To celebrate the opening of our NEW exhibition, Africans in India, join DJ Rekha at the Schomburg as she spins the sounds of Bhangra and Bollywood. Stay tuned to the Schomburg Center's Facebook and Twitter pages for special giveaways!
British born, New York City based, DJ Rekha, DJ, curator, record label owner, educator and activist. Called the “Ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times and named one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, Rekha is among the first DJs to merge classic Bhangra and Bollywood sounds into the language of contemporary electronic dance music. Since establishing herself on the club scene with her inaugural event, Basement Bhangra at SOBs nightclub in 1997, Rekha has produced some of the longest running and most successful parties in New York including Bollywood Disco, and Mutiny. Rekha also produces a weekly radio show, Bhangra and Beyond on http://www.breakthruradio.com/#/viewdj/?id=86.
Her label, Beat Bazaar Music launched in November of 2011 with its first release, Pyar Baile. Versed in a broad cross-section of musical genres–from Bhangra to Dancehall to Hip Hop to Bollywood, Rekha has helped launch the careers of artists across the musical spectrum. DJ Rekha was the first to present the artists Panjabi MC, Tigerstyle, and M.I.A in the United States.
Rekha’s musical accomplishments include sound design for the TONY winning Broadway Show, "Bridge and Tunnel." as well as the Off-Broadway show, “Rafta Rafta.” She also served as Associate Producer for the NPR Radio Documentary, "A Feet in Two Worlds" and marked the ten-year anniversary of Basement Bhangra in 2007, with the compilation, DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra, featuring an array of international stars including Wyclef Jean, Panjabi MC, Tigerstyle and Bikram Singh.
In 2009, Rekha was chosen by the State Department to visit India as a Cultural Ambassador to the U.S. Consulate for a three-week tour of India. More accolades followed later in the year when DJ Rekha was inducted into the New York City's Peoples Hall of Fame.
Amidst laughter and applause, at and Asian Pacific Islander reception, President Obama said, "I want to thank DJ Rekha who's been spinning a little East Room Bhangra for everybody mixing a hip-hop beat with the sounds of her heritage; making a uniquely American sound that may not have been heard in the White House before.”
Rekha has given lectures and led workshops on Hip Hop, politics and South Asian art for various universities and institutions including the Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University. Her work has been featured on CNN, NPR, PBS.
Rekha has curated shows for NYC’s Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn and the Desi Diaspora’s film series at the 92Y Tribeca. She has a BA in Urban Studies from Queens College and when not touring or making music, she teaches a courses on International Dance Music and DJ Culture and practice at The NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
When & Where
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is one of the world's leading research facilities devoted to the preservation of materials on the global African and African diasporan experiences. A focal point of Harlem's cultural life, the Center sponsors programs and events that illuminate and illustrate the richness of black history and culture.
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