New Jersey Symphony celebrates AAPI Month with 'Hooray for Bollywood'

Crystal Cranmore Image
Friday, May 5, 2023
NJ Symphony celebrates AAPI Month with 'Hooray for Bollywood'
The New Jersey Symphony presents "Hooray for Bollywood" during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Crystal Cranmore has the story.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- The New Jersey Symphony presents "Hooray for Bollywood" during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The family concert will be held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, May 13.

The Symphony, led by conductor Vinay Parameswaran, will be joined by acclaimed South Asian musicians for this performance, including prominent sitar player Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury.

The program will also feature new arrangements by award-winning pianist, composer and journalist Charu Suri.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is hoping to reach a wider audience with "Hooray for Bollywood."

"People who haven't heard Bollywood before, it's going to be a cultural experience. It's like a journey through India through its music," said Archana Athalve, Kulture Kool.

Athalye is the director of Kulture Kool, a South Asian cultural center based in North Jersey.

She teamed up with the symphony to fuse traditional Indian music and dance with western classical music.

"I don't know that another orchestra in the States has really done an entire concert dedicated to Indian classical music and the Indian film industry," said Erin Lunsford Norton, New Jersey Symphony. "It's been a lot of hard work connecting arrangers and composers in India in the States.

Indian music continues to grow in popularity.

Earlier this year, the song "Naatu Naatu" became the first song ever from an Indian production to scoop an Oscar for best original song.

According to the United Nations, the country is on track to surpass China by mid-2023 as the world's most populous nation.

In New Jersey, the Indian population rose about 43% between 2010 and 2021.

"My effort in the U.S. through culture has always been outreach," Archana said. "I think this is the first opportunity that we have gone mainstream in a way that has not happened before."

"I feel there is a growing need amongst children and younger people from South Asian diaspora to see themselves being represented, and their music and their dances and their languages," Lunsford Norton said. "Glad they're getting better appreciation because it is so beautiful."

More information is available at

ALSO READ | SNEAK PEEK: American Museum of Natural History opening state-of-the-art science center

The American Museum of Natural History will open its Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation next week. Brittany Bell has the story.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.