Local Current Blog

DJ Rekha, ‘the Ambassador of Bhangra,’ to make Minneapolis debut

courtesy Cedar Cultural Center

On Saturday, July 11, a unique fusion of cultures will take place at the Cedar Cultural Center, under the auspices of Ragamala Dance Company. The acclaimed Indian dance company and the Cedar have teamed up to bring DJ Rekha, “the Ambassador of Bhangra,” to the Twin Cities for the first time.

It’s uncommon to find a well-known female DJ, let alone one who fuses Indian Bhangra music with American hip-hop while simultaneously running a record label and lecturing at various universities. DJ Rekha is a British-born, New-York-raised musician now in her mid-40s who is often credited with introducing the Indian genre of Bhangra to the New York music scene.

She established herself in the late ‘90s with an event called “Basement Bhangra,” a monthly party held at S.O.B’s in New York. She hasn’t stopped since, though she relocated for a few weeks to tour India per the request of the State Department, to serve as a cultural ambassador to the U.S. Consulate. You may have heard her song “Basement Bhangra Anthem,” a collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Bikram Singh, and Sunil Sehgal.

Ragamala Dance Company is a Minneapolis-based dance company presenting choreography that draws from ancient Bharatanatyam styles as well as contemporary American influences.

Tickets to DJ Rekha are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Minneapolis-based DJ Chamun will open. Head to the Cedar’s website for more info or to purchase tickets.

Allegra Wallingford, of Eden Prairie, is a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. She runs a music blog called the Suburban Hipster and drinks a lot of coffee.