Grammy Winner Ricky Kej Brings Post-Covid Spring to Houston

By Chandra K. Mittal, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Indo-American association (IAA)

HOUSTON: Finally, after two years of COVID winter which began in March 2020, Houston welcomed the post-Covid Spring of life with 2022 Season Opener of Indo-American Association (IAA) with none other than Grammy winner Ricky Kej from India and his team of environmentally conscious musicians.

The enthusiasm and excitement for Ricky’s concert was all too palpable in the air even before his performance as people began to arrive at the Wortham Center – perhaps because of long Covid fatigue and somewhat saintly look of Ricky. As soon as the concert started, it became clear that the audience were in for a unique experience that blended the music, the imagery and the environmental context which kept everybody thoroughly engrossed and engaged.

At the One Earth Concert, Ricky indeed presented “his” magical musical compositions to Houstonians. Yes, “his” music because of its uniqueness that touches the human soul. The blend of music and the images playing on the screen were too powerful whether it was the music for the river Ganga, Ma Kaveri, or elephants and deer in the forest, or human life in unknown islands in the ocean, they all conveyed the need for harmony between the nature and human.

The first thing that strikes a listener about Ricky’s music is that he is NOT a run-of-the-mill music composer from Bollywood film industry. His music is not simple “tunes” of Indian popular songs, nor does it trigger a dancing urge. But it really represents serenity and spirituality the way it presents and portrays nature. Be it Ganga or Kaveri River, wild animals, or other creatures of nature on earth, it makes the listener part of them. It portrays mother nature not just through a visible picture or photography but through sound waves energy that also appeal to the human senses to bring the nature alive. No wonder the song entitled “Celebration of all creations” was a real hit along with “We are Together” – the lights’ song which concluded the evening.

Ricky was accompanied by other Grammy Nominees including Lonnie Park and musician Keith Middleton of “Stomp” from New York. The stage artists also included Ricky’s associates Varijashree Venugopal and Shivaraj Natraj from Bangalore, India along with a group of musicians from Fine Arts Strings of Houston.

Indo-American Association Houston (IAA) is a non-profit 501 © (3) organization incorporated in the State of Texas in 1993, has presented many cultural and performing arts programs from the Indian sub-continent during its 29 years history to preserve the awareness of Indian cultural heritage for future generations of Indo-Americans and to enrich the cultural diversity of Greater Houston.

The 2022 Season Opener of IAA with Ricky Kej was in keeping with the quality tradition of IAA, and will be continuing with performance of Abby V, the award winning singer, songwriter and music composer; Rasika Shekar, versatile queen of flute and Nightingale of Music; Rukmini Vijaykumar, choreographer, Bhartanatyam dancer and film actress; Andean-Indian…Melody of Folklore from South America and India featuring Victor Murillo, Louis Quintano, Edwardo Cassipia, Pt. Gouri Shankar and Indrajit Bannerjee; Renowned violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam and Houston Symphony; Indian Ragas…Making Classical Cool; Ustad Shujaat Khan, the Grammy Award Nominee; and Ye Jo Desh Hai Mera….Celebrating Gandhi Jayanti in collaboration with Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston (EGMH).

Detailed information on these programs is available on Website: www.IAAHOUSTON.ORG