Berklee Indian Ensemble

Dear brothers and sisters,

Below are clips of Berklee Indian Ensemble. Great music. I like Indian music, so I really like those clips.

With members from 42 countries to date, the Berklee Indian Ensemble provides an open and inclusive creative space for musicians from all over the world to explore, study, interpret, and create music influenced by the rich and varied mosaic that is Indian music today. From a Carnatic thillana or a high-adrenaline konnakol conversation to Indo-jazz experiments or qawwali, the ensemble performs an expansive repertoire with the ultimate goal of presenting concerts entirely comprising original student compositions.

Founded in 2011 by Berklee alumna and faculty member Annette Philip ’09, the group was the first of its kind at the college, starting with just 18 members in its first semester. Today, the Berklee Indian Ensemble is one of the largest performing groups at the college with over 40 musicians at each concert.

The ensemble is the first academic course associated with Berklee India Exchange and provides all artistic content for the program, including collaborative works with renowned Indian vocalist, composer, and producer Clinton Cerejo in 2013; Grammy- and Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman in 2014; master vocal improviser Vijay Prakash in 2015; and renowned Indian classical vocalist/composer Shankar Mahadevan in 2016.

The Berklee Indian Ensemble is also the only performance class at the college to have viral music videos that have garnered over 35 million hits and counting on YouTube, with its most popular video being a cover of A. R. Rahman’s “Jiya Jale,” which has earned over 12 million hits to date.


Great clips. Enjoy.

Have a nice day.



1. A. R. Rahman, “Jiya Jale” (Dil Se): Berklee Indian Ensemble (Cover)

“Jiya Jale” (Dil Se) is a tribute to A. R. Rahman by the Berklee Indian Ensemble in gratitude for his immense contribution to our lives through his inspiring music and journey.

A. R. Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist. In 2009, Time Magazine placed Rahman in its list of World’s Most Influential People. In a notable career spanning two decades, he has garnered particular acclaim for redefining contemporary Indian film music, and putting Indian music on the global map, in a way that no other Indian composer/performer has achieved.

On October 24, 2014, Berklee College of Music will confer A. R. Rahman with an honorary doctor of music degree. Berklee Faculty and students from the Berklee Indian Ensemble will pay tribute to the living legend, who will join them on select pieces in a concert celebrating his music and life at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

Mr. Rahman’s visit is a signature event under Berklee India Exchange, a new initiative co-founded by two Indian Berklee alums, Annette Philip (artistic director), and Clint Valladares (artist relations and strategy), as a platform for cultural conversation, through the composition, collaboration, and performance of original Indian music. Proceeds from the concert will go towards a scholarship fund in Mr. Rahman’s name for students from India to attend Berklee.

This is a huge milestone for the Berklee Indian Ensemble, one of largest and most diverse ensembles at the college, with members representing 37 countries, and counting. Founded in 2011 by faculty member, Annette Philip, the ensemble performs an expansive repertoire of Indian classical, semi-classical, folk, Sufi, and contemporary Indo-jazz music, with the ultimate goal of presenting concerts entirely consisting of original student compositions. Every year, there is at least one composition by A. R. Rahman featured in their repertoire.

Berklee Indian Ensemble
“Jiya Jale” (A. R. Rahman)
From the film Dil Se

2. A. R. Rahman Meets Berklee – Epic Medley (12 of 16)

Grammy and Academy award winning composer, A. R. Rahman performed with, and was paid tribute to, by Berklee College of Music at Symphony Hall, Boston, on October 24, 2014. The repertoire for the concert spanned Mr. Rahman’s illustrious discography of over 25 years. We are delighted to release all 16 pieces presented at the concert featuring 109 performers from 32 countries representing The Berklee Indian Ensemble, The Berklee World String Ensemble, and Boston University’s Indian dance troupe, BU Bhangra.

3. Berklee Indian Ensemble ft Vijay Prakash – Arz-E-Niyaz by Sashank Navaladi

The Berklee Indian Ensemble is delighted to release our second student original “Arz-E-Niyaz” by Sashank Navaladi, featuring the award-winning virtuosic Indian vocalist and composer, Vijay Prakash on Mirza Ghalib’s 219th birth anniversary. It’s the first time the Berklee Indian Ensemble has had a renowned artist perform on a student composition, and hope this will be the first of many such collaborations.

Hailing from Mysore, Karnataka in India, Vijay Prakash is one of the most sought after Indian playback singers with hits in Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi films. He has performed with the likes of Zakir Hussain, A.R. Rahman, and Taufiq Qureshi at venues like Wembley Stadium, the O2 Arena, WOMAD and Woodstock. He also won the prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer (Kannada) for the song ‘Gatiya Ilidu’ from the film ‘Ulidavaru Kandante,’ and was one of the four vocalists on “Jai Ho” which won both, a Grammy and an Academy award. The Berklee Indian Ensemble recorded “Arz-E-Niyaz” with Mr. Prakash during his Berklee India Exchange artist residency at the college in November 2015.

Our composer, Sashank, was inspired by “Arz-E-Niyaz,” a poem written by the preeminent Urdu and Persian Sufi poet of the 19th century, Mirza Ghalib. Written in the form of eight couplets, ‘arz-e-niyāz-e-ishq’ literally translates to the ‘supplication for the blessings of love.’ Ghalib reflects on the days when the heart was more engulfed in the humility of passion and considered himself a more worthy offering to the beloved. For a detailed translation of the poem, please visit:

Special thanks to our friends from the literary world for helping us with pronunciation of the Urdu lyrics: Urdu specialist, Salim Arif, and poetess, Sunayana Kachroo

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