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Vijay Iyer honored with professorship by University of Arkansas

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Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Vijay Iyer will serve temporarily as a professor of music at the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas for two days in mid-February—his trio will perform a show on Feb. 18, free of charge, at the Jim & Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center.

The Vijay Iyer Trio, Photo Courtesy of classicallite.com

The Vijay Iyer Trio, Photo Courtesy of classicallite.com

Iyer’s visit to the university will also include a public lecture, titled “I Feel You: Music and Empathy,” on Feb. 19. The event will be open to the public, and will take place at Giffels Auditorium in Old Main. Elizabeth Margulis, professor of music and director of the university’s Music Cognition Lab, said Iyer will spend multiple days working intensively with the Fayetteville students.

“Vijay Iyer is a pioneering jazz pianist who writes compellingly about music and embodiment,” Margulis said. “Students are ready to be inspired by his innovative musicianship, and the music department is thrilled to be able to offer the community the opportunity to hear him perform and speak live.”

Critics concur the skills of Iyer, at age 42, he currently serves as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. Critic Steve Greenly opined Iyer as “the most celebrated pianist in jazz,” and that “he may be the most celebrated musician in jazz right now.”

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Trump Speaks to Modi, Aims to Reduce Kashmir Tensions

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Modi Kashmir Tensions Trump

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump spoke to Indian Prime Minister Modi by phone to get India’s perspective on Kashmir. Modi told Trump the anti-India rhetoric from Pakistani leaders was not conducive to peace. Later, President Trump in a tweet called Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan “good friends,” of his and that he’s working “towards reducing tensions in Kashmir.”

Kabul, Afghanistan was the site of a horrific suicide bombing that took place at a wedding, killing 63 people. The bride and groom survived. Afghan officials blame the attack on the United States and their prolonged presence in the region.

A 35-year-old man from India on a hunger strike at a Texas ICE facility was force fed, according to his attorney, becoming the latest detainee seeking asylum in the U.S. fed in such a manner. The man stopped eating tko protest his confinement. ICE says they will do what it takes to “preserving the lives of those in its custody.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Upcoming filmmaker Divyansh Sharma aims to reinvent cinema

From Street Play performer in remote rural India to turning heads in Los Angeles Divyansh Sharma has come a long way in a short time and hes only getting started.

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LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — “Reinventing the cinematic standard” one story at a time might sound like a ambitious undertaking for some but for Divyansh Sharma it’s only the beginning.

Sharma’s roots stem from New Delhi where he discovered his fascination for storytelling. At 16, he began performing street plays in remote rural India, educating people on social issues such as equal rights, education for all, and child marriage. He finished High School and went on to take a scholarship offered by the American Musical and Dramatic Academy where upon he graduated from their BFA Program which focused on acting and directing.

Studded from the AMDA degree in Acting for Film, Theatre and Telvision, Divyansh Sharma went on to shoot award-winning commercials from Apple and Google each amassing thousands to millions of views globally. Still feeling the urge to create more he decided he wanted to “re-invent the cinematic standard one film at a time” and began writing his own short film that would use techniques unseen in short-film storytelling such as Breaking fourth wall, plot jumps, interconnecting plot-lines.

The result was “Graffiti” which made a world premiere at the Chinese Theaters in March 2019 for the Golden State Film Festival. The story revolves around Michael Dawson, played by Divyansh Sharma, a grieving spoken word artist trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. The 30-minute short which Sharma wrote, directed, acted, and edited went on to amass more than 30 awards across the world at film festivals like New York Film Awards, Los Angeles Film Awards, Delhi International Film Festival and more.

Without skipping a beat, Sharma wrote, co-directed, starred and edited his next project “Cigarettes in December”. In this upcoming film Divyansh Sharma portrays Russ, a sexual assault survivor who attends court ordered support group therapy and enters a graduation isolation from the world. Sharma is currently in the final stages of Post Production and will be the first project to be completely done in-house by his own Production Company “Origins Productions”. Sharma is looking forward to a successful run in the festival circuit for Cigarettes in December as he begins to shift his gaze on Pre-Production for next his project he co-wrote called “a Dream in Frames” whose script has already gone to win a Screenwriting award at Los Angeles Film Festival.

From performing Street Plays in rural India to turning heads with his debut in Los Angeles Divyansh Sharma is on a path that continues to deliver. From starring in Award- winning commercials to creating his own Award- winning features his footprint is firm and felt and his message is clear: “Re-invent the cinematic standard one film at a time”.

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Tulsi, Kamala tussle on night 2 of Detroit Democratic debate

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Tulsi Kamala Dem Debate

DETROIT (Diya TV) — In another otherwise straightforward affair, night two of the Democratic debate in Detroit, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Senator Kamala Harris took jabs at one another, as they both aim to capture attention and move up in the polls.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to tout the U.S.-India relationship, saying on a tour to the Indo-Pacific region that America is “working hard with the Indian government to provide them with opportunities to grow their economy.”

A 60-year-old Sikh priest was attacked at his home near a Sikh gurdwara in Hughson, California. Amarjit Singh says the suspect broke several windows, punched him in the back of his neck, and then yelled ‘go back to your country,’ before fleeing.

Indian rapper Badshah broke the record for most views of a YouTube video within 24 hours of its premiere. His new video “Paagal” received a staggering 75 million views, topping a mark set by Korean boy band BTS.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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