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neelamjitNeelamjit Dhillon is a professional musician equally versed in both Eastern and Western traditions. He has obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies (majoring in saxophone performance) from Capilano University and has also completed a Bachelor of Education degree in Secondary Music Education from the University of British Columbia. He has obtained a Masters in tabla performance from the California Institute of the Arts [CalArts] and is now pursuing his doctorate at CalArts. The Tabla [a drum from northern India] is Neelamjit’s first instrument and he studies under the tutelage of world-renowned maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. This firm rooting in two distinct styles gives Neelamjit a unique perspective into the universality of music.

raginderRaginder Momi, also known as Violinder, is a young and upcoming artist from California. Being born in a musical family, Raginder has always been exposed to different types of music. He first started playing violin when he was 11 years old. Later in 2004, he became a disciple of a renowned Indian classical artist, Dr. Sisirkana Dhar Choudhury, and has been under her guidance ever since. Being exposed to different types of music, Raginder has brought it upon his violin to experiment and try playing with different genres of music such as Hip-Hop, Punjabi, Indian classical and many more. With lots of talent and potential, Raginder is an artist who will always bring new, intense and interesting types of music for his audience to hear.

nishaNisha Kaur Sembi was born and raised in Berkeley, California where she currently lives and works. With any art that she produces, whether it be her digital, fine art, or street art work, Nisha’s main objective is to create art that sheds light on the different elements that she embodies. Having worked with youth in her motherland, Nisha focuses on drawing attention to the growing hip-hop movement in India and using her art as a platform to bridge self expression with social change. By combining Indian culture with hip-hop culture, Nisha has channeled a new style called Kalakari (“Artistry”) through which she has been crafting art work that break through traditional boundaries and defy the limits of our society through a process of self-reflection and decolonization.

jagmeetHoodini aka HoodiniDidIt is a 22-year old artist based out of Los Angeles, and he is one half of the producer-emcee duo Hoodini & KinG!. KinG!`s soulful and heavy-hitting production combines live instrumentation and vocals with sampling from all over the world. Hoodini`s relaxed story-telling alongside his quick and agile patterns have left him labeled as “one of the most lyrical and charismatic South Asian emcees” by critics. On January 1, the duo released their second album, “Complex Ignorance.” This project is a careful blend of opposites which brings you both profundity and ignorance, often within the same sentence. It is a critique of the crash-and-burn lifestyle we have all become victim to, while simultaneously being a musical celebration of those circumstances. Hoodini and KinG! are currently touring around California to promote their new release, available for free download.

gunjivBabbey nu Kanna, Gaggay nu Bihari – Baagi is one of the few rappers that raps in Panjabi. This Californian artist uses multilingual vocabulary to lyrically give a new voice to the Hip-Hop movement. Never heard before, the flavor Baagi brings is refreshing, yet revolutionary; the struggle to restore the Panjabi heritage is reborn. This versatile artist presents his talent at the intersection of Hip-Hop and his mindset, writing rhymes about both socially conscious and daily life issues. After being featured with renown artists, like Nishawn Bhullar and Tigerstyle and delivering popular hits on YouTube, he has released his debut Panjabi Hip Hop project called “Baagi Di Vaari: Mixtape.” Professor Navdeep Dhillon, writes, “[So] I am looking to forward to seeing what else he comes up with and remain optimistic that he will be the breath of fresh air for Punjabi music, both in Punjab and overseas so we can move more towards heightening the consciousness of the masses…”

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New to Sikholars 2013 is our first “entrepreneurs panel.”  After discussion in years past we decided to create a fresh avenue to highlight entrepreneurial talents within the community.  Every year we hope to showcase some of the most innovative Sikhs that are putting their creative energies to use.  This year we are highlighting three tech professionals that have experience in creating startups and will share some of their insights, inspirations, experiences, visions of tech futures, and opportunities and perspectives of being Sikhs in their fields.

We extremely excited to host:

Harjeet Singh Tagger is a partner at Y Combinator. He was previously founder of Auctomatic, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2007 and acquired by Live Current Media in 2008. He graduated in 2006 from Oxford. In 2011 he was named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Navroop Singh Mitter is Gryphn’s CEO and co-founder. Prior to co-founding Gryphn in 2011, Navroop worked at Accenture, expanding the influence of the Scandinavian Security Practice and launching the Argentine Security Operations Center. He has also worked at start-ups in Boston and Southern California.

Savraj Singh Dhanjal is the founder and CEO of Wattvision, based in Princeton, NJ. Wattvision makes sensors and software to help people and businesses increase energy efficiency. Since Wattvision’s inception in 2009, the company has grown to track energy at sites around the country, with real-time data viewable online. Before entering the startup world, Savraj was a program manager on the Microsoft Office User Experience Team in Redmond, Washington, where he traveled, met customers, and earned two patents for his design work on Office 2007’s user interface. Savraj earned his BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University in 2003.