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Parvathy Baul in concert

Parvathy Baul is a practitioner, performer and teacher of the Baul tradition from Bengal, India. She is also an instrumentalist, storyteller and painter. She has performed in over a dozen countries, including such prestigious concert halls and music festivals as the Noh Theater in Kyoto, the World Music Center in New York City, and the Festival of World Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco. Parvathy’s technical virtuosity – her mastery of vocal pitch and tone while playing multiple instruments and dancing – has been lauded by music experts, while the overall impact of her performance has been described by critics as “riveting” and “spellbinding.” She is the founder of Tantidhatri, an international women’s performance festival, and co-founder of the Ektara Kalari school in Kerala, India for training in both song and traditional spiritual practice.

Parvathy’s performance work emerges from a long lineage of master Baul singers, dancers, and spiritual teachers; practitioners date the Baul tradition back as far as the 8th Century A.D. Baul songs are revered by Bengalis and others around the world and have been declared a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. Parvathy studied closely with two of the most respected Baul singer-gurus of the previous generation, Sri Sanatan Das Thakur Baul and Sri Shoshanko Goshai. She was recognized by Sanatan Das Baul as both a musical and spiritual teacher in the Baul tradition, carrying forward his spiritual legacy.

While fully embodying traditional Baul music and practice, Parvathy is also renowned for her
continued efforts in renewing this ancient heritage. As the most recognized woman Baul performer in the world, she is making systematic training in traditional Baul arts available to women on a scale that has never occurred previously. She is a tireless advocate for both preservation and renewal of the tradition, frequently using her international reputation to highlight other, lesser-known master performers. Parvathy has recorded two CDs of music and published a book on the Baul tradition through Ekatara Kalari, her non-profit institution promoting ancient Indian spiritual traditions, with an emphasis on Baul arts and practice. The co-founder of Ektara Kalari is her husband Sri Ravi Gopalan Nair, with whom she has also collaborated on numerous woodcut prints capturing various elements of Baul life.



Saturday, April 15, 2017. 07:30PM


Campbell Recital Hall


Center for South Asia, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Music, Department of Theater & Performance Studies, Stanford Humanities Center