Asha Stanford V 2008

‘V’ is a variety entertainment show being held for the second time by Asha Stanford. This year, it is on the 15th of November 2008, at the Kresge Auditorium on the Stanford University campus.

‘V’ features exciting talents from around the bay area and the Stanford campus. This year, our main draws are ‘VidyA’, an adventurous group that merges the virtuosity of Jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuances of Carnatic music, Samson Koletkar, a popular Indian stand-up comedian, Raagapella, Stanford’s South Asian a capella group and and Dhwani, an increasingly popular hindi music group at Stanford.

About the performers:


VidyA is an adventurous new group that merges the virtuosity of Jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuance of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music. Led by critically-acclaimed saxophonist, Prasant Radhakrishnan along with David Ewell (bass) and Sameer Gupta (Drums),
VidyA has emerged with a soulful, penetrating sound that pushes the labels of “fusion” or “world music.”

These three artists have an almost telepathic interplay, incorporating the forward motion of both Indian Classical and jazz rhythms while elaborating Carnatic ragas infused with melodic richness. The group weaves in and out of the two genres while all the time merging them into one. VidyA translates the language of Carnatic music into the idiom of Jazz.

For more information, visit:

Samson Koletkar

From a boy who refused to put a foot on stage to a man who has to be dragged off it, Samson’s comedy has come a long way, in a short time. Originally from Mumbai, now a resident of San Francisco, he shares his reflections, observations and absurdities. Very likable both on and off stage, he will make you laugh till your organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food hurts. Often called “The Indian Seinfeld”, he is the worlds only known Indian Jewish standup comedian!

For more information, visit


Raagapella is Stanford’s all-male South Asian focus a cappella group, specializing in South Asian and Western fusion. With a repertoire of Bollywood pop, traditional music, and fusion pieces, Raagapella has sung in venues ranging from dormitories to stadiums like the Oracle Arena and the Hollywood Bowl.

As the reigning two-time champions of the National South Asian A Cappella Championships, Raagapella has also received critical acclaim for its debut album Raags to Riches, and performed alongside composer A.R. Rahman and other stars of Indian film music. As an active performing group, they perform at cultural events all across the bay area and also host their own shows. Their most notable performances over the year are the annual Anahat a cappella competition at Berkeley, Valentine’s Day serenades, a nationwide tour during spring break, and an annual spring show that showcases their repertoire over the course of the year coupled with hilarious skits and movies that they’ve filmed.

For more information, visit


Established in October 2005 with the aim of spreading the spirit of Indian music on campus, Dhwani has performed at several events on campus over the years, including the Festival of Lights ’05 and ’06, Gandhi Jayanthi ’05, the Multi-faith devotional at the Memorial Church in January ’06, The International Gala ’06 and ’07, and “V” 2007, Asha’s music festival. In the spring of 2008, Dhwani put up Alankar, an hour long show featuring songs from diverse genres, including its first original composition. With over 20 members from various backgrounds and interests, Dhwani’s current repertoire ranges from devotional bhajans to light classical to indi-pop and bollywood numbers.

For a glimpse of their videos: Dhwani Stanford


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