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Flux: A Carnatic Crossover Experience with Roopa Mahadevan

Walker Landing
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Presented in partnership with Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation (RVCF), we invite you to join us for RVCF’s first Master Concert––Flux: A Carnatic Crossover Experience, presented by Roopa Mahadevan and her company of talented musicians, including Sruti Sarathy, prominent Carnatic violinist, singer, and composer, on violin, and Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy, a leading voice of Indian classical and cross-genre music on percussion and mridangam.

Vocalist Roopa Mahadevan, through her crossover project Roopa in Flux, leans into the rich tradition of Carnatic (South Indian classical) music to share her authentic and versatile voice, creating new melodic worlds that oscillate between the sublime and the absurd. Roopa and her co-artists flux with joy, nostalgia, sometimes humor, and always an intense desire to create community through the familiar, the new, and the radically original.

Free, tickets required. Reserve your spot online or by calling Guest Services at (479) 657-2335.

About the Artists

Roopa Mahadevan, vocals

Hailed a “stirring voice” by The New York Times, Roopa Mahadevan is a leading second-generation Carnatic 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/R&B, and various global traditions, directs the innovative choir Navatman Music Collective, and sings for leading Bharathanatyam and modern dancers around the world. Roopa also brings a critical commentary, humor, and authenticity to her work, often invoking her talents in dance and theater.

Roopa received formative training in Carnatic vocal music under Asha Ramesh of the Bay Area, and furthered her training under Suguna Varadachari in Chennai, India through the Fulbright scholarship. Roopa has performed in prestigious venues such as Chennai’s Music Academy during the December music season and Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, which awarded her the title “Kala Ratna,” as well as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, MET Museum, Hollywood Bowl, Millenium Stage, Joe’s Pub and more. She is a soloist on Christopher Tin’s Grammy Award-winning album Calling All Dawns, was an inaugural fellow with IndianRaga, and is a coveted member of many cutting-edge ensembles, including Brooklyn Raga Massive. Roopa has participated in residencies at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, Hedgebrook, Mass MOCA, Ryder Farm, New York Stage and Film, and Joe’s Pub. She recently received the competitive Creative Work Fund grant with violinist Sruti Sarathy to create original Carnatic compositions on South Asian life in the diaspora. Previously, Roopa worked in public health policy, following degrees from Stanford University.

Sruti Sarathy, violin

Sruti Sarathy is a leading Carnatic violinist, singer, and composer.  A rare artist who possesses both mastery in the rigorous classical form as well as a boundary-pushing musical vision, she lights up the stage in diverse contexts across the globe, from the sabhas of Chennai to European folk festivals to radical performance art spaces in San Francisco.

Sruti is a versatile composer for Carnatic, crossover, film/theater, and experimental new music contexts.  Her soulful and genre-defying original music is a meeting place for Indian classical ragas, improvisational forms, spoken word, South Asian diasporic experience, and literature.  Sruti’s inimitable style and sound bring out the voice of the Indian violin in a contemporary and imaginative way.

Sruti studied under eminent Guru Smt. Anuradha Sridhar, a sixth-generation violinist from the Lalgudi family of musicians. Her work has been supported by many arts organizations, including the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and the Creative Work Fund.  Sruti was awarded “Best Violinist” from the prestigious Madras Music Academy in 2019 and 2020. A Bay Area native, Sruti is a graduate of Stanford University and a Fulbright Scholar.

Rohan Krishnamurthy, mridangam/percussion

Indian-American percussionist, composer, and educator Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy is one of the leading voices of Indian classical and cross-genre music in the South Asian diaspora. Acclaimed a “musical ambassador” by The Times of India, he received mridangam training from the esteemed guru, Sri. Guruvayur Dorai. He studied drum set with Alan Hall at the California Jazz Conservatory and tabla with Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar College of Music. Distinguished as a soloist, composer, and collaborator, Rohan has performed with legendary Indian classical musicians and cross-over artists for over two decades. His latest work includes The Alaya Project, an Indo-jazz-funk collective with world jazz luminaries Prasant Radhakrishnan (saxophone) and Colin Hogan (keyboard/accordion). Their debut album will be released this summer.

Rohan holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Eastman School of Music and directs the RohanRhythm Percussion Studio. Rohan is the recipient of prestigious international awards and grants including recent commissions from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Foundation, and Goethe Institute (Germany). He teaches ethnomusicology at Ohlone College in the San Francisco Bay Area and his patented RohanRhythm drum tuning system is available worldwide.

Chris McCarthy headshot

Chris McCarthy, piano

Known for his “high skill and sensitivity,” (The New York Times) Chris McCarthy is one of the most in-demand pianists in New York City. After playing in saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi and Jason Palmer’s working bands in Boston for several years, McCarthy has developed a reputation as “one of the most imaginative and impressive voices on the New York jazz scene” (Hot House Jazz Magazine).

After graduating from New England Conservatory with honors in 2016, he’s been collaborating with artists from around the globe in NYC. His debut for Ropeadope Records Still Time To Quit was released in 2020, featuring Takuya Kuroda on trumpet, Michael Blake on sax, Sam Minaie on bass, and JK Kim on drums. The album received widespread critical praise, including the #3 slot in Paul Rauch’s “Best Local Jazz Albums of 2020” for Seattle Times.

He can often be heard behind the city’s finest vocalists such as Vanisha Gould, Lucy Yeghizarian, Aubrey Johnson and Sami Stevens. His playing is featured on albums by rising stars such as vibraphonist Sasha Berliner (Azalea) and saxophonist Eden Bareket (Day Dream, 2021). He’s also featured in legendary tap dancer Dormeshia’s new show Rhythm is Life, a New York Times Critic’s pick. With a new piano trio album coming out in early 2023, the international jazz scene will continue to hear from McCarthy for years to come.

About Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation

Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation was founded in 2018 with a mission to promote the traditional performing arts of India in NWA, by educating and inspiring people to learn, teach, and sustain those arts in our area. We fulfill our mission through a variety of initiatives, including weekly classes for young people, workshops and performances with skilled local artists, and sponsorship of world-famous practitioners of Indian dance, music, and theater to come to NWA to perform and teach.