Le Poisson Rouge presents: Basement Bhangra (Video)

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She's been called the “Ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times, named one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, and has made an indelible mark on New York’s clubland as host of one of the city’s most culturally diverse and consistently high-energy dance parties over the past 15+ years. She is musician, DJ, producer, curator, and activist DJ Rheka and the dance party is Basement Bhangra. It all goes down every first Thursday of the month at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.

DJ Rekha

The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, DJ Rekha spent the first year of her life in London, and the following three years in New Delhi, India before her family moved to Queens, NY. It was there that she discovered bhangra, a riff-oriented popular music associated with the culture of the Punjab region in South Asia, one of the oldest in world history, dating from ancient antiquity to the modern era. She began promoting parties and spinning records as a student in Queens College and has never looked back.

Basement Bhangra

DJ Rheka launched Basement Bhangra back in 1997 at SOB's, a live music venue and restaurant in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan before moving the party to Le Poisson Rouge earlier this year. In that timespan, Basement Bhangra has hosted a who’s-who of the genre’s top performers, including bhangra legend Malkit Singh, Bally Sagoo, Bikram Singh, Hard Kaur, Apache Indian and the infamous Panjabi MC.

Basement Bhangra

Earlier this year, I was invited by the good folks at Le Poisson Rouge to produce a promotional video on Basement Bhangra. Now I've never been much of a clubgoer but the energy and vibe of this party was undeniable. So, scroll back up and check out my latest installment in a continuing series of videos I've produced for New York's premiere multimedia art cabaret. Enjoy...

Oh, and check out Basement Bhangra - End of the British Raj Edition at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, August 15. You can see the complete set of videos I've produced for Le Poisson Rouge HERE.

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