Let your 'VOICES' be heard!
The Tufts Daily
Issue date: 11/17/06 Section: Arts
Last night at Brown and Brew, the annual Asian American Concert "VOICES" was
held by the Asian Community at Tufts. This year, "VOICES" was co-sponsored by
the Korean Students Association, the Chinese Students Association, the Tufts
Association of South Asians and the TCU Senate. Held during Tufts
Asian-American Month, "VOICES" celebrated the importance of the strong
Asian-American presence in the performing arts.
"We hope that this event will bring the Tufts community together and help to
increase awareness of Asian-Americans as well as Asian-American Month,
especially Asian-Americans in the performing arts," ACT President Chao Pan
The event showcased singer/songwriter Manisha Shahane, singer/songwriter
Kevin So and comedian Paul Kim.
Shahane, a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, played to an
enthused crowd, even inviting a fellow Tufts student to perform beside her
during her encore. Shahane's style is rooted in folk, jazz and Indian
traditions and her delicate, thoughtful and slightly anecdotal lyrics were
wonderfully juxtaposed with her strong vocals. "It's all about
story-telling," Shahane said.
According to her Web site, Shahane co-founded and directed the Ambassachords,
a co-ed a cappella group based within the Fletcher School. Shahane has
performed in numerous jazz and blues venues in Manhattan, Washington D.C.,
Houston, Boston and Cambridge. Recently, Shahane released her album entitled,
"Peace in Progress."
Kevin So, an accomplished songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and keyboardist,
also performed. With an eclectic style rooted in R&B, jazz and folk, So's
sound is anything but unique. According to his Web site, So has been called
"a pioneer for Asian-American artists in the 21st century," performing at
events such as the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. Having released 11 CDs
independently in the past 10 years and sold over 15,000 albums, Kevin So
shows no signs of stopping: His album entitled, "A Brighter Day," is to be
released in February of 2007.
Whether So sang in the style of folk or rhythm and blues, his voice adapted
almost effortlessly. So, an extremely energetic performer, drew all of Brown
and Brew into an animated sing-a-long as he performed his album's title
California native Kim, also known as "PK," sent Brown and Brew on a wild ride
of laughter. Singing a Korean food rap and poking fun at his childhood, Kim
preached, "You gotta laugh at yourselves." Kim is affiliated with Prokreation
Productions, which, according to its Web site, "is a progressive
Asian-American entertainment site" that sponsors two events annually:
Kollaboration and Asian Elevation, which help to promote and expose local
That was the same message that pervaded "VOICES" last night. "Despite the
differences between the performers stylistically and vocally, they shared a
common message of embracing diversity," Tufts freshman Nick Mylet said.
Manisha Shahane concluded, "It was a privilege and an honor to be back at
Tufts. Music can spread the message of community, and that is what an event
such as this one is all about."
- Julia Feltus