Indian American musician Sheela Bringi has been exploring the connections between her ancestral and actual homelands her entire life. The singer and instrumentalist plays the harp, harmonium and bansuri (Indian classical bamboo flute).
As a young woman Bringi was influenced by M.I.A. and Dead Can Dance, studied with Cecil Taylor and Meredith Monk, while at the same time deepened her studies with Indian classical masters like Pandit G.S. Sachdev and Ustaad Aashish Khan.
This unique background has resulted in her debut album, Incantations (Black Swan Sounds), rooted in India’s classical music tradition and the beauty of its mantras, as well as a groundbreaking exploration of American jazz and blues. The album was released in 2014 and garnered praise from National Public Radio, the Guardian, Public Radio International and more, and debuted at #9 on the iTunes World Music chart.
She has performed in a wide range of venues, including concert halls and universities presenting traditional material, yoga studios leading kirtans and in dance clubs overtop throbbing, bass-heavy beats (she’s toured with Karsh Kale, DJ Drez, and many others). In 2016 she was an instrumental soloist on Madi Das’ GRAMMY-nominated album, Bhakti Without Borders.