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MEET
ROOPA

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Hailed a “stirring voice” by the New York Times, Roopa Mahadevan is a leading second-generation Indian classical and crossover vocalist in the American diaspora, known for her powerful, emotive voice, versatility, and collaborative spirit. She leads the crossover ensemble Roopa in Flux, where she works with musicians in jazz, soul/R&B, and various global traditions, directs the innovative choir Navatman Music Collective, and sings for leading Bharatanatyam and modern dancers around the world. Roopa brings a critical commentary, humor, and authenticity to her work. Her avatars are numerous: composer, choir director, comedian, teacher, facilitator, and more. Through it all, Roopa seeks to express joy, humility, and tradition as radical, and essential antidotes, to modern life.

Roopa trained in Carnatic vocal under Asha Ramesh (D.K. Jayaraman tradition) and further under Suguna Varadachari (Musiri Subaramania Iyer tradition) through the Fulbright scholarship. She is also proficient in Bharatanatyam, as a senior student of Indumathy Ganesh. Roopa has performed in diverse venues ranging from Chennai's Music Academy during the December festival and Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, which awarded her the title "Kala Ratna," to stages like Jazz at Lincoln Center, SFJazz, Joe's Pub, Kennedy Center, and the MET Museum, to intimate cultural venues and clubs all around the country.  She is a soloist on Christopher Tin’s Grammy Award-winning album Calling All Dawns, and a sought-after vocalist for many cutting-edge ensembles, including NYC's Brooklyn Raga Massive and numerous collaborators of global acclaim. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, Joe's Pub, Hedgebrook, and Ryder Farm, and is currently working on new compositions with violinist Sruti Sarathy, inspired by South Asian American history with support from the  Creative Work Fund

When not on stage, Roopa is a composer for dance/theater and a passionate teacher, sharing her love for the Carnatic music tradition and the liberatory power of improvisation.

 

In a previous avatar, Roopa worked in public health policy, following bachelors and masters degrees from Stanford University.

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