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Kiran Ahluwalia Live at The Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason Center

Kiran Ahluwalia sat down one day and wrote a song, “Saat.” Its title, the number seven, reflected the seven billion quirky, distinct individuals on our shared planet. It tackled the nature of our widespread intolerance of one another. “The earth now holds seven billion people; for me this means there are seven billion unique ways of interpreting things,” she explains.

The song resonated. It was powerful. (It appears on her upcoming album.) But the two-time Juno-winning Indian-Canadian singer and composer wasn’t ready to stop there. “Having written the song, I still felt helpless about doing something about it. I wanted to bring about change, to reach out with the opposite of hatred,” says Ahluwalia. “I wanted to do more than sing about it. I wanted to bring music and dance from ‘outside’ in, and spark curiosity and connection.”

Ahluwalia invited elegant, arresting Algerian singer-songwriter Souad Massi to help her create a direct musical response to the ignorance and animosity many visible minorities and faith communities face. Contemporary voices that cross cultural and stylistic boundaries, Ahluwalia and Massi will play their original pieces and present their perspectives with songs that draw on and defy the traditions of their respective heritage.