The Kennedy Center

Kiran Gandhi


Kiran Gandhi starting playing drums growing up in New York City when she was 12 years old. She practiced in her basement by listening to Riot Grrrl bands, TV on the Radio and Thievery Corporation until she was 18. She then moved to DC in 2007 to attend Georgetown University where she studied mathematics, political studies and women's studies. Soon she started sitting in with local DC artists like Thievery Corporation, See-I, and the Young Women's Drumming Empowerment Project and was gigging regularly in Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and U Street. By 2010 she landed her own Sunday night residency at Eighteenth Street Lounge, playing live percussion alongside DJ Thomas Blondet. She created DC's first all-women's drumming festival in 2011 called Rad Ladies That Drum that featured the District's finest female drummers, percussionists and beatmakers across all genres. In 2013, she was asked to join MIA's Matangi tour, playing sold-out shows across Canada, the US and Japan. Though she is currently based in Boston, she travels often to pursue endeavors of music, freedom, feminism and innovation.

Watch Past Performances

Video 4/13/2014: Target Family Night: One Mic Creative Ecosystem Presents A Hip-Hop Fusion Drum Call

The Drum Call showcases the international roots of hip-hop music, from the traditional drum to contemporary electronic rhythm machines, via collaborations and solo creations from drummer Kiran Gandhi (M.I.A., Thievery Corporation), all-female percussion group Batala, and noted beatmakers Asma Maroof, Hezekiah, and Arsonal. Part of One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.

Kiran Gandhi