We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
A.R. Rahman has sold millions of recordings. The only reason you’ve never heard of him is that you don’t spend enough time watching Bollywood musicals. A classically trained pianist and former jingle writer, Rahman has composed soundtracks for more than 50 of the notedly kitschy Indian flicks. With an ear for rural, academic, and more popular sounds, Rahman shovels out countless songs that mix hi-tech and traditional instruments and are written for an array of voices. His works are always lushly produced, whether the piece is orchestral in nature, of the more traditional snake-charmer feel, or dance-oriented. Last year, using English lyrics for what looks to be the first time, he added sappy theatrical tunes to his oeuvre, writing for the Andrew Lloyd Webber-produced, Broadway-bound Bombay Dreams. And though tonight’s show may not include Dreams’ wet-sari number, it promises to be an extravaganza: Rahman performs with nine other vocalists, a host of dancers, and 45 musicians at 8:30 p.m. at George Mason University’s Patriot Center, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $45-$200. (202) 432-7328. (Steve Kiviat)