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BOLLYWOOD BOUND

When I asked sitar scion Anoushka Shankar some months ago who I should be listening to, the first name out of her mouth was Kaushiki Chakrabarty. At 34, Chakrabarty is the preeminent Indian classical vocalist of her generation. Whether singing heavy ragas or lighter devotional thumris, she’s lyrical yet authoritative, a stunning improviser with amazing breath control. Unlike most of her peers, including Shankar, Chakrabarty sang only classical music until a few years ago, when she began appearing on Bollywood soundtracks and the country’s fascinating classical-pop crossover show, Coke Studio @ MTV. She also hosts her own weekly talk show. Shri Subhajyoti Guha (tabla) and Shri Kedar Naphade (harmonium) accompany her tonight, as she sings the rejoicing and romantic raga Bihag.

Fri., Nov. 14, 7 p.m., 2014

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Bombay Rickey

This Brooklyn quintet plays a delightful amalgam of surf rock, exotica, mambo, Bollywood, and light opera – which is to say kitsch of the highest quality. The focus is on Kamala Sankaram, a coloratura soprano who evokes Yma Sumac in “Taki Rari,” Asha Bhosle in Bollywood megahit “Dum Maro Dum,” and every opera diva ever in “Queen of the Rumba.”

Mon., Sept. 8, 9:30 p.m., 2014

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‘Basement Bhangra’ w/ DJ Rekha

British-born and New York-bred DJ Rekha is a true legend, and often seen as a leader in South Asian music. DJ Rekha did, after all, bring the upbeat style of bhangra music to the US masses, making bhangra essential to New York’s club scene. In 2007, after 10 years as an active DJ in New York, Rekha released her first album DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, which blends hip-hop and bhangra genres. “Basement Bhangra” also became the name of her famous monthly event that falls on the first Thursday of every month, encompassing bhangra, hip-hop, dancehall, electronic and Bollywood music.

Thu., Aug. 7, 7 p.m., 2014

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Charanjit Singh

In 1982, Charanjit Singh released 10 Ragas To A Disco Beat, combining traditional Indian melodic structures with the then-new Roland TB-303 synthesizer that later became the basis for acid house. Now 73 and with a extensive career in Bollywood behind him, Singh has been recast as an electronic icon after an acclaimed re-release of the LP in 2010. Challenging the traditional view of Chicago as ground zero for the hugely influential acid house genre, Singh has since been taking the album on the road. At Body Actualized Center, a yoga studio that moonlights as an experimental venue, Singh will use entirely hardware, including his original 303, when he plays the album in full.

Fri., Aug. 1, 9 p.m., 2014

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Indian 1 Percenter Kidnapped! Then She Falls in Love! It’s Bollywood

Veering through genres as only Bollywood can, Imtiaz Ali’s Highway is nothing if not erratic in its narrative delivery — though its fascinating thematic concern remains fixed throughout.

Rigorously caste-determined India is an appropriate setting for the film, which concerns Veera (Alia Bhatt), a wealthy industrialist’s daughter taken hostage by bandits led by charismatic Mahabir (Randeep Hooda).

Initially horrified, Veera acclimates to her captivity and begins to feel liberated from the oppressive responsibilities that came with her moneyed, regimented lifestyle.

While the tale of a 1 percenter finding profundity among the common people is hardly new, the anxious yearning Bhatt brings infuses this familiarity with urgency.

Chattering away at her captors, making herself helpful, Bhatt’s Veera is characterized by ebullience. Unfortunately, after establishing its narrative within the realm of plausibility, Highway becomes increasingly romanticized, with Mahabir and his buddies incongruously turning into a bizarrely kind bunch of bandits (rather unconcerned with ransom money!) as he and Veera fall in love. So long, social commentary.

No one entering this commercial Bollywood picture would expect a fiercely gritty portrayal of class conflict, but the degree to which Highway candies up Veera’s slumming toward freedom feels so fundamentally out of touch with the realities of poverty that it skirts into offensiveness.

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BYE-BYE BOLLYWOOD

Catch new South Asian cinema If you think movies from India are all packaged in Bollywood fluff, the 10th Annual South Asian International Film Festival, presented by HBO, will surely prove you wrong. The fest opens with Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout, in which a rookie cop must weigh the consequences before pulling the trigger. Other highlights include Good Morning, Karachi, Sabiha Sumar’s movie about a rising model who is caught between tradition and the fashion industry, and Gyan Correa’s The Good Road, India’s official entry to the Oscars.

Tue., Dec. 3, noon, 2013

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Bombay Jayashri

One of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music’s deepest devotional singers, Jayashri is also the composer and performer of “Pi’s Lullaby,” from Life of Pi. Beside being immersed in the classical tradition, she was also a renowned Bollywood “playback” singer and has collaborated with Finland’s Avanti orchestra. She’ll perform here accompanied by violin, mridgangam drum, and ghatam pot, so expect classical transcendence.

Sun., Oct. 20, 2 p.m., 2013

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Fanfare Ciocarlia

Formed in 1996 when a German producer visiting a small Romanian town convinced several talented locals to band together, Fanfare Ciocarlia (meaning “skylark brass band”) has since become the world’s best-known Balkan/Romani band of its horn-driven ilk. The twelve-piece plays fast, exciting music that punctuates Turkish, Serbian, and Macedonian numbers with Bollywood and Western covers. Sunny Jain, whose double-headed dhol drum gives it its heartbeat, leads thunderous local drums-and-brass ensemble Red Baraat

Sun., July 14, 3 p.m., 2013

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Kočani Orkestar

Roma brass bands are flexible, if not cannibalistic. This ten-piece has twisted the Turkish military-brass tradition to surf music, Bollywood hits, funk, techno, and Balkan pop ends. With four tubas and a drummer in its lineup, the Kocanis are loud and proud. The eight-piece Sazet Band, tonight’s opener, plays a local eclectic mix of traditional folk and Romani styles.

Sat., April 27, 6 p.m., 2013

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Bunty Berman Presents…

The New Group has been enjoying a rather lackluster season, but what better show to shake a company out of its doldrums than a musical that borrows Bollywood’s razzle dazzle. The first-rate Ayub Khan Din’s new work tells of a flailing film studio and the producer struggling to keep the cameras running.

Mondays-Wednesdays, 7 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 10. Continues through June 1, 2013