Rafiq Bhatia Breaking English Building Bridges: Muslims in America
Thursday, November 7, 2019 | 8:00 pm
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A member of heralded post-rock trio Son Lux who has collaborated with Lorde and Sufjan Stevens, Rafiq Bhatia — a Raleigh native and the son of Muslim immigrant parents — cannot be defined by any one particular style. The guitarist and composer bridges East and West, jazz and pop, acoustic and electronic, all in his own way and going by his own set of rules. Following improvisational early works that hinted at his talents, his 2018 album Breaking English demonstrated just how challenging and exciting his songcraft could be to listeners eager to break free from the predictability of genre or categorization. Bandcamp praised this sui generis full-length as “less about easily-understood messages, and more about the passion it takes to push through the barriers that separate us.” Following a weeklong Building Bridges residency at Duke and in Durham, Bhatia’s trio performs Breaking English at the von der Heyden Studio Theater alongside entrancing visual projections.
“Bhatia finesses a kind of modern prog rock informed by styles as disparate as contemporary soul and Indian classical music.”