Manisha Shahane’s music reflects diverse influences
India Currents, Feb 01, 2009
Singer-songwriter-pianist Manisha Shahane will be “Bridging Hemispheres.”
Joined by her band and special guests, this family-friendly show will also
feature the debut of her alter ego against a backdrop of original songs
rooted in folk, jazz, and Indian traditions.
Based in Los Angeles, Shahane is a former Southerner and New Englander who
first showcased her current brand of original music in 1999 in a coffeehouse
in the Boston area. She hasn’t stopped since, garnering audiences in a number
of cities in the U.S., as well as abroad in London, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem.
An independent artist, she endeavors to provide a thought-provoking
experience, building bridges across cultures, ultimately hoping to inspire
the people and communities who listen to greater heights in their personal
growth and development by virtue of her own journey.
With a background in economics and foreign affairs, Shahane believed that she
was destined to help people in developing countries such as India, where her
parents were born. Yet, as passionate as she was about sustainable
development, she could not seem to silence another voice within her.
She recognized that she was ignoring the one person she could help the
most—the one who looked at her in the mirror every morning. She set out to
bridge the hemispheres within her—to create that sense of community within.
Shahane traces this desire to her youth.
“In my teens, I performed either with the school choir or at Indian community
gatherings in southern Virginia, where I was raised. Back then, there were
two different worlds in which I lived. These days I’m bringing them together
through my music,” she says.
Her vision of bridging hemispheres is both internal and external, as
reflected by her first album titled, Peace in Progress.
She adds, “What is exotic to you may feel like home to me. When people hear
something that is exotic to them in a familiar context or setting, then they
are more likely to embrace it and the culture from which it comes.”
The performance will mark the first-ever appearance of her alter ego. Her
band features Mark San Filippo (drums) and Geoff Rakness (upright bass).
Joining the band for the first time will be Dawn Norfleet (flute/vocals).
Shahane sings and accompanies herself on piano and guitar.
Sunday, Feb. 8, 7-9 p.m. The Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake,
Altadena. $15. All ages. (626) 398-7917.