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Raagaverse will celebrate debut album with Jaya Release Concert at Fox Cabaret

Raagaverse
Raagaverse members Noah Franche-Nolan, Shruti Ramani, Jodi Proznick, and Nicholas Bracewell are looking forward the release of their first album.

One of B.C.’s most innovative jazz bands is preparing to unveil its first album. Raagaverse will perform its Jaya Release Concert at 7:30 p.m. on May 9 at Vancouver’s Fox Cabaret.

Fronted by Kerala-born and Mumbai-raised singer-composer Shruti Ramani, Raagaverse combines Hindustani classical melodies with jazz harmonies. Ramani performs with bandmates Jodi Proznick (bass), Noah Franche-Nolan (piano), and Nicholas Bracewell (drums).

The band’s album, Jaya, is named after Ramani’s mother, Jayashree Ramani, who’s supported her musical explorations. Last year, Ramani told Pancouver that after she came out, both of her parents in Mumbai celebrated her queer identity.

Jaya is also an homage to Ramani’s guru, Dr. Ritu Johri, a renowned Indian singer of ghazals. Ramani has a degree in Hindustani classical music from the Agra Gharana in India.

Ramani credits her friendships and collaborations with band members for helping her to grow musically. By integrating Hindustani classical melodies with jazz harmonies, she maintains that Raagaverse is creating “a new sound, a new story, and a new beginning”.

In January, Raagaverse released a music video for “Saajan”, which is on the Jaya album. Featuring imagery of Mumbai and Vancouver, it speaks of the joy of being reunited with a loved one. On this track, Raagaverse included string and brass quartets.

Watch the video for “Saajan” from Raagaverse’s first album.

It’s fitting that the band will play its Jaya Release Concert at the Fox Cabaret. Back in March 2022, Raagaverse’s first performance was at the same venue as part of a double bill with the Itamar Erez Quartet. Since then, Raagaverse has played the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, JAZZ @ The BOLT, the Gordon Smith Gallery Music Series, the Fort Langley Jazz Festival, and ArtSpring Theatre on Salt Spring Island.

Event details

Raagaverse Cultural Society will present Raagaverse: Jaya Release Concert at 7:30 p.m. on May 9 at the Fox Cabaret (2132 Main Street). Advance tickets are available through showpass.com. Follow Pancouver on X (fomerly Twitter) @PancouverMedia.

One week later at 8 p.m. on May 16, the VIFF Centre will host Raagaverse plays Bollywood. Ramani will share clips from Bollywood films—including songs of Lata Mangeshkar and A.R. Rahman. Then, the band will perform its unique interpretations with musical guests Kiarah O’Kane on backing vocals, Thad Bailey-Mai on trumpet, and Curtis Andrews on percussion.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.