Electric Vardo November newsletter – Part 1

A note from Amar:
Dear friends and supporters. You may have heard the news already of Dear Cheb i Sabbah’s passing a couple of days ago. He was an inspiration, friend and uncle to me. He was one of the key people who gave me the opportunities which brought my career to where it is today. I remember back in 2004 when I was a new DJ, he asked me to sub for him at his Tuesday night weekly at Nickie’s while he was travelling. That is a big part of what kickstarted it all for me.

He was diagnosed with stage  stomach cancer just a day after he played at the Tribal Fest Afterparty in May of 2011. The music and support of all of the people from around the world who stepped up to help him with his medical treatments that and filled the dancefloors that summer forward is what kept him going longer than the doctors ever believed possible (they gave him an estimate of just a few weeks to live). Following alternative treatment in germany and India, he strongly snapped back and continued travelling and rocking dancefloors. He was still coming out and DJing until just a few weeks ago. Holistic treatment kept him healthier for the time he was here than chemo ever would have. He chose the right thing so he could be present rather than slowly fade away. His message to all who love him is to send him off with meditations wishing him well on his journey into the next realm.

His partner during the last few years of his life, Eloise, who was by his side and took care of Cheb i Sabbah from beginning to end, shares this message: “Please take a moment to recite mantra for Chebiji’s liberation, for world peace, for true happiness for all sentient beings. “OM MANI PADME HUM” … It was my honor to care for him, to share life and love together. He is forever with me, he is my angel. OM MANI PADME HUM!”

Eloise is His angel, and is a permanent member of our family. Blessings go out to Eloise, to the rest of Chebiji’s family – including his close friends who he considered family just the same – and to his extended family of supporters who stood by his side from near and far.

This coming Tuesday, we will be honoring him at the new Tuesday weekly that we started in part as a way to keep his dream alive. Cheb i Sabbah, DJ Sep, Dulce Vita, Gina Grandi and myself launched Underground Nomads together as a new event to bring together the world music vibes that were created by Cheb i Sabbah’s legendary Tuesdays at Nickie’s, by the Thursday nights at El Rio back in the day with Ultra Gypsy, DJ Sep, myself, Soulsalaam and Jef Stott, the belly dance nights at Amira and other regular world music inspired events that we all used to go out to, perform at and enjoy. We are continuing and Growing our Underground Nomads nights in honor of Chebiji.

The streaming link is at the f8 website.

Electric Vardo Event Recommendations, shows we support, shows we are involved in:

November 10 – 6pm-9pm: Dangerous Beauties at New Parish, Oakland.

Dangerous Beauties – the Long Strange Trip, A tribute to the Founding Mothers of the 60s and 70s. Evening show, doors at 6pm. Show ends at 9pm.

November 10 – 9pm-2am: Dub Mission featuring Mad Professor.

An extra-special Dub Mission lands at the Elbo Room this Sunday with Mad Professor, Joe Ariwa, General Levy and DJ Sep. Resident DJs and Special Guests are presented every Sunday, with an extra-big bang on the long weekends. This Veteran’s day weekend is not exception. I highly recommend arriving early.

Tuesday November 12th: UNDERGROUND NOMADS Tuesdays at F8.
Tribute to Cheb i Sabbah. Special Guest Mo Corleone (Ambient Mafia) JoinsDJ Amar with resident dancers FatChanceBellyDance and Masha, plus Special Guests Jade Itiene and Rasa Vitalia.
We will start the evening this Tuesday with a Meditation / Prayer Session for Chebiji from 8-9pm, with DJ sets and dance performances following. We will stream live, for those of you out of town who wish to join from home.

Underground Nomads Upcoming Weeks:
Nov. 12: DJ Amar, Mo Corleone. Dancers FatChanceBellyDance + more. 
– 8pm Meditation/gathering for Cheb i Sabbah before the show.
Nov. 19: DJ SEP. Dancers Heather Shoopman, Calamity Sam
Nov. 26: Dulce VitaDan Cantrell. Amar’s Birthday Party, Extended Lineup featuring The Lady Fred, Jodi Waseca, Verbatim, Tatyana, Jennifer faust, Millie Maddox (and some surprises, I hear 🙂

Saturday November 16th (San Francisco): Non Stop Bhangra

Resident night with your Non Stop Bhangra crew: Your hosts DJ Jimmy Love and Dholrhythms. Residents Rav-E (DJ, Dhol), Pavit & Mehul (Dhol), Amar (Visuals), Odell Hussey (Photography). Non Stop Bhangra brings an eclectic bhangra vibe to Public Works in SF every month. This will be the last NSB of 2013. Come party with us before we take a month off to refresh for the new year leading up to NSB 100 and upward.

Sunday November 17 (Nov. 16, featuring Unmata & Calamity Sam,
is sold out): Beats Antique at the Fillmore with Alam Khan.

Beats Antique: A Thousand Faces tour, 2 nights at the Fillmore. Saturday night is Sold Out. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets for Saturday, you will get to see UNMATA and Calamity Sam joining Zoe Jakes’s Special Guest performer crew. I hear they might be back on Sunday (but this is not confirmed). Tickets are still available for Sunday, when they will be joined by Alam Khan.

Thursday December 5 (Los Angeles, CA): Zulu Lounge
– A Vaudeville Holiday

DJ Amar and Calamity Sam return to their So-Cal residency joined by a smash-bangin lineup of LA’s top dancers, musicians and DJs. This show will showcase a wide range of dance performance styles, with dancefloor music spanning genres and cultures across the globe. We are back at our wonderful home in Hollywood: The King King, for a holiday spectacular that you will not want to miss. Discover the magic and music of Zulu lounge with resident DJs Amar and Psychotropic rockin the dancefloor with a special ATS and ITS jam on stage leading you into the night after an evening chock full of amazing performances.

Bay Area UNMATA / Hot Pot I.T.S. classes with Calamity Sam

Calamity Sam is the Official Bay Area Hot Pot instructor, teaching level 1 UNMATA I.T.S. in the East Bay. Level 2, and classes in SF coming soon.
Monday nights at Ellen Webb Studio in Emeryville, CA.
Level 1: 8:15-9:45pm.
Level 2 coming soon.

DJ Amar’s Facebook Page .Electric Vardo Facebook Page

Electric Vardo Novermber Newsletter – Part 2

Chebiji, with his partner, Eloise.

Upcoming Event Recap + QuickLinks:

Dangerous Beauties  (Nov. 10)

Mad Professor / Dub Mission (Nov. 10 / Sundays)

Underground Nomads (Tuesdays)
Meditation/Prayer for Chebiji  (Nov. 12)

Non Stop Bhangra  (Nov. 16)

Beats Antique at Fillmore  (Nov. 16 Sold Out) (Nov. 17)

Zulu Lounge LA (Dec. 5)

Calamity Sam I.T.S. Classes  (Mondays)

Cues & Tattoos + Tribal Fest AfterParty Tix on sale (March + May)

Calamity Sam LA Workshop – Friday December 6. 8pm at Dance Garden

Calamitous Combos with Calamity Sam, hosted by Rodin and BFLA.
$25 . 8:00-9:30pm . Dance Garden, 3407 Glendale Blvd. Eagle Rock
For details, visit thecalamitysam.com

Calamity Sam will also be teaching at Cues & Tattoos on SundayMarch 30th and performing at the Instructor’s Showcase on Friday March 28th, 2014 in Seattle, WA, and at Fusion Fest in Boise later next summer (dates tba). Other workshops and events in the works. Visit thecalamitysam.com for Sam’s whereabouts and links to register for her workshops.

Electric Vardo Partners & Alumni

Dub Mission – Sundays at elbo Room, SF

DJ Sep & residents Maneesh the Twister, Ludichris, Vinnie Esparza and J. Boogie + Special Guests each week. Weekly Calendar at dubmission.com.

Founding members of Electric Vardo, Ultra Gypsy’s Jill Parker,Rose Harden and Gibson Pearlteach classes and perform in the bay area. Click on each of their names for links to their websites. Rose teaches as part of Strange Brew, along with Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle and Elizabeth Strong, Wednesdays at the FatChanceBellyDance studio. Jill teaches at ODC in SF and Spring Fall Studio in Berkeley.

Frédérique / The Lady Fred is a worldwide avant-garde theatrically based belly dancer, artist, instructor, pioneer, and creator / director of both: Silent Sirens Theatre™, and the Black Heart Ballads™

Current Class Schedule (See The Lady Fred‘s website for updates on classes, workshops and events):

Wednesdays: Improv Tribal Style Level: Beginner 8:15pm – 9:45pm East Bay Dance Center, Oakland

Visit Calamity Sam’s Calamitous Costuming Etsy store for some awesome head pieces, necklaces and more – all made by her.

Sam and Amar are offering design and promotion services to promoters, dancers, musicians, DJs and all in the creative arts business. Current clients include Zulu Tatoo & Zulu Lounge (flyers & brochures), Heather Shoopman (website), G.S. Sachdev (CD & DVD artwork, flyers, posters, business cards & website), BFLA (Flyers & Blog), Fusion Fest (flyers and promotion), Unmata (flyers), Tribal Fest (ads, flyers), Cues & Tattoos (flyers, program). Send us an e-mail for info.

Cues & Tattoos – March 26-30, 2014 in Seattle, WA

Amar and Sam will be teaching at Cues & Tattoos and co-hosting the EMERALD VARDO AfterParty featuring an exclusive lineup of dancers, More details to come soon. Workshop registration is now open. Amar is also offering Video services for the festival. Visit the Cues & Tattoos website for video order forms.

Electric Vardo Tribal Fest AfterParty – May 16-17, 2014, Sebastopol, CA

Tribal Fest 2014 registrations and AfterParty Tix on sale now.

AfterParty tix are on sale, with Special Early Bird discounts and bonuses.
The Official Tribal Fest AfterParty by Electric Vardo will take place on Friday and Saturday May 16 & 17.

Music from Around the World – CDs and DVDs from my store and personal collection at my Amazon Store.

Classical Indian Music Albums and instructional video by G.S. Sachdev – Visit gssachdev.com for details.

Authentic loose-leaf chai made fresh to order from a traditional family recipe with a flavor reminiscent of the railway station chai-wallas in India. Available in Traditional Black or Naturally Caffeine Free Rooibos.

September 24: Dunkelbunt, Makyo, Dulce Vita, Calamity Sam, Azure, Zoe Jakes, Analisa, Tatyana +

Underground Nomads

Post-Symbiosis Global Shakedown with a rather massive lineup for our quaint little night.


Asian Dub meets Balkan Electro Swing with Makyo(Japan) and Dunkelbundt (Austria!

We are excited to welcome Special Guests Dunkelbunt from Austria and Makyo from Japan, joining resident Dulce Vita on the decks for the night. In addition to DJ sets, we will be opening the night with a Live set by Jinnaya (Makyo’s new project) featuring our local favorite percussionist Drumspyder and Tribal Fusion Belly Dancers E-chan & Milla.

In addition to all that, we have dance performances by Azure, Zoe Jakes joining resident Calamity Sam with some of her ITS dancers, Tatyana, Azure and Analisa.

A note from Amar:
I just returned from Symbiosis and had an amazing weekend. I got to see Makyo’s set with Jinnaya late Saturday night and Dunkelbunt rockin the dancefloor on Sunday afternoon. Dulce Vita also joined me for my…

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Electric Vardo August-September updates



Dance Performances curated by Gina Grandi.

9pm-1AM. Dance Performances 10:00.
DJ Set following for the rest of the night.
At F8 / 1192 Folsom, SF

Drink Specials + Happy Hour each week!
This Week: $4 Guinness + $5 Bulleit – Picked by Amar for Calamity Sam 🙂

September brings exciting performances by residents FatChanceBellyDanceVerbatim and more, plus very Special Guest music producers and DJs from Austria and Japan, Dunkelbundtand Makyo.

September Schedule:

First Tuesday CHEB i SABBAH – Sept 3
Special Guest Opium Sabbah
FATHER + SON Special Night!
Guest Dancers Jennifer Faust, Millie Maddox, Laura Albert. (Vancouver, BC)
Second Tuesday DJ AMAR – Sept 10
+ FatChanceBellyDance, Shanti Jourdan (Los Angeles), Surreyya Hada.
Post-Reverence weekend party: Free Entry before 10pm with Reverence ticket. 2-for-1 until 11.
3rd Tuesday DJ SEP – Sept 17
+ Guest dancers VERBATIM (Unmata/Hot Pot, Sacramento), Danielle & Jeanette, Bramani, Masha
4th Tuesday DULCE VITA – Sept 24
– Special Night: Post-Symbiosis Shakedown
+ Special Guests DUNKELBUNT (Austria) and MAKYO Live (Japan)
Dance Performances by Calamity Sam, Tatyana, Mohini, Azure.
$5-10 sliding scale cover for this night. The night begins at 8PM with a special Live set by Makyo’s band.

Note that schedules each month may change. Check the website undergroundnomads.com or Facebook page for the latest information regarding DJs and Dancers performing each week.

Doors 9pm, $5 Cover (free before 9:30 on resident nights), 21+
Summer Special: 2-for-1 entry before 11pm.
*Come early so you don’t miss the awesome dance performances and Happy Hour!

Help us spread the word about our new night to your friends online and in real life :). We truly appreciate your support.

LIKE Our Facebook Page and RSVP to receive 2-for-1 cover before 11pm. Mention the 2-for-1 Summer Special at the door.

NOTE that F8 will be open for Happy Hour, so you can come even before 9 and hang out, enjoy some drink specials and appetisers. We start charging at 9:30, so if you are in early, you can stay for free (of course, we don’t mind the support, so you are free to contribute).

Also coming up in September.:

Dub Mission 17 Year Anniversary- All Resident Lineup + EP Release

This Sunday, September 1st, DUB MISSION will celebrate 17 years of spreading the dub virus throughout the Bay Area and beyond. DUB MSSION residents DJ SEPMANEESH the TWISTERVINNIE ESPARZA, and LUDICHRIS will have the dance floor jumping all night long. The night will also be a record release party for the Biggering Riddim EP, produced by DJ Sep and featuring vocals by two of Dub Missions favorite guests over the years: dr Israel and Mista Chatman.  www.dubmission.com

Non Stop Bhangra (Date Changes) Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 16.
As always, the night will begin with the ritual Bhangra dance lesson followed by beautiful dance performances with Dholrhythms Dance Company. To round out the mix, Special Guest DJs join the decks with Non Stop Bhangra’s own DJ Jimmy Love and DJ Rav-E, with NSB dholis Pavit and Mehul rocking the drum beats. Beyond dance, Non Stop Bhangra caters to sight and sound with visuals all night by DJ Amar while NSB photographer Odell Hussey captures the experience. So come join the crew for another colorful and vibrant night with great music, friends, gratitude, happy vibes, and non stop dancing.Note the date changes for the rest of the year.

Non Stop Bhangra normally falls on the 2nd Saturday of the month, but due to some changes at the venue, NSB has been bumped to different weeks for the remainer of the year. We will likely resume 2nd Saturdays in 2014. Check nonstopbhangra.com for the latest.

Unmata / Hot Pot I.T.S. Bay Area classes with Calamity Sam … Current Session in Progress, Drop-ins welcome.
Calamity Sam is now the Exclusive Bay Area certified instructor of Unmata / Hot Pot Improvizational style Belly Dance classes, and is teaching in Oakland/Emeryville on Monday Nights. She just completed the first 2 of the ongoing 8 week sessions, and the next one begins on August 12th.

Mondays, August 12th- September 30th: Hot Pot/Unmata Improvisational Tribal Style (LEVEL 1)
8:15pm- 9:45pm
$15 per class
info. at thecalamitysam.com
Level 2 and 3 classes coming soon.

Symbiosis Gathering: Featuring Electric Vardo / DJ Amar + Friends
Incredible lakeside location. Dancing all night till sunrise. Swimming in crystal clear waters. Sunrise and sunset views from lakeside dance floors. Yoga, Inspirational Speakers and Workshops, Cirque Theatre Comedy, Surrealist Bingo Kids Area, Mind Blowing Art Installations. FULL SG13 LINEUP: www.SymbiosisGathering.com

The ELECTRIC VARDO lineup (Friday night) will feature Dan Cantrell on accordion, Susanah Goldenstein (aka SooozhyQ) on doumbec, Karolina Lux on trumpet, Elizabeth Strong on zills and Jef Stott on oud with DJ Amar and Dulce Vita rockin the decks global style, joined b ydancers  Calamity Sam, UNMATA, Elizabeth Strong and Karolina Lux.

Welcome Home Cheb i Sabbah – April 26 in SF with Amar + FCBD

It’s time to celebrate Cheb i Sabbah’s long awaited return from India, and we’re doing it at Bissap Baobab!


Join us for a night of worldly dance floor beats with the man of the hour himself, joined by DJ Amar, for a night of music reminiscent of the old days at Nickies – spinning sounds from the middle eastern, north Africa, India, the Balkans, Latin America and beyond!

We will also be featuring a performance by the ladies of FatChanceBellyDance!

Following his smashing send off at the Nickies Flashback show last fall, we return with the same vibe for Chebiji’s first night spinning in SF since his recent return from India – loaded with fresh new sounds from his trip and his signature Outernational mix.

$10-$15 sliding scale
Proceeds to benefit Chebiji’s Cancer Treatment Fund

We are pleased to be hosting another night, which is both a fundraiser and a night with Cheb i Sabbah. Since his diagnosis with stomach cancer, there has been an amazing outpouring of help through direct donations and benefit shows all over the world. All of the support has enabled Chebiji to come back and continue playing for us. He has recently returned from winter in India where he received further treatment and played a few shows.

Please join us as we welcome him back for a night where he will do what he loves most – share his music with you on the dancefloor. Your attendance is important beyond any monetary means, and all of us on the dancefloor are who are fuelling his recovery and keeping him going through this brutal fight with cancer. Financial support is definitely still needed, and funds from this night will go toward his treatment fund. The amazing physical support (the crowd on the dancefloor) at the Nickie’s Flashback sendoff party before he went to India was amazing. We invite you back, and ask you to help spread the word and bring your friends to fill the dancefloor and bring the vibe that has been alive in SF for over 20 years.

Thank you to the folks at Bissap Baobab for hosting us, and thank you to all of you who have given support and continue to support in many ways.

RSVP on the facebook page, if you’d like, and join us on the Dancefloor 🙂

Tribal Tech Support launching at Tribal Fest!

DJ Amar and Calamity Sam will be providing technical services to dancers at festivals and events, kicking off at Tribal Fest this year. You will also find them (ok, Us 🙂 at Cairo Caravan in Long Beach and Fusion Fest in Boise this summer.

Visit the new site for details on the services. We are just starting out and will be building our service base as we see the need grow. We currently include music editing for your performance mixes, help with getting your tracks burned to CD to play at the festival, minor computer assistance, troubleshooting and repairs while you are at the festival, and more.


Come visit us at our vending table at Tribal Fest, where we will also be selling some hand made jewelry and costuming pieces by Calamity Sam. We will be vending together with The Plumed Serpent, so you will have an array of goodies to look at, and ask us any questions you have – or come to us for any assistance you may need with your music.

One of the items we will be selling at our vending tables is something we feel is important for every professional performer to have, and Especially instructors who travel teaching workshops. We will have cable packets for your ipods, smartphones, laptops or other music players to plug into sound systems. You should always keep one with you at a gig, one that you know will work. We will be offering 2 sets. The basic set is good quality, lightweight and reasonably priced at $5-6, which includes an ipod cable (stereo mini to rca) and an adapter so you are able to plug into an rca jack or ipod hookup. The Pro set will include a premium quality ipod cable that is designed especially for phones and ipods with covers, gold connectors and metal ends. The pro set will also include a pair of rca-1/4″ adapter plugs so that you can plug into an audio mixing board that does not have rca or stereo mini inputs. With this, you will be ensured of the highest quality sound coming from your player into the sound system. The pro set will be $10-12.

The cable sets can be ordered to be shipped as well. We will be receiving our first order for Tribal Fest in May, and will take pre-orders starting immediately to be picked up or shipped. Shipping cost will be an additional $3 within the US. If you live outside of the US, shipping costs may make it too costly. These are items you can get at an electronics store, though the ones I am purchasing have been tested and are of reputable quality. I am offering these because I feel the need to express the importance of using good quality cables and having your own, and want to encourage performers to be prepared for those times when you are at an event and the DJ forgets a cable or has one that is malfunctioning (this happens often), or arriving to class to find out that the studio cable is missing or broken. It’s a few bucks for peace of mind.

If you are needing help with mixing your music for your performance, I encourage you to contact us in advance. We will only be able to do a certain number of jobs during the week at Tribal Fest. To ensure our availability, please book as soon as you can. During the weekend, we will be there in case you need to burn your music to a CD (say, in case you forgot your CD or it cracked). We will have CDs on hand for you to purchase and burn yourself, or you can send us the music via email and we’ll burn a disc for you.

For updates to our services, and to contact us, please visit the Tribal Tech Support Web Page and send us an e-mail through the contact form.

March newsletter

Happy Spring Equinox!

Didn’t the year just turn? Well we are moving into Spring with an exciting array of events and projects in the works. After a busy 2011, we have had some down time and are gearing back up for some great things. First thing you’ll notice is the new emailer format. I have switched to using MailChimp (yeah, I like the name :). Hopefully the switchover will be glitch free as I work out the monkeys. This email is a test run. Please let me know how you like the new format or if you notice any issues. I still keep the emails to approximately monthly, with occasional special announcements, so you’re not bombarded. I am one to unsubscribe from lists that send daily or even weekly emails repeating all the same stuff.

March Events:

March 28: UMBER POLS
Debut concert in Thousand Oaks. Tickets
Umber Pols is the new project from DJ Amar and concert pianist Michael Glenn Williams. The show is a mix of dance/club scene and classical music concert.

A Vaudevillian Spectacular! Tickets
An evening of fanfare, dancing, live music, magicians, contortionists, circus performers, burlesque, DJs and a whole lot of FUN!
MARDI LOVE, Princess Farhana, Heather Shoopman, Aubre Hill, Entropy Arts, The Flying Morgans, Bella Luna, Calamity Sam, Cherchez La Femme, Srishti Dance, Michaella Manning, Viola Lala Mia, Daniella White ….and many more! Music by DJ Amar, DJ Psychotropic, Dance Hall Pimps (unplugged), Zulu.

April Events:

April 11: JET SET – DJ Santero’s weekly at Luka’s Taproom & Lounge in Oakland with Special guest DJ Amar spinning an eclectic mix of global sounds. No Cover

April 14: NON STOP BHANGRA #80 at its new location, Public Works SF
Bhangra & Bollywood Month featuring Prashant from Portland and DJ Precaution . Residents Jimmy Love, Sol Rising, Amar on visuals, Pavit on dhol, Marcus painting
and The HOOKAHDOME in the loft featuring Surya Dub’s Kush Arora, Opulent Temple’s Dulce Vita, Jef Stott with MC Rai and Drumspyder.

May Events:

May 5: G.S. Sachdev in concert, with Swapan Chaudhuri on Tabla – Palace of Fine Arts, SF .Tickets

Summer: (More details in next emailer)

June 1-3: Cairo Caravan (Long Beach, CA)
June 29-July 1: Dance from Within (Santa Cruz Mtns., CA)
July 27-29: Fusion Fest (Boise, ID)


DUB MISSION – SF’s World Renowned Dub night, in its 15th year running, Featuring DJ Sep with resident DJs J Boogie, Vinnie Esparza, Luduchris and Maneesh the Twister plus special guests. Check the calendar at dubmission.com

New projects underway, and a couple of announcements:

Cheb i Sabbah‘s new benefit album has just been released, with an amazing mix of music, including a track by my father, G.S. Sachdev. Info Here.
After a rough few months and an amazing recovery, he is back touring. He be returning from India in April and joining us at the Tribal Fest AfterParty and at Non Stop Bhangra in May. Promoters should know that he is available now for summer bookings. All proceeds from the new album will go toward his continued cancer treatment.

I am currently working on the first track to be featured in a performance video project featuring Jennifer Faust and Freyja. This will be the first of several tracks I will be producing as part of my album that is expected to be released at the end of the year. Information is on my Kickstarter page.

I have been working on a new collaboration project, Umber Pols, with concert Pianist Michael glenn Williams. Our first performance is next week.

My article on the importance of music in dance performance is about to be published in Fuse: A Tribal and Fusion Belly Dance Magazine.



Limited Presale with no fees until tix officially go on sale April 1

2 new albums by G.S. Sachdev

Available on CD or for download