The musicians will perform at the annual charity concert in New York alongside A-listers like Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Will.i.am this November
Indian electronica pioneers Midival Punditz and Indian – American composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Karsh Kale have been invited to perform at the 8th Annual Black Ball in New York, in aid of Keep A Child Alive foundation, cofounded by R&B songstress Alicia Keys. This is big news for the artistes as they will not only perform at a major global event but will also be supporting a cause with serious impact back home in India.
Says Karsh, “It’s a great cause and anything to do with children has my support. HIV/AIDS remains one of the largest epidemics in India, so it is important that Alicia and her foundation do the work they’re doing to bring awareness, medicine and hope to those who have no voice in this struggle.”
What is the Black Ball?
The gala – established by Keys eight years ago – is held annually to raise awareness and money for the Keep A Child Alive charity, which provides support and treatment to children and families affected by HIV/AIDs in Africa and India. To date, the Black Ball has generated over US$14 million and served over 250,000 people.
This year, the concert will pay tribute to the late Beatles guitarist George Harrison for his various philanthropic contributions to India. The year also marks the 40th anniversary of Harrison’s multi-artist Concert for Bangladesh, which paved the way for musicians to increase awareness on global issues. Midival Punditz and Kale have worked together for nearly ten years now, producing each other’s music, performing together on albums and even touring the world together. Very recently, they made their debut as music directors with the film Soundtrack. Adds Gaurav Raina of the Punditz, “It was pure coincidence that the co-founder of Keep A Child Alivefoundation, Leigh Blake, was in Delhi some months ago and came across our second album. She carried it back to New York with her and introduced Alicia to our music. She then invited us to be a part of this year’s show. We hope this event will increase awareness within India towards the cause the Ball represents.” This year, the Black Ball honours the late Beatles guitarist George Harrison and his philanthropic work in India. Midival Punditz and Kale have been invited to perform along with music heavyweights like Keys — who will also serve as musical director on the show — apart from Usher, Norah Jones, Will.i.am, Mary J Blige, Gary Clark Jr and Jay Sean. Says Karsh, “Just the fact that it was a tribute to George Harrison was enough to get us excited, but then to find out that Alicia and others would be performing alongside makes it that much cooler. The Ball has raised millions of dollars towards a good cause. It’s an inspiring feeling when so many artists come together to make a statement.” The show takes place on November 3 at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. While individual tickets go for US$5,000 each, A Gala Table for ten is priced at US$100,000. All proceeds from the show go to the charity Keep A Child Alive.