A cappella group Penn Masala perform Bollywood songs at White House

Washington: Prominent a cappella group Penn Masala, comprising students of the University of Pennsylvania, on Thursday performed a rendition of popular Bollywood tracks “Chaiyya Chaiyya” and “Jashn e Bahaaraa” at the White House ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's arrival.

The group of South Asian students performed for the large crowd, ranging between 2000 and 3000 people, that gathered at the South Lawns to witness the ceremonial welcome being given to Modi at the White House.

Penn Masala first performed “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 1998 movie “Dil Se..”, followed by “Jashn e Bahaaraa” from “Jodha Akbar”, the 2008 historical drama featuring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

They also performed a version of British rock band Coldplay's hit track “Viva La Vida” from their 2008 album of the same name.

The group, formed in the 90s by University of Pennsylvania students who grew up listening to Bollywood classics, have performed at the White House at earlier occasions as well.

They are known for original compositions and harmonies that traverse traditions and capture the experience of growing up with both Eastern and Western cultures.

Penn Masala has performed around the world, including at the IIFA Awards and in the Hollywood feature film and soundtrack for “Pitch Perfect 2”, which received an American Music Award for Best Soundtrack in 2015.

Penn Masala along with American violinist and conductor Joshua Bell have also been invited to the entertainment portion of the State dinner for Prime Minister Modi.

Modi arrived here on Wednesday on the second leg of his maiden state visit to the US during which he will hold bilateral talks with President Joe Biden and address a joint session of the US Congress.

Prime Minister Modi and President Biden will have a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday before holding high-level talks to further boost the growing Indo-US strategic relations in areas like defence, space and critical technologies.

( Source : PTI )
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