[Blackstudies-l] Funkadesi: a blend of Indian, reggae, funk and Afro-Caribbean sounds

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Fri Aug 26 00:15:51 EDT 2016


a different kind of healing  😊  we should bring them to Geneseo.


lisaparavisini posted: " A review by Roger Bryant for the Midland Daily
News. The founder of the Chicago-based band Funkadesi says audiences
sometimes don’t know quite what to make of the ensemble that weaves
together Indian music, reggae, funk and Afro-Caribbean sounds. “It "
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New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/> Funkadesi: a blend of
Indian, reggae, funk and Afro-Caribbean sounds
<http://repeatingislands.com/2016/08/25/funkadesi-a-blend-of-indian-reggae-funk-and-afro-caribbean-sounds/>
by
lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>

[image: 920x920]

A review by Roger Bryant for the *Midland Daily News*
<http://www.ourmidland.com/lifestyles/article/Funkadesi-a-blend-of-Indian-reggae-funk-and-9184401.php>
.

The founder of the Chicago-based band Funkadesi says audiences sometimes
don’t know quite what to make of the ensemble that weaves together Indian
music, reggae, funk and Afro-Caribbean sounds.

“It takes a moment to digest when you see the dreadlocks and the
turbans,” Rahul
Sharma
<http://www.ourmidland.com/search/?action=search&channel=lifestyles&inlineLink=1&searchindex=gsa&query=%22Rahul+Sharma%22>
said in a phone interview this week. “But then you get hit by the beat, by
the rhythm … People end up dancing and having a great time.”

A free outdoor concert by the 10-member band, taking place at 7 p.m.
Friday, will launch the new “Windows on the World” series in downtown
Midland. Although sponsored by the Midland Center for the Arts
<http://www.ourmidland.com/search/?action=search&channel=lifestyles&inlineLink=1&searchindex=gsa&query=%22Midland+Center+for+the+Arts%22>,
the concert will be on Larkin Street between McDonald and Rodd streets.

Sharma, in addition to playing bass guitar and sitar for the group, is a
psychologist who founded Funkadesi not long after coming to Chicago for
graduate school about 20 years ago. The Kalamazoo native said the idea for
the group actually was “birthed” while he was living in Ann Arbor,
attending the University of Michigan
<http://www.ourmidland.com/search/?action=search&channel=lifestyles&inlineLink=1&searchindex=gsa&query=%22The+University+of+Michigan%22>
.

He wanted to fuse Indian classical music with funk.

After he came to Chicago, “it really evolved … What I got was so much more
than what I dreamed.”

Among the original members of the group were “multicultural ambassadors,”
leaders of a West Indian folk dance company and a West African dance
ensemble.

“All of these folks were coming out from these different walks of life and
different experiences and brought so much more to the table than what I had
dreamed of,” Sharma said.

Others in the group also have “day jobs” in the helping professions, such
as physical therapy, he added.

“Even beyond the artistry … a lot of folks in the band are healers.”

Sharma, an associate professor at the Illinois School of Professional
Psychology
<http://www.ourmidland.com/search/?action=search&channel=lifestyles&inlineLink=1&searchindex=gsa&query=%22Illinois+School+of+Professional+Psychology%22>,
specializes in multicultural and diversity psychology. He sees his work
coming together with the focus of Funkadesi.

The band has branched out into participation in “hybrid workshops” on
issues such as fighting racism, “using drums as a means of sparking
dialogue.”

“It’s an evolving process for us,” Sharma said.

Regardless of the venue, the band entertains and teaches.

“Even in a pure entertainment show, with a band like ours, there’s always
an element of education,” he said.

Funkadesi is a six-time winner of the Chicago Music Awards and has even
been praised by President Obama, who said, “Funkadesi really knows how to
get a crowd fired up!”

Other concerts in the 2016-17 “Windows on the World” series: The
HillBenders, described as “rock & roll meets bluegrass,” will perform an
original work “Tommy – A Bluegrass Opry” on Sept. 22; the traditional Irish
group Danú performing “A Christmas Gathering,” Dec. 2; Canadian percussion
pioneers TorQ Percussion Quartet on Jan. 20, 2017; and modern dance troupe
BODYTRAFFIC on May 13, 2017. Tickets are on sale for those concerts.

In a press release, MCFTA CEO Terri Trotter
<http://www.ourmidland.com/search/?action=search&channel=lifestyles&inlineLink=1&searchindex=gsa&query=%22Terri+Trotter%22>
said “Windows on the World” events also will include pre- and post-show
activities such as gatherings with the artists.

For more information about Funkadesi, visit the group’s website,
www.funkadesi.com/home/
*lisaparavisini <http://repeatingislands.com/author/lisaparavisini/>* |
August 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/?cat=103> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-qyi

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