"When you think of Indian classical music, you probably don't expect to hear beat box, or strains of jazz, and even rock. But that's exactly what Nistha Raj is all about. The violinist is mixing classical Hindustani music with modern sounds to bring it to a new generation of music lovers. "
-Michel Martin of NPR's Tell Me More 

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"Expect the unexpected with Nistha Raj – during her time at Strathmore as part of our prestigious Artist in Residence program, she demonstrated through her creativity and innovative approach to collaboration that music really is one language.  Her music is rooted in Hindustani traditions, but offers a  unique twist by incorporating human beatboxing, strains of jazz , echoes of flamenco and even rearrangements of classic Bollywood hits. Nistha captivated and enthralled her sold out audience at her debut album release concert at the Mansion. Her passion and dedication to music is evident in the excellence of her performances."
- Betty Scott
Artist in Residence and Education Coordinator
The Music Center at Strathmore

"Music is like fire, never stale, existing mainly because of relentless rejuvenation.  This fusion performance (Nistha Raj & Christylez Bacon) had a class, uncompromising musicality and entertained the audience.  This is a proof that you can have the cake and eat it too!"
- Sridharan Madhusudhanan
Minister (Press, Information & Culture)
Embassy of India

"The prowess and passion of Exit 1's two closing tunes, the solo violin meditations "Gravity (Raga Charukeshi Alap)" and "Alibi (Raga Charukeshi Jor/Jhala)," seem to boil over directly from Raj's mind and heart."
- Chris M. Slawecki, All About Jazz

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"The tune fuses a lulling classical North Indian melody with Wytold’s electric cello and the racing beatboxing and spoons of hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon, who fills the tabla role."
- Christopher Porter, Washington City Paper

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“Exit 1″ is number 1 of the Top Ten World Music Albums in February 2014 (SoundRoots World Music & Global Culture)

 ”Those old bin dividers are useless in the face of what Nistha Raj has done on her album Exit 1. Which, by the way, is something you should listen to just to confound your parents. Raj and her friends aren’t some kind of musical gimmick; they’re really talented musicians who have made something gloriously fresh-sounding.”
– Scott Stevens, Soundroots World Music & Global Culture

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"For a debut album this impressively balances the traditional and the modern worlds, and makes you want to follow Raj down this exit lane from the main highway."
Graham Reid, Elsewehere 

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"The musical selection includes a combination of original compositions by Raj, adaptions of Indian ragas, jazz influences, rearrangements of Bollywood music, Chinese connections, flamenco echoes, and even a Serbian folk song."
- Aromero, World Music Central 

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“The edgy, innovative, and clearly awe-inspiring tunes are Indian fusion at its best. Nistha knocks this one into another dimension and it definitely ‘beats’ the competition.”
- Matthew Forss, Inside World Music

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“Her first album, it’s the kind of session that’s bursting with a lifetime of music welling up waiting for release that finally explodes in all directions quite delightfully. A great addition to any world beat collection, you can enjoy this as an armchair traveler but don’t expect your butt to be welded to that chair.”
– Midwest Record Entertainment Reviews, Views and News 

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“On her debut CD, Exit 1, violinist Nistha Raj has created an attractive sonic mashup.  Mightily influenced by traditional Hindustani rhythmic cycles, the recording also features bewitching breakbeats, a Serbian folk song, Tibetan music, ragas and artful violin playing."
- John Stevenson, ejazzNews

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"Mix the lonesome sounds of Mark O’Connor, the majestic sweeps of Alasdair Fraser, and the classical precision of Yehudi Menuhin, and you’re still be a few elements short of Nistha Raj. To reach Exit 1 you also need to transpose some of Wu Man’s pipa and Anoushka Shankar’s sitar for violin, add tabla, cello, guitar, bass, alto sax, harmonium, and piano, partner with human beatbox artist Christylez Bacon, and filter everything through Hindustani traditions."
-Rob Weir, The Valley Advocate 

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Kadmus Arts

The American Bazaar

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