Chalk up another big first for DJ Rekha.
New York’s eminent bhangra spinner is presenting Jaz Dhami’s first U.S. performance tomorrow night at her venerable Basement Bhangra party at Le Poussin Rouge in Greenwich Village.
“I’m really excited to bring Jaz Dhami out for his first U.S. concert at Basement Bhangra,” said Rekha last night at a press gathering at Manhattan’s Asian American Writers Workshop.
She invoked “the Basement Bhangra tradition” of offering “an array of outstanding talent over the years since we began in 1997,” including the likes of Malkit Singh, Panjabi MC, Apache Indian and Hard Kaur.
Of Dhami, she added, “He’s really a versatile performer, rooted in Punjabi traditional folk music but versatile enough to sing in any style of contemporary music. He transcends the genre: He’s of the genre but beyond the genre.”
Indeed, the award-winning U.K. vocalist, who hails from Birmingham, is of Punjabi origin, trained in Indian classical music and tutored by Bollywood singer Jayshree Shivram. His debut release came on bhangra artist-producer Aman Hayers’ 2008 Groundshaker 2 album and was followed by his own debut album JD. His track “Theke-Wali” was a major 2009 bhangra dance hit and has been followed by genre-bending songs like “Tera Mera,” “Bari Der” and big 2012 hit “High Heels,” featuring hip hop/bhangra star Honey Singh.
“He already has many amazing songs, but I feel like it’s just the beginning for him,” said Rekha.
For his part, Dhami said he’s wanted to attend Rekha’s Basement Bhangra for six years.
“What took you so long?” Rekha responded.
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