At a press conference buzzing with excitement yesterday, the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre (SAAAC) announced that the Karthik Music Experience will be having its grand finale in Toronto on June 1st.
The acclaimed artist’s show is being coordinated by supporters of SAAAC and they are donating 100% of the net proceeds from the concert to the Centre. What’s more, during the show Karthik will be sharing the stage with some of the young people from SAAAC for what promises to be an unforgettable performance.
A platform like this is a dream come true for SAAAC’s kids. Their weekly arts program has enabled them to find a beautiful way to express themselves, as many people with autism are not able to communicate verbally. One of SAAAC’s youth, Jabikka, awed everyone at the press conference when she performed a beautiful rendition of Ovvoru Pookalume. Jabikka’s mom shared that before coming to SAAAC, Jabikka had never had a way to express herself. In fact to her extended family she was just known as the child with autism. But all of that changed when they started coming to the Centre.
To hear of the impact that SAAAC has had on just 1 of the 120 families they serve, provided a glimpse of the far reaching potential for their work. Founded in 2008, in response to the shame, stigma, and silence associated with developmental disabilities in the South Asian Community, SAAAC’s operations are completely dependent on the generosity of donors and volunteers, who form the backbone of the services they offer. Today they’re trying to engage as many people as they can to help raise awareness about autism on a larger scale and the upcoming Karthik concert will be an exciting part of this.
Over the past decade, Karthik has emerged as one of the most dynamic performers from India that the world has seen. Trained as a traditional Carnatic music vocalist from a young age, Karthik would later go on to become one of the most successful playback singers in Indian cinema. And, it is this extraordinary journey as an artist that inspired his genre-fusing live performances.
For years, Karthik has been developing and honing a sound that brings together the sounds of traditional Carnatic rhythms with that of popular, Western music. He has been the voice behind generation defining anthems, a frequent collaborator with the likes of A.R. Rahman and Yuvan Shankar Raja, and has become acclaimed for pushing musical boundaries in an industry that rarely favours the unfamiliar. On Sunday June 1st, Karthik will bring his trailblazing live show, the Karthik Music Experience, to Canada for the first time ever.
Accompanying him will be Shakthisree Gopalan, the newcomer songstress who has taken the Indian cinema industry by storm with her stirring performances of songs “Nenjukulle” (Kadal, 2013) and “Enga Pona Raasa” (Maryan, 2013). The all-star cast of Indian musicians that will be performing alongside Karthik are: bass guitarist Keith Peters, percussionists Vikram R. and Daya Sankar, pianist Navneeth Sundar, guitarist Vijay Joseph and flutist Ravi Kulur.
The show will also boast Karthik’s signature live wire act that bring him up close and personal with audiences, a fan friendly style that has made him a favourite across India.
The show will attract 1200 attendees to the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North in Richmond Hill, Ontario. For more information on the concert, including a contest to win a pair of front-row tickets, stay tuned to the official concert page.