Indian American DJ and drummer Ravi Jakhotia opened the “Make America Great Again!” concert here with a power-packed performance marking US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Sporting a peace sign shirt and a black mohawk, Jakhotia, who is popularly known as DJ RaviDrums, was the first to perform at Trump’s inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Thursday, reported Billboard.
Ravidrums was the first Indian American music director to showcase his skills on NBC TV series “Howie Do It” and he is also credited with inventing the process of live drum playing while re-mixing, according to his website.
He was also voted 2010 People’s Choice “Best Innovative Dj/Drummer”.
The New York-born private party DJ had performed at the 2009 Oscars where two nominated songs came from Slumdog Millionaire, a movie filmed in India.
He has performed with Paula Abdul, Ricky Martin, Will Smith, The Black Eyed Peas and in events like the HBO Emmy after party among others.
Before opening the inaugural concert series, RaviDrums shrugged off mounting criticism from some of his fans for his decision to perform for the President-elect’s festivities.
In tweets, RaviDrums was called a “racist” and “disgusting” for accepting the invitation to perform.
The Indian American DJ took to Facebook to describe his decision to perform as “apolitical” and aimed at celebrating all the “goodness of America”, reported CBS-affiliated TV station WSBT 22.
“I thought there was more benefit in someone that looks like me sharing that stage and performing for the American people. As a first-generation Indian American, I view my participation in the inauguration as a unique opportunity to bring visibility to others like me,” he wrote.
“With so much attention on bickering and hate, my goal is to spread peace and love through music. My father came to America with $8, a one-way ticket and no shoes. He came for the pursuit of the American dream,” RaviDrums wrote.
“My father and son will be standing next to me on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while I perform for the American people.”
Meanwhile, Trump arrived at the Lincoln Memorial with much fanfare, drawing chants of “Trump!” from the thousands of supporters before The Frontmen of Country – Tim Rushlow, Larry Stewart and Richie McDonald – performed a medley of their greatest hits, including Trump’s campaign song, “God Bless the USA”, with country star Lee Greenwood, Politico reported.
The concert featured country singer Toby Keith, rock band 3 Doors Down and veteran Hollywood actor Jon Voight, among others.