Experience the Connection
Honoring the Women’s March through music
by Sumaiya Malik
As the sun sets on the eve of the 3rd annual Women’s March this Sunday, January 20th, head over to One World Theatre for a special show with Nagavalli Medicharla. The Austin based vocalist and composer will be honoring the this year’s march through a performance of East Indian Soul music which combine traditional Eastern sounds with touches of pop, rock and trance.
Named one of the Top 10 Female Vocalists and World Music artists at the 2015 – 2016 Austin Music Awards, Nagavalli has become a staple in Austin music circles, recording and performing with artists like Patrice Pike, Oliver Rajamani, Atash, Govinda and Ginger Leigh. She has worked with musicians from various genres including Latin pop, American rock, classical jazz and Middle-Eastern folk.
The way Nagavalli collaborates with peers is a reflection of the same cooperation and self-determination found in the recent women’s movement gatherings. “It’s important for everyone to step up, push their capacity and do their part,” says Nagavalli. “I align myself with the movement in general [and] especially with the idea of equality, respect and equal pay.”
Nagavalli, or Valli as her friends call her, is herself a story of persistence. The artist grew up in Mumbai, India, where she originally trained in classical music and moved to Austin around 20 years ago after receiving a double master’s degree from Florida State University.
Her first album, Eastern Soul, was released in 2012, a few years later Nagavalli toured with Gypsy Sound Revolution (Gypsy Kings alumni) and was a featured artist at Austin’s WOBEONFEST festival. This past year she worked with Indian classical dancer, Anuradha Naimpally and opened for Eliza Gilkyson at Stateside at the Paramount, joining Gilkyson for a song. Throughout all her musical success Nagavalli continues to balance a career in the technology sphere with her artistry and music.
The Sunday’s performance will mark the release of Nagavalli’s second album, Immersion. As the title suggests, the album is a meditative experience containing four extended tracks. On one such track, Jhini Re Jhini, Nagavalli incorporates Sanskrit repetitive chants amongst a backdrop of soulful guitar.
Nagavalli’s performance at One World Theatre is unusual explains the musician as it’s meant to carry the audience from a day of solidarity and action to subdued togetherness.
Tickets for the performance can be purchased at oneworldtheatre.org.