Non Stop Bhangra
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Non Stop Bhangra

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Jan
17
Non Stop Bhangra @ Rickshaw Stop

San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, USA

Dec
31
Non Stop Bhangra @ Gift Center Pavillion

San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, USA

Nov
15
Non Stop Bhangra @ Rickshaw Stop

San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, USA

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Hundreds swarm Hayes Valley’s Rick­shaw Stop each month for Non-Stop Bhangra, where DJs play traditional Punjabi music mixed with reggae, house, and hip-hop. The massive full-service party, which also features dance lessons and live bands, might be the city’s most diverse, with everyone from the local skinny-jean set to South Bay engineers getting in on the act. 155 Fell St., rickshawstop.com,
nonstopbhangra.blogspot.comucers(NonStop Bhangra Crew) - San Francisco Magazine


A swish of beaded cerulean silk, jingles of hammered gold, the rousing ring of a tabla — and it's on, desi darlings. Over the course of the past three years, the monthly Non-Stop Bhangra club night has drawn to the Rickshaw Stop's dance floor hundreds of often barefoot revelers eager to lose themselves in the rum-tum-tum of the deep dhol drums, the rippling chimta claps, and the spiky electronic accoutrements that make up the unique and funky, Punjabi-by-way-of-London bhangra sound.

Gloriously collaborative, Non-Stop Bhangra got its start in 2004, when DJ Jimmy Love joined forces with Suman Raj-Grewal and Vicki Virk of the Dholrhythms dance troupe to bring bhangra and the popular art of Punjabi dance to a larger audience — and to bring the party, of course. Each Non-Stop Bhangra night includes live dhol drumming and other accompaniment; an eclectic roster of global-minded DJs mixing traditional Punjabi tracks, new compositions, and tabla-tinged remixes; better-than-Bollywood visual projections; and live painting by Marcus Murray, who creates a different piece of art for each event.

The night is capped off with performances by the gorgeous Dholrhythms dance troupe, whose stylized whirling and fluid poses send many a heart a-flutterin', this writer's included.

"Bhangra is such a joyous form of expression and can be done by anyone, regardless of age, size, gender, and background," the Punjab-born Virk says. "It's truly universal." A former attorney licensed with the California State Bar Association, she left the staid world of lawyering to pursue her dreams of dance and helped found Dholrhythms in 2003. "I'm just so incredibly pleased that we've had such a successful three years bringing this form of music and dance to a larger audience and to expand the scope of people's impressions about it all," she says. "It's quite a dream come true."

Virk believes firmly in the spiritual association of music and dance with what she calls people's "duty as divine beings to discover passion and manifest our highest potential in order to fulfill life's purpose," and with Raj-Grewal, she has initiated dozens of Dholrhythms students into the world of bhangra bliss. (Non-Stop Bhangra nights also serve as showcases of her students' newfound Punjab prowess live onstage.) But beyond the spiritual sphere, the event has also served as a nexus of the Bay Area's world music scene, embracing, supporting, and absorbing sounds as disparate as the stony Jamaican dub pyrotechnics of the Dub Mission crew, the lively Southeast Asian electro and breakbeat mischief of Surya Dub and DJ Maneesh Tha Twista, DJ Cheb i Sabbah's longitude-hopping dance music fusion, J-Boogie's urban hip-hop amalgams, and the Francophone Afrobeat stylings of Soul Afrique — all of whom have made storied appearances behind Non-Stop's decks.

Earlier this year Non-Stop's nonstop popularity was affirmed with a packed headline gig at one of Stern Grove's summer Sunday concerts, and the crew has recently performed at 1015 Folsom, Pier 39, the Harmony Festival, and the Power to the Peaceful Festival in Golden Gate Park, where the Dholrhythms dancers were greeted rapturously by an audience of 40,000. "Bhangra has grown into something the US can embrace, because we believe in a scene where a mix of cultures can all come together to dance and enjoy wonderful music," Virk says. "Non-Stop Bhangra is about nonstop expression — and acceptance of yourself and others." - SF Bay Guardian


Voted Top 20 Favorite far-out dance floor destinations - SF Bay Guardian 2006 - SF Bay Guardian


Non-Stop Bhangra SF possesses a half dozen excellent little Indo-Pakistani restaurants where your dinner boom box serenade is hot Punjabi bhangra music. Now, thank Gurus, we have a place to dance to it too. At Non-Stop Bhangra, resident DJs Earflaps and Jimmy Love mix South Asian hip-hop and electronic beats laced with Dhol drumming, pop vocals, and traditional instruments, while Dholrhythms dance troupe shows the audience how to move. And the monthly party recently added tabla master Ferhan Qureshi and VJ Christo (Future Primitive) to the night's artistic fusion. "The unique mix of a DJ and dance company creates a balance [for] this dance floor craze still just hitting the Bay Area," says Dholrhythms cofounder Vicki Virk. Call for information. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. $15. (415) 861-2011, www.rickshawstop.com, www.nonstopbhangra.com. - SF Bay Guardian, 2005!


http://www.sfbg.com/bob/2008/ent.php

Runner up in all categories - 2008 Readers poll:

BEST DANCE COMPANY
Runners up: DholRhythms

BEST DJ
Runners up: Jimmy Love

BEST PARTY PRODUCERS
Runners up: NonStop Bhangra crew - SF Bay Guardian


"Lets Bhangra" --Vicki Virk chats with Michael Krasny about Bhangra and its influence on the local dance scene. Listen to the interview.

http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R805131000

--KQED NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO SHOW "FORUM" WITH MICHAEL KRASNY-- - KQED - NPR


2008 is underway, & the Non Stop Bhangra crew returns to the Rickshaw Stop to bang in the New Year! Joining Jimmy Love at the decks this month will be DJ Sep of the legendary Dub Mission nights, whose world music show on KUSF "Off The Beaten Path" has gained her major exposure as one of the bay area's leading world music DJ's. The Dholrhythms Dance Troupe will be in the house to show everyone how Bhangra is done, with the packed early night lesson and performances. (FR)

http://www.nitevibe.com/buzz/nitevibe_buzz319.htm - NiteVibe - Buzz


http://futuresounds.blogspot.com/2006/01/saturday-night-non-stop-bhangra-san.html

If you live in the Bay Area and actually dance, then Saturday night you must get down to the Rickshaw Stop for NON-STOP BHANGRA. If you've never heard of Bhangra, shame on ya, but you actually have: think of the beat in Missy Elliot's 'Get Yer Freak On', that's bhangra. If you hear bhangra and you don't automatically move, then you are missing the dance gene in your body. - Future Sounds


http://blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/qa/

Jimmy Love's a self-proclaimed "white boy from New Mexico," but his tastemaking skills go beyond his ethnic or national origin. The DJ started one of San Francisco's most popular club nights -- Non Stop Bhangra -- and in the process helped bring traditional Indian folk music to the dancefloor (blended with hip-hop and reggae, among other styles). He's also a part of Surya Dub, another melting pot club night that's risen in the ranks in short order.

The next two Saturdays offer two opportunities to feel the Love, as it were ... but first, check out the passion this guy puts into his practice as a DJ in our Q&A below.

Name: Jimmy Love

Club night(s): Non Stop Bhangra; Surya Dub

Style(s) of music you spin: Bhangra, hip-hop, breaks, house, dancehall, dub, world music

For the uninitiated, what is Bhangra music and what kind of twist do you put on it for Non Stop Bhangra? Bhangra music is folk music from the northern region of India called Punjab. Traditionally known as a dance to celebrate the harvest, over the years it has become the major music played at Indian celebrations or community gatherings.

Based on a 4 on 4 beat much like most Western music, it has changed over the years by adapting to the culture in which the Punjabi culture has migrated too. As the people migrated to the UK, a massive infusion of reggae, garage and drum and bass was infused into the sound. In recent years North America has played a greater role, bringing everything from hip-hop to reggaeton into the sound.

Our twist to Non Stop Bhangra is to have the whole dish, and get to enjoy it all night long. With less of a desire to be cutting edge or underground, our overall focus is to present something to people in a way they can have a good time, and walk away feeling the energy even if they don't really know what just happened.

The joy from doing an event is sharing an experience with your crowd, and what is great about NSB to me is the fact that since San Francisco is so diverse we can mix in everything from reggae to hip-hop and the crowd keeps up. When we have DJs in from other parts of the world, they just say the openness of our crowd and format covers the Bhangra spectrum.

Where did your interest in Bhangra initially come from? I initially got into Asian music when I first heard Talvin Singh and Bally Sagoo some years back, which was one part of my decision to move to San Francisco.

Bhangra music itself was more of a build, hearing tracks like "Beware of the Boys" (Punjabi MC) I was into it, but didn't really grasp the depths of the music because it was only a lifted sound and not introduced in a proper way to Americans. (Even today it's a hard style of music to track down.)

I got more into the music when I met my partner and girlfriend Vicki Virk of Dholrhythms some years later. She and her partner Suman Raj started Bhangra classes in the Bay Area, and I kept asking her where her students went to dance the moves they were learning. Since there were no places to go out and dance, I threw myself into the ring and teamed up with Dholrhythms and we threw our first Non Stop Bhangra event over four years ago.

What other elements do you add to the club night that have helped attract such a following? We really focus on community, and the crew -- which is family to me -- put all their love into the night and I think the crowd feels that authenticity. The infectious beat helps a lot, and the fact that we involve the audience and teach them about the culture and how to dance to the music, which is lacking in the vibe of most club nights. SF sometimes can ride the trends too hard, and the general person just wanting to go out and let loose gets turned off by not feeling cool enough to enjoy the music the musicheads feel is the end all.

What's the best way of staying current on dance music culture in other countries?
I find out what is going on mostly through blogs and other DJs. World music is a diggers' game, much like old funk, which is where I started. You can find some stores on-line, however they only stay current as long as someone at the site is interested or until the designer quits. Magazines play a big part as well, though I find blogs and forums is where you end up hearing what really works on a dance floor or what people really think about a sound.

I am a big bookmark person, and have added hundreds of bookmarks on my browser separated into folders. I search everyday looking for different music based on which music I am about to play. If you are really serious about a certain sound, I would track down DJs you like and start going through tracklistings from mixes they put out. Let someone else do some digging for you, and pull out your gems from them.

Name of a track you can’t get out of your head:
DJ Vadim - "Watch That Sound (J Star Remix)." It just makes me happy.

Favorite DJ experience: Hands down, opening Stern Grove Festival last summer. I was on the decks as they announced the group to 14,000 people, saying "San Francisco's own Non Stop Bhangra Collective." It was the largest crowd I had ever seen from that angle, with just a drummer and me on stage. My hair still stands up thinking about how proud I was of where we had taken it, and feeling like part of this wonderful city.

Worst request: I was booked some years back to play a NYE event, and they wanted me to go on at 12 a.m. with a breakbeat set. I was welcomed into the New Year with a girl crying because I wasn't playing Britney Spears, with two of her guy friends that didn't want to look me in the eyes. She followed with, "Please, just play something we all know" as I was playing a remix of Nirvana's "Smell's Like Teen Spirit."

Most treasured vinyl score: Way too many to pick one...

Best thing that's come out of becoming a DJ: Honestly, the friends and family you meet going through the process. People in general think it must be easy to just play songs or paint and people love you. Through the arts I have met really dedicated people who put so much into the hours no one ever sees.

I've gotten to see people who I would least expect behind me end up pulling for me when I needed it, and people come into my life for a reason I only see years later. It is also inspiring meeting people that you looked up to as you got into following your dreams, and years later meeting them and realizing you have become friends and share in the journey together. That is a trip to me, and far better than any money made.

Musical mantra: I come from the James Brown school of music, "Whatever it is, it's got to be funky!" In my personal time I can get as deep as I want, but when playing for people it is all about the groove and keeping people moving no matter the style.

Other music-related projects you're currently hard at work on: I am also part of a killer collective of cutting edge DJ's and producers, who I am truly inspired by and love to death. The night has done really well, winning Best Club Night last year, among other countless awards. Surya Dub bridges the gap between dubstep and reggae. Formed by my friend Maneesh the Twister, it features a dedicated group of people who all excel within their own sounds and bring it all together to keep SF's heart beating.

Question we didn’t ask you but you often ask yourself: How did this white boy from New Mexico ever learn how to play Bhangra?

Next time we can see you spin: Non Stop Bhangra - Saturday, November 15, Rickshaw Stop; Surya Dub - Saturday, November 22nd - Club 6
- SF Weekly - 2008


Discography

No releases at this time, working on an EP.

Photos

Bio

Celebrating the North Indian sound of Bhangra, Non-Stop Bhangra (NSB) is so much more than just the typical club night! NSB is a community that breaks cultural and religious boundaries by bringing together people from all walks of life to share our oneness through the gifts of music and dance. NSB is a low-key, fun, energetic, and vibrant experience that combines dj's, dance lessons & performances, live dhol(drum) & tabla players, mc's, visuals, and live painting all dedicated to sharing the spirit of bhangra and keeping the vibe focused on making you dance nonstop.

Non-Stop Bhangra was born in 2004 when Dj Jimmy Love and Dholrhythms founders Vicki Virk and Suman Raj teamed up to provide a dance night for students of Dholrhythms Bhangra classes. The First NSB was hosted to celebrate the one year anniversary of Dholrhythms. With an already dedicated interest for Bhangra, the night went from zero to sixty, and a grass roots word of mouth movement began culminating in a phenomenal monthly which has become a popular staple of San Francisco culture. NSB is a huge destination creating sold out nights and write-ups in all the local papers as one of the best dance floor nights in San Francisco and the trend of people seeking out this new music continues to grow.

If you were looking for a rough guide to Bhangra, all elements are represented in this collective effort. NSB has blazed a trail by presenting Punjabi folk music in a fresh and accessible way, which leaves no one out. The roots of this traditional harvest dance and music hold firm while familiar elements of Hip Hop, Reggae and House music work into the mix. Resident Dj Jimmy Love controls the decks by cutting up songs on the fly mixing traditional bhangra tracks as well as remixes, all fused with live Dhol drums & scratching, alongside wicked Mc's. The infectious energy is led by the beautiful ladies of Dholrhythms Dance Troupe who provide dance lessons & featured performances filled with colorful outfits and smiles that spin your eyes dizzy and compel you to join in the vibe. Visual Dj's cut up videos, while live painter, Marcus Murray creates a new piece of art for each event.

In 2007 Non Stop Bhangra decided to grow on it's fame in the bay area, and added live vocals and drums to complete the live set. Over the last two years they have played to thousands of people, opening for the likes of Anoushka Shankar, Michael Franit, and Ziggy Marley and along side groups such as the B-Side Players. This is one live act outside of the box, as the groups make up allows for remixes live to fully live sets intertwined with dancers. There is so much eye candy and energy, they have embraced the next step with ease.