Kiran Ahluwalia with Yacouba Sissoko

Collaborations Series

photo credit Yann Serrand

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Doors: 7 PM   | Show: 8 PM

Flushing Town Hall – 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Queens

Tickets:  $20 advance | $25 day of show

Co-presented in partnership with Flushing Town Hall:  We’re mashing up two cultures on one stage with an open dance floor. Starting with dance lessons, each band plays a set, then the two meet and jam. Bring your dancing shoes!

Two-time JUNO (Canadian Grammy Award) winner Kiran Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the vocal traditions of India and Pakistan, which she honors intensely yet departs from in masterful, personal ways. Kiran’s lyrics explore themes as broad as cultural intolerance in our largely immigrant society and as personal as the struggle to fully embrace female desire by throwing away shame. With roots in Sufi, Qawwali, Ghazal, and Punjabi folk, she crafts her own contemporary originals while organically mixing with West African blues and American jazz to create a sound that is immediately welcoming and ultimately universal. For this performance, she will be joined by Malian kora master, educator, and longtime WMI friend Yacouba Sissoko. Yacouba was born to a well-known Djeli family in Kita, Mali. For centuries, Djelis have been the musical storytellers, a position that is inherited through a family bloodline. Highly respected within their communities, they are the keepers of the factual history and the fictional fables of past rulers, nobles, social groups and families. The kora, a 21-stringed plucked instrument with a gourd resonator, is the traditional instrument accompanying their songs.

The COLLABORATIONS series presents cross-cultural musical explorations and collaborations. This series often explores the ways in which the music of artists from one culture have influenced the music of another culture, or the music of seemingly widely varying cultures can be strikingly similar or complementary.