Multi-instrumentalist from Elk Grove Neil Nayyar Receives Mayor’s Award
Indian American multi-instrumentalist Neil Nayyar, seen here with Elk Grove, Calif., Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, has been awarded the 2021 Mayor’s Volunteer Award. (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
Neil Nayyar, a 15-year-old Indian American multi-instrumentalist from Elk Grove, Calif., has been honored with the 2021 Mayor’s Volunteer Award in the art, culture and heritage category.
Due to the pandemic, the ceremony, attended by Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, city officials and public, was held virtually.
“My message to youth here and all over the world is to do volunteer work,” said Nayyar, who was nominated by Neena Khullar. “It is really working towards making our community better.”
In bestowing the award upon Nayyar, 15, Singh-Allen noted his many accomplishments.
Nayyar, who can play as many as 107 instruments from all over the world, is the Assist Foundation’s youngest world record holder for the most instruments mastered by a single musician.
He has also voluntarily performed for several organizations, including the United Nations Association Sacramento chapter. On Feb. 27, 2021, he was recognized for his efforts and received a plaque from Eddie Trujillo, chapter president of the UN Association of Sacramento.
Nayyar has also performed at the famed Mondavi Center in Davis and has participated in numerous Pride, multicultural and local festivals over the years.
“Neil is an inspiration to present and future generations,” said Singh-Allen. “He’s not only talented, but he does support local efforts.”
On April 26, he was also invited to perform at a candlelight vigil in the city to honor the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting. It was held at the new ‘Singh and Kaur Park,’ named in honor of two Indian American Sikh grandfathers who were shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in 2011.
Nayyar practices constantly, trying to increase his expertise on instruments as well as exploring and finding new ones that he could attempt to play. He also devotes a fraction of his time to his other interests, which include hip-hop, jazz and Bollywood music. He also loves watching Bollywood films, especially those starring his favorite actor, Salman Khan. (Read earlier India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2Q0BDDS)