intercultural journeys continues season with hip-hop meets hindustani

featuring nistha raj and grammy-nominated christylez bacon

Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 2015 - Intercultural Journeys is pleased to present Hip-Hop Meets Hindustani, the second performance of its 2015/16 Season.  This explosive performance showcases an unconventional pairing: a collision of classical music from northern Indian with progressive Hip-Hop and Go-Go from Washington, D.C..  The result of this fusion is pure musical magic.

On Friday, November 20, Indian classical violinist and 2013/14 Strathmore Artist-in-Residence Nistha Raj and GRAMMY-nominated progressive Hip-Hop artist Christylez Bacon, both Washington, D.C.-based artists, will take the stage with tabla, keys, and saxophone to showcase collaborative works from their own cultural and musical upbringings.

IJ will offer a pre-concert talk with the artists beginning at 7:15pm. Audience members are welcomed to attend and engage with the artists about their work, identity, and the transformative effects of music.

IJ Curator Alex Shaw expressed his anticipation of the second concert in the 2015/16 Season: The Artistry of Identity and Transformation saying, "We are excited to present the work that these two artists are doing. Their project speaks to the greater sense of what can happen when you join two divergent musical traditions. On the outside, it doesn't look like these two traditions can fit together, but Nistha and Christylez unite these traditions seamlessly and in a manner that speaks to the greater commonalities that unite all of us beneath our perceived differences."  

The concert will take place at 8pm in the Ibrahim Theater at International House. Tickets are $15 for General Admission, $10 for IHP members, and $8 for students. To purchase tickets, visit or call 215-387-5125, ext. 2.


Nistha Raj and Christylez Bacon: Hip-Hop Meets Hindustani

Friday, November 20, 2015 - 8pm*

Ibrahim Theater, International House (3701 Chestnut Street)

*Pre-concert artist conversation at 7:15pm

About Nistha Raj

2013-2014 Strathmore Artist in Residence Nistha Raj has been regarded as “stunningly skilled in western and eastern classical music” by the Washington City Paper. Nistha is emerging as a fresh voice in creative and world music. Her recently self-released debut album, “Exit 1”, funded by the Sparkplug Foundation, has been described as “edgy, innovative, and clearly awe-inspiring…Indian fusion at its best” (Inside World Music).  A versatile musician, Nistha pursues new horizons by melding tradition with contemporary innovation. She – lends her talents to the Jazz trio The Fourth Stream, has collaborated with Grammy nominated hip hop artist Christylez Bacon and six-string electric cellist Wytold, and has recorded on rock band NRI’s album.  A distinguished performer and teacher in the Washington, DC community, Nistha has performed at the United Nations, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the American Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Nistha is a recipient of multiple grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, including the 2012 Artist Fellowship.

About Christylez Bacon

Christylez Bacon (pronounced: chris-styles) is a GRAMMY® Nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, D.C. As a performer, Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

In 2011, Christylez began a cross-cultural collaborative concert series in Washington, DC, “Washington Sound Museum” (WSM). WSM is a monthly intimate celebration of music featuring guest artists from diverse musical genres with Christylez Bacon and his progressive hip-hop orchestra. Since WSM’s inception, Christylez has collaborated with artists from various cultural backgrounds, ranging from the Hindustani & Carnatic music of India, the contemporary Arabic music of Egypt, and the music of Brazil.

With a mission towards cultural acceptance and unification through music, Christylez is constantly pushing the envelope – from performances at the National Cathedral, to becoming the first Hip-Hop artist to be featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, composing and orchestrating an entire concert for a 12-piece orchestra commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institute, or recording a Folk/Hip-Hop children’s album. He is the recipient of multiple honors awarded by the Washington Area Music Association including 2013 Artist of the Year, and the Montgomery County Executive Award for Excellence in the Arts, and has even been honored as a 2012 “Library Superhero” by Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.

About Intercultural Journeys

Intercultural Journeys uses the arts to promote peace and greater understanding between people of diverse backgrounds, faiths, and cultures with the aim of catalyzing social change and awareness. Intercultural Journeys was founded in 2002 by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David, philanthropist Carole Haas Gravagno, Majid Alsayegh and Sheldon L. Thompson. Together, they recognized the role that music could play in sparking dialogue between people of different backgrounds. Since then, Intercultural Journeys has held over 160 concerts and partnered with a diverse roster of local and international artists. IJ events have been held not only in the Greater Philadelphia area but also across the United States and even abroad in countries such as China, Spain, Italy and Israel. 

 Media Contact

Lindsey S. Crane, Managing Director, 215-387-2310                                      High res images available upon request