Songs from Neela's Set List

Mehnaz Hoosein and Renard Boissiere are Neela, an act whose repertoire is anchored in folk, pop and jazz traditions of world music. Mixing vocalese and melodies that expand the audience’s expectations, Neela (Hindi for “blue”) combines a sublime range and musical perspective. Neela performs as a duo or small combo, tapping into oft-isolated genres to reimagine a music that is universal at its core.


Mehnaz Hoosein

Born in Mumbai, India, Mehnaz is a jazz, pop and world music artist. She achieved great success with the song, “Miss India,” which won the Channel V Music Award for Best Female Pop Vocalist. Soon after, Mehnaz toured across India, Asia and Europe and recorded three solo albums for BMG and Universal Music India. Her music has been chosen for soundtracks of several films, including a duet (“You Are The Reason”) for the award-winning film, “Split Wide Open," recorded with Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply fame. Mehnaz was lead singer of the Seattle-based band, Manooghi Hi, voicing her blend of Hindustani classical and Tabla bolis and singing in several South Asian languages. Manooghi Hi released two albums: “Hi” and “Silence” and has performed at many festivals including the Sundance Film Festival and SxSW. Mehnaz has performed locally at Voodoo Fest with Leslie Blackshear Smith as well as with Indian Master Sarode player, Aashish Khan, and Shringar (Lawrence Sieberth, Andrew McLean, Michael Skinkus and the late saxophonist Tim Green). Mehnaz was featured at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with pianist Lawrence Sieberth.
Renard Boissiere

Blends an eclectic mix of songs, old and new, and sensibilities that reflects a love for good music from all cultures. From jazzy takes of folk favorites, or a hip bossa nova riff on a reggae classic, there are more than a few surprises up his sleeve. Renard has performed live with the Neville Brothers and Delfeayo Marsalis, recorded with Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz (The TomTom Club and Talking Heads) for Anne Savoy’s “Creole Bred” zydeco tribute, and opened for artists as varied as the late folk singer Odetta, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Psychedelic Furs, Smashmouth, and Toots & the Maytals.