also extend to Sufi and Bollywood music. Her rich powerful voice swayed the audience, compelling audience members out of their seats to dance in the aisles.

Between performances, actress, model, anchor, and dance teacher Reema Kapani as the emcee engaged the audience in impromptu singing and dancing keeping a continuous flow of entertainment.

In a fitting grand finale to the DC South Asian Music Festival, Grammy award-winning singer Falu engaged the audience in a back-and-forth riff of the notes of raga Jog and had them dancing to a garba in front of the stage. Falu was accompanied by her husband, Gaurav, along with drummer Greg Gonzalez, guitarist Bryan Vargas, and bassist Leo Traversa.
In a fitting grand finale to the DC South Asian Music Festival, Grammy award-winning singer Falu engaged the audience in a back-and-forth riff of the notes of raga Jog and had them dancing to a garba in front of the stage. Falu was accompanied by her husband, Gaurav, along with drummer Greg Gonzalez, guitarist Bryan Vargas, and bassist Leo Traversa. Photos Courtesy Amarjeet Talwar and 247 Digital Media and Neema Nene

The seeds of future performances were also planted on Saturday: Nurturing upcoming talent with an amateur singing competition was a welcome touch. Judges Dr. Uday Kamath, Shilpa Sharma, Swati Patwardhan Kanitkar and Neema Nene had a delightful selection of budding entertainers to choose from.

Congratulations to all the finalists; especially the winners Ananya Chilakamari, Aashana Parmar, Saurabh Pande, and Shrikant Ektare. Kudos to the Sitar Niketan Ensemble and their teacher Alif Laila for a stirring instrumental rendition of the devotional song Raghupati Raghav.

Rising high school senior Khanjonavo Sabud showed mastery of the sitar can be achieved in today’s world through mostly virtual training. We will be looking for all of you in future festivals. Closing day began with DMV Fankaar’s romp through the ages of Bollywood accompanied by regional Punjabi and Marathi dances presented by the Lasya Dance Academy.

Emceed by Kartikeya Tripathi, evergreen numbers by Shilpa Sharma, Sangeeta Mathur Simlote, Alok Srivastava, Farid Mahmood, Parasuram Iyer, and Sunila Bali rocked the auditorium and drew impromptu dance participation from South Asians and non-South Asians alike. The Infusion band’s (Wayne Pereira, Aditya Bhat and Akshiena Khanna) combination of Hindi and English songs were another shining example of music bringing us all closer. Music lovers discovered a natural entertainer in Ashwin Hazarika, in his opening act for Falu.

In a fitting grand finale, Grammy award-winning singer Falu engaged her audience in a back-and-forth riff of the notes of raga Jog and had them dancing to a garba in front of the stage. Falu and her husband, Gaurav, along with drummer Greg Gonzalez, guitarist Bryan Vargas, and bassist Leo Traversa enchanted their listeners with an amazing repertoire of ghazals, film songs, and the evergreen Damadam Mast Qalander.

DCSAMF proudly featured the first-ever LIVE performance of her song Abundance in Millets, dedicated to banishing hunger through these highly nutritious, readily available grains. Falu composed its lyrics in collaboration with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi! DCSAMF’s music broke down barriers between genres and geographies bringing us all closer over the three-day period. It is only fitting then to conclude with the words of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

This festival is clearly here to stay. If you couldn’t make it this time, check out for more events and know you have a treat waiting for you next year. See you there

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Crescent City Chamber Music Festival Celebrates Eighth


The Crescent City Chamber Music Festival (CCCMF) will mark its eighth year with a week-long celebration of classical chamber music from October 12 to 22, 2023. Seven free public concerts will occur at various venues across New Orleans, inviting music enthusiasts to partake in this year’s theme: “Songs of the Earth.”

Crescent City Chamber Music Festival Director and New Orleans native, Luke Fleming, a faculty member at the University of New Orleans School of the Arts, expressed his excitement for the upcoming event. “We are thrilled to present our eighth season of extraordinary chamber music-making in some of New Orleans’ most acoustically and aesthetically stellar venues, all free and open to the public,” he shared.

The festival’s commitment to community outreach will again be integral to its mission. In addition to the seven free public concerts, the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival artists will engage in over thirty outreach performances at schools, retirement communities, missions, and charitable organizations throughout Greater New Orleans. Local student chamber music groups will also have the opportunity to be mentored and coached by the artists.

The Crescent City Chamber Music Festival 2023 schedule is as follows:

1. Opening Night with “The Four Seasons” Date: Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 7:30 PM Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church – 1329 Jackson Avenue, NOLA 70130

2. “Music Without End” Date: Friday, October 13, 2023, at 7:30 PM Venue: Dixon Concert Hall, Tulane University

3. “The Sunset” Date: Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 5:30 PM Venue: Felicity Church – 1220 Felicity Street, 70130

4. “Quelled Longing” Date: Monday, October 16, 2023, at 7:30 PM Venue: Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church – corner of State St. and St. Charles Ave., 70118

5. Urban South Brewery Concert Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at 6 PM Venue: Urban South Brewery, 1645 Tchoupitoulas St, NOLA 70130

6. “The Gryphon Trio’s Debut” Date: Friday, October 20, 2023, at 7:30 PM Venue: UNO Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall

7. “The Trout” – Season Finale Concert Date: Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 4 PM Venue: Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church – 3900 St Charles Ave, NOLA 70115

Doors open one hour before each performance, and an informal pre-concert talk and Q&A session will commence thirty minutes before each concert (except for the Urban South Brewery concert). For more information about the festival, schedule, and locations, please visit the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival website. 

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Cracking the Fraud Code: Jasper Colin’s Report Unveils Cut…


The report addresses the growing concern of financial losses attributed to the rising threats of money laundering and cyber fraud

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, July 30, 2023/ — Jasper Colin, a renowned market insights and data intelligence firm, announced the launch of their latest publication, “Cracking the Fraud Code – Building an Emerging Tech-Powered Defence.”

The US Financial Institutes incurred a loss of ~$5 billion due to financial crimes last year. The report addresses the growing concern of financial losses attributed to the rising threats of money laundering and cyber fraud, prompting financial institutions (FIs) to reinforce their anti-money laundering (AML) and cybersecurity frameworks with cutting-edge technology.

According to the Jasper Colin markets survey, a staggering 95% of anti-money laundering executives prioritize innovation but face hurdles when integrating new solutions into their existing systems. As financial institutions grapple with the increasing incidents of financial crime and regulatory bodies exert mounting pressure on them to bolster their defence against money laundering and cyber fraud.

The offers critical insights to strengthen technology infrastructure for combating financial crime. It focuses on exploring technological advancements to mitigate financial crime and fraud within the US financial sector. The report shares survey results from over 60 technology experts, revealing that:

• 63% of FIs prioritize implementing financial crime compliance solutions that provide real-time alerts and transaction monitoring.

• 89% of US retail banks have already implemented AI/ML technologies to detect financial crimes.

• 42% are considering leveraging blockchain technology to enhance their AML processes.

To effectively prevent financial crimes and cyber fraud, Jasper Colin’s study urges financial institutions to adopt advanced strategies. This includes:

• Enhancing consumer due diligence practices,

• Implementing real-time risk tracking for suspicious transactions, and

• Adopting advanced RegTech solutions for real-time AML monitoring

As financial crime continues to pose a significant threat, financial institutions must stay ahead of the curve by embracing innovative technology-driven solutions. Jasper Colin’s report serves as a vital resource, providing key insights and strategies for FIs to build robust defences against emerging financial crime challenges. By integrating cutting-edge technology and advanced RegTech solutions, FIs can fortify their frameworks and protect themselves and their customers from the ever-evolving landscape of financial fraud and cyber threats.

Click here to access the complete white-paper.

About Jasper Colin: Jasper Colin is a global market insights and data intelligence firm, supplying data centric actionable insights solving most critical business questions for investment firms, agencies, and corporate customers across the globe. Founded in 2007, Jasper Colin has regional offices in US, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India. To find out more, please visit


Josh Monroe
Jasper Colin
+1 917-672-1906

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Thai man dies in mysterious circumstances at Tomorrowland


Photo by Global Stomping via Wikipedia

A Thai man lost consciousness at the Tomorrowland music festival in the Belgium town of Boom and later died in hospital on Friday night, July 28. The cause of death is under investigation.

Tomorrowland spokesperson Debby Wilmsen reported to the media that festival officers provided CPR to a Thai man aged about 30 years old in the VIP area. The partygoer was rushed to hospital but later died while getting treatment.

According to a foreign media report, the cause of the death is under investigation.

Wilmsen also revealed to the media that a 26 year old employee died from a drug overdose a week before the death of a Thai man. She expressed deep condolences to the relatives of both and emphasised that this is not what the festival was about.

Wilmsen emphasised that the team attempted to ensure a safe and comfortable festival. However, the team could not control the weather and the personal decisions people make.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Brussels stepped forward to assist in the autopsy process and cooperate with the deceased’s family. The embassy revealed that the Thai man travelled to Belgium with a tour group, and the embassy will be meeting with the tour guide today, July 31 to gather further information.

Tomorrowland is one of the largest and most popular EDM festivals in the world which is held annually in the Boom town of Belgium. The festival allows partygoers to enjoy the music and party for two weeks. The festival this year ended yesterday, July 30.

According to the Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN), the Thai man is not the first victim to die during the festival. Six previous deaths have been reported at the festival, with many of them attributed to drug-related causes.

For example, a British party-goer passed away due to a drug overdose in 2021, two women from the Czech Republic and India died from ecstasy use during the festival in 2018, and an Indian man died from drug-related causes in 2019.

Another report related to the music festival was reported last week when a Thai couple lost a luxury Rolex watch. The two revealed to the public that the theft occurred while they were travelling back to their hotel after visiting Tomorrowland. The thief pretended to borrow a lighter from them while another thief shook hands with the man and snatched the Rolex.

Thailand NewsWorld News

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Watch: Singer Ed Sheeran serves Chicago-style hot dogs


Hitmaker Ed Sheeran was seen serving hot dogs as fans in Chicago were treated to a surprise service in one of the city’s famous restaurants. The record-breaking British musician, 32, surprised fans by serving up some juicy hot dogs prior to his sell-out concert in Chicago. Ed gave away the delicacies to its overjoyed customers, reports

The record-breaking British musician, 32, surprised fans by serving up some juicy hot dogs prior to his sell-out concert in Chicago. Ed gave away the delicacies to its overjoyed customers, reports The smiling ‘Shape Of You’ singer was greeted by a large queue as the excited crowd hoped to be handed the wiener by their favourite singer.

Taking to their Twitter page, the company joked: “Our newest trainee @edsheeran has a lot to learn, he’s way too proper and friendly.” The establishment is well known for its delicious food and cutting insults from staff.

Sharing a clip of the experience to his Instagram, Ed said: “Served hot dogs at @wienerscircle today. This place is legendary is Chicago for serving hot dogs and insulting their customers. I loved it. See you at the stadium tonight x”

While it’s unknown why he made the appearance, fans were quick to praise the ginger star. One user commented on his post: “We need more people like Ed in this world,” while another added: “I love your humble, modest body language.”

The impromptu appearance followed a similar show up by Lana Del Rey who was spotted working at an Alabama Waffle House restaurant earlier in the month. The global superstar surprised diners as she decided to put on the uniform and try out the side hustle, just weeks before her performance at the Lollapalooza festival on August 3.

Lana was seen by fans as she poured coffee and took orders from diners in the restaurant and one took a video, show her uniform with a name tag as she worked behind the counter.

A viral clip was captioned: “Lana Del Rey working at a Waffle House today!”

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