The Drive East Festival

Roopa In Flux

A Carnatic Inspired Concert, featuring Roopa Mahadevan

Friday, August 16th
8:40pm - 10:00pm

Roopa In Flux is a groundbreaking, carnatic inspired band led by Roopa Mahadevan. With each member having backgrounds and influences in multiple genres of music, from jazz to hip hop, the sounds combine in a way that is both familiar and completely unexpected

Roopa Mahadevan
Sruti Sarathy (Violinist)
Erika Oba (Piano and Flautist)
Rohan Krishnamurthy (Percussion)

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Roopa Mahadevan is versatile among Carnatic (South Indian Classical) vocalists, bringing her powerful, emotive voice to explorations in genre, presentation, and theater. Trained under Asha Ramesh and Suguna Varadachari (under Fulbright), she has performed extensively in the Carnatic world (Chennai’s Music Academy, Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana) and collaborates frequently with artists in creative/jazz and R&B/soul genres. Based in New York City, Roopa leads her crossover ensemble, Roopa In Flux, directs the choir Navatman Music Collective, performs with Brooklyn Raga Massive, and is sought-after by leading dancer/choreographers. Roopa is a featured soloist on the Grammy Award-winning album Calling All Dawns.

Erika Oba is a composer, pianist/flutist, and educator based in the SF Bay Area.  As a composer she has written works for big band, small jazz ensembles, chamber groups, dance and theater. As a performer she is a member of the Montclair Women’s Big Band, Ends Meat’ Catastrophe Jazz Ensemble, electro-jazz duo Rice Kings, and The Sl(e)ight Ensemble. She is currently on faculty with the Jazzschool Community Music School’s youth program, and is a resident music director for Berkeley Playhouse’s youth program. She is also currently a private jazz piano instructor for UC Berkeley’s Music Department. As an artist, she is interested in exploring ritual, diasporic identities, and community through performance. She received her BM in Jazz Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and her MA in Music Composition from Mills College.

Sruti Sarathy is a versatile artist in the South Indian classical violin tradition, trained in the Lalgudi style of Carnatic music under esteemed guru Anuradha Sridhar. She also studies under Hindustani violinist Kala Ramnath. Sruti has performed with top Indian classical musicians in festivals worldwide. She has taken the role of composer-performer for many dance and theater works. Blessed with an enchanting voice and having trained for over ten years in vocal music, Sruti often lends her voice and violin to collaborative projects. Sruti is the recipient of many accolades including "Best Violinist" from the Madras Music Academy. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Stanford University.

Indian-American drummer and composer Rohan Krishnamurthy imagines new artistic intersections to bridge diverse cultures and communities. Acclaimed a “musical ambassador” by The Times of India, Rohan’s cross-genre artistry draws from his study of Indian classical Carnatic music and expanding it across global genres. He received mridangam training from maestro Sri. Guruvayur Dorai in India for over a decade, and studied drum set with Alan Hall at the California Jazz Conservatory. With a Ph.D. in musicology from the Eastman School of Music in New York. He has presented rhythm masterclasses and courses at renowned institutions, including Eastman, Harvard, Berklee College of Music, A.R. Rehman’s K.M. Conservatory of Music, Munich Conservatory, Kyoto University, and Percussive Arts Society. He directs the award-winning RohanRhythm Percussion Studio, which has attracted dozens of students from around the globe. An innovator, he patented the RohanRhythm drum tuning system, which is available worldwide.