Bombay Rebels

KarmetiK Orchestra
Past event


KarmetiK Orchestra presents an evening-length show featuring the world premiere of collaborative contemporary music by Los Angeles-based artists from global backgrounds.  Sitar, Hindustani vocalists, tabla, and bansuri flute performers are mixed with Western classical, African, and electronic musicians. Directed by Dr. Ajay Kapur, head of Music Technology at CalArts, the group features compositions and performances by world-renowned artists Rajib Karmakar, Dr. Neelamjit Dhillon, Gaayatri, Ashwin Vaswani, Chris Votek, Gorinka, Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole, Madeline Falcone, and Dr. Sanjay Sinha. Bombay Rebels is a homage to a group of luminary figures who have challenged the norm of Indian culture and forged new pathways. Each song commemorates a “Bombay rebel” with an original work, inspired by their journey, and explores blending different genres within Indian classical aesthetics.


Presented in English and Hindi without surtitles.

The program includes a post-performance reception.

Presented in collaboration with CalArts’ Herb Alpert School of Music.

about the artists

KarmetiK Orchestra

KarmetiK Orchestra is a collection of emerging LA artists from global backgrounds creating contemporary music. Sitar, Hindustani vocalists, tabla, and bansuri flute performers are mixed with Western classical, African, and electronic musicians. Directed by Dr. Ajay Kapur, head of Music Technology at CalArts, the group features compositions and performances by world-renowned artists Gaayatri Kaundinya, Rajib Karmakar, Dr. Neelamjit Dhillon, Ashwin Vaswani, Chris Votek, Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole, Madeline Falcone, and Dr. Sanjay Sinha.

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Dr. Ajay Kapur

Dr. Ajay Kapur is a “musical scientist.” The “scientist” in him organizes experiments on how computer programming, electrical engineering, and digital signal processing can be used in artistic practices. The “musician” in him gathers all the current technology from his laboratory into modules that can be used in the concert hall, writing modern music while blending traditional techniques. Kapur is the director of Music Technology and associate provost for Creative Technologies at CalArts. He received an interdisciplinary PhD in 2007 from University of Victoria combining computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, music, and psychology with a focus on intelligent music systems and media technology. Kapur graduated with a BS in Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 2002. A musician at heart, trained on drumset, tabla, sitar, and other percussion instruments from around the world, Kapur strives to push the technological barrier in order to explore new ways of creating immersive interactive experiences. Kapur’s various music projects over the past has allowed him to open for bands such as Antibalas, Seun Kuti and The Africa 80, John Scofield, and Autechre. His Machine Orchestra—comprised of humans and robotic musical instruments—has traveled the world performing in Singapore, India, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Portugal, Italy, and more. He has presented his original music and artwork at the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum (LACMA), the Singapore Arts Festival, The Pulse Festival, Victoria International Jazz Festival, the International Symposium for Electronic Arts, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.


Gaayatri Kaundinya

Gaayatri Kaundinya is a Hindustani vocalist hailing from the Rampur Maihar-Senia Gharana, who trained under the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She began her vocal training from him in the traditional Guru-Shishya parampara at the age of 4, and studied with him until his passing when she was18. Kaundinyais the first pure vocalist of this lineage of music since the time of Mian Tansen’s daughter, Saraswati. She was trained specifically and extensively by her guru to represent this rare music in its most authentic form. She had the opportunity to sing for Smt. Annpurna Devi, and received accolades for her authentic presentation following in the tradition of Ustad Allauddin Khan. The Gayaki is characterized by integrating elements of Dhrupad, Khyaal, and Beenkar with an overarching emphasis on tonal purity. Kaundinya’s repertoire consists of Dhrupad, Khyaal, Tarana, light classical, and regional folk sung in this unique Maihar vocal style. Living in America and coming from this special heritage, she wanted to be a part of the American music industry without compromising her roots. Eventually, she found a niche as a specialist for Indian-influenced music for media and commercial music as a composer and music director, songwriter, and artist.


Rajib Karmakar

Rajib Karmakar is a Los Angeles-based performance artist, composer, and educator. His work has been performed in many countries, including India, the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as for the Ministry of Spain (Spain), Ottawa Council for Arts (Canada), Boom Festival (Portugal), Festival of India (US and Canada), NAMM (Los Angeles), Cal Performances (US), National Arts Center (Ottawa), Straz Center (Tampa), Castello Di Romeo (Italy), Shrine Auditorium (Los Angeles), and many more. He has been featured in various movies and TV shows for Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, A&E Network, among others, and he has also been an artist in residence for various colleges and universities all over the world. Karmakar’s versatility and ability has allowed him to adapt his skills and knowledge to his various world music projects with his own creation “Mayur Tantri”—-the world’s first double necked sitar. Karmakar received his MFA in Music from CalArts and currently is the artistic director of Los Angeles International Music and Arts Academy.


Dr. Neelamjit Dhillon

Dr. Neelamjit Dhillon is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Dhillon is skilled in both North Indian classical and American jazz music. His music is a reflection of his own multifaceted identity, spirituality, and vision for promoting a more equitable and just society through shared experience and collective action.

Dhillon’s primary instruments are the tabla, saxophone, and bansuri. He has played tabla since the age of 10 and continues to study the instrument under the tutelage of world-renowned maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. Dhillon has performed around the world at prestigious events and festivals in locales such as Somalia, India, Brazil, Europe, the US, and Canada.


Ashwin Vaswani

Ashwin Vaswani is a vocalist and creative technologist from Mumbai, India. Born in 1994, he received Hindustani classical training at a young age. As a young musician, he was head of the Cathedral and John Connon School choir, joined numerous classic rock bands, and headlined the school’s 150th-anniversary musical at the Tata Theatre in Mumbai. After moving to Los Angeles in 2012, he received a BFA from CalArts in Music Technology Interaction, Intelligence, and Design (MTIID) with a minor in Digital Arts. During his time there, he blended his passion for coding and art. He produced art in the form of electronic music with voice, circuit bending and code, photography, and the web. After graduating, he joined CalArts as adjunct faculty and taught music production and web development. Since then, he has focused on his software engineering career, but continues to create outside of his day job.


Chris Votek

Chris Votek is an acclaimed cellist, composer, arranger, and producer living and breathing music in Los Angeles. He is a student of the legendary Indian violinist Dr. N Rajam. Much of his work involves adapting the oral tradition of Hindustani raga to the cello and the cross-pollination of Western and Indian classical traditions. As an intercultural music translator, he has arranged music with Neelamjit Dhillon for San Francisco Symphony’s CURRENTS series, a collaboration between Ustad Zakir Hussain, the SFS, and Vidushi Kala Ramnath. Votek’s string quintet composition, Memories of a Shadow, was l acclaimed for “superbly blending raga melody with early European polyphony.” A sought after touring and studio cellist, Votek has performed or recorded with Chris Martin, Sigur Ros, The Marias, the Silk Road Ensemble, Kamasi Washington, Father John Misty, WildUp, and Julia Holter. He is the principal cellist of Dr. Nabil Azzam’s Arabic orchestra, MESTO, and a collaborator with Iranian singers Homayoun Shajarian and Mamak Khadem.


Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole

Yeko Ladzekpo-Cole has a multitude of talents and lives to share those gifts. She is currently faculty at CalArts as well as co-director of their World Music Performance program. Born and raised in a traditional African household, Ladzekpo-Cole comes from a family lineage of drummers, dancers, and composers from the country of Ghana, West Africa. She holds a BFA in Dance from CalArts. Her career has led her to work with the likes of Lula Washington, Debbie Allen, Ralph Lemon, and many others in the modern dance world. She has also lent her choreographic talents to Disney’s The Lion King II movie premiere and DreamWorks’ Madagascar Escape II Africa. Some of her performance highlights include performing with Fleetwood Mac during a Superbowl tailgate concert, a celebration concert for the Grammy Music’s 60th Anniversary, the launch of the World Cup with Adidas, as well as dancing in the video for the World Cup Anthem, “Waka Waka” by Shakira. 

Through her years of travel and teaching, lecturing, and performing domestically and abroad, she has been exposed to many different ethnic music and dance styles, while also developing her own unique palette. Ladzekpo-Cole incorporates the traditional with nontraditional, similar to her own upbringing of being born and raised in America, while growing up in a traditional African household.


Madeline Falcone

Madeline Falcone (they/them) is a performer, producer, and curator building an artistic community that challenges conventions. Recent productions include collaborations with The Ford, Charles Gaines, Times Square Arts, Derrick Skye, REDCAT, Lincoln Center, The Broad, Shelley Washington, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Peter Sellars, Ron Athey, Carmina Escobar, Micaela Tobin, and LACMA. As a proponent of experimental and contemporary music, Falcone is a co-director of LA-based organizations Boss Witch Productions and Isaura String Quartet. They have collaborated on violin and viola with artists in the US and Europe, including Tiler Peck, Sarah Hennies, Mary Kouyoumdjian, David T. Little, Gloria Coates, Marc Sabat, Veronika Krausas, and Jherek Bischoff. Having performed on stages ranging from Carnegie Hall to Coachella, Falcone can be heard on recordings for film and television, and has performed and recorded with artists, including The Eagles, The Temptations, Billie Eilish, Angel Osen, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Deltron 3030, and more.


Dr. Sanjay Sinha

Dr. Sanjay Sinha is a bass guitar and tabla player who has lived music since he was a child. Born with an innate passion for rhythm, Sinha’s journey began at an early age when he made his first bass guitar out of a cookie tin and some rubber bands. From that moment, his life became a symphony of dedication and creativity. He claims musical inspiration from his father, Chandra Prakash Sinha, who while raising him in a musically enriched environment, encouraged him to hone his skills training in jazz piano, tabla, bass guitar, jazz, and funk working to blend his love for Western genres and Indian classical music while he minored in jazz music in college. Sinha has performed with Matt Malley of the Counting Crows in a meditative Mohan Veena concert and he composed and co-choreographed a ”Stomp”inspired Indian rhythm group called Dishoom with tap artist Pankaj Raval. Throughout his career as a bass player, Sinha has performed in multiple funk and rock bands, jazz combos, and most recently as the bass player in the burgeoning rock band, Meyer Lane. Sinha is also a loving husband, father, and an interventional pediatric cardiologist at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and UCI/UCLA.



Gorinka is a versatile singer and performer of Bollywood, semi classical, Ghazals and Western songs. She started singing at the age of eleven; initially with her mother, and then eventually went on to learn Hindustani classical from several accomplished teachers. She was also a student of Late Shri. Pandit Vithal Rao of Hyderabad who was considered to be one of the few maestros of ‘Ghazal’ and was the court singer of the last Nizam of Hyderabad. She has also sung a duet with Hariharan in the Hindi movie “Bollywood Calling” and a song in a Telugu movie called “Manasutho”. Gorinka sings in four different languages and has performed professionally in Minneapolis, MN for several events for the past twenty years. Gorinka is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She released her first original Ghazal album, “Woh Humafar Tha” in 2022 and had a sold-out album release concert at the Plymouth Playhouse, Minneapolis, MN where she performed all her original ghazals and some other popular ghazal covers. She recently relocated to the LA region from Minneapolis with her husband and three boys. Her passion is singing, creating, and collaborating with other creative artists to make great music for the world to enjoy.