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Shibani Patnaik: Odissi is My Life, My Love

Shibani Patnaik is one of the leading United States-born Odissi classical dancers of her generation. She has taught Odissi, an Indian classical dance form, through the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance School in California since 2003. As the daughter of Dr. Purna and Mrs. Gopa Patnaik, Shibani embarked on her dance journey at an early age. Her parents have been committed to the preservation and promotion of Indian classical arts for the past thirty years through the Center for World Music, providing many opportunities for their three daughters to immerse themselves in classical dance and music. Because of the support of her parents and the encouragement and rigorous training by her mentors, Shibani is flourishing as one of the leading dancers of her generation. She is an energetic artist with a strong technical background who strikes the perfect combination of power and grace.

Odissi requires perseverance, precision and performance; it is not merely a form of entertainment, but also a method through which the artist strives to forge a deep spiritual connection with the audience. Shibani believes art and music bring people of diverse cultures together by providing cultural understanding in a harmonious environment. Through dance, Shibani strives to express deep feelings and emotions, universal to humanity. Shibani is dedicated to the diffusion of the message of peace and compassion through her artistic expression.

Shibani has made frequent visits to India to study under internationally acclaimed Gurus Padmashree Gangadhar Pradhan, Aruna Mohanty, Manoranjan Pradhan and Yudhistir Nayak from the Orissa Dance Academy. Her gurus have also lived with the Patnaik family in San Diego for extended periods of time, helping Shibani master the techniques of Odissi. Shibani frequently tours with the Orissa Dance Academy. She completed a solo North America multi-city tour in 2012, presenting her own work Samsara: The Cycle Of Life.

India - Odissi Dance Video LinkShibani was awarded the 2006 Devadasi award in Orissa. Shibani and her sisters Shalini and Laboni, “The Patnaik Sisters,” have been honored with the Kalashree Award by the Orissa Society of Americas for their contribution to the arts. The California Arts Council has awarded a Next Generation Artists grant to Shibani for new choreographies. She has performed in prestigious venues throughout India, including the 2007 Konark Dance Festival and at the Ravi Shankar Institute in New Delhi. In 2008, she performed at the International Stirring Odissi Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Shibani and her sisters contributed their Odissi-style choreography to productions by pop stars Madonna (1998 MTV Video Music Awards) and Ricky Martin (2007), performances seen by millions around the world. Stanford University presented Shibani with the 2001 Asian-American Performing Arts Award and the Chapell-Lougee Scholarship to conduct research in Orissa. Under her leadership, the Stanford University Dance department began offering Indian classical dance courses in 2002, where she taught the first course on Odissi.

Shibani has been featured in numerous US and Indian publications, such as Dance Magazine of New York, Yoga Journal, Hinduism Today, India Today, InStyle, and Bazaar. She is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Center for World Music.

See a video of Shibani’s performance in the virtual Udayraga Festival of Dance in August, 2020, presented by the Indo American Association, Houston in collaboration with Orissa Dance Academy.

To learn more, please visit Shibani’s website.

Remembering Balasaraswati

“A Radiant Aesthetic Force”

In celebration of Women’s History Month (March 2020), we recall with respect, awe, and affection the life and artistry of Thanjavur Balasaraswati (1918-1984). Not every organization has its patron saint, but Balasaraswati certainly was and remains such for the Center for World Music. The impact of the art of this great lady, once described by Dr. Narayana Menon as “perhaps the greatest Indian dancer of the past thousand years,” provided the original inspiration for Luise and Samuel Scripps to found and fund the American Society for Eastern Arts (ASEA) in 1963. The ASEA later became the Center for World Music.

Balasaraswati, studio portrait, Madras, 1934

Born in a family of musicians and dancers connected to the royal court of Thanjavur, Bala embodied a matriarchal lineage of artists that the family traced back to the 18th century, at least seven generations. Her grandmother, mother, and brothers were all renowned musicians. She was to play an important pivotal role in the revival of bharata natyam (classical temple dance) and its transformation into a stage art in modern India. Equally important, she became the leading ambassador of South Indian classical dance to the world, being invited during the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s for repeated tours and residencies in the United States, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere.

A great artist, greatest of all living bharata natyam dancers . . . one of the last surviving representatives of the authentic tradition in which dance is a deep-felt spiritual experience. (Indian Express, February 11, 1971)

A radiant aesthetic force . . . (Times of India, March 1972)

Balasaraswati, photo by Jan Steward

With her daughter Lakshmi and her ensemble of musicians, Balasaraswati enthralled professional dancers and musicians, students, and recital audiences during summer workshops organized by the American Society for Eastern Arts. These took place at Mills College in Oakland, California in the summers of 1965, 1966, and 1972, as well as in Bali, Indonesia in 1971. In 1974, Bala and her ensemble—along with K. V. Narayanaswamy and other senior South Indian musicians—figured prominently in the inaugural program of the Center for World Music, a summer session at the Center’s original location in Berkeley, California.

We remember an inspiring artistic giant, a woman that looms large in the history of world dance . . . and the history of the Center for World Music.

For Further Exploration

Knight, Douglas M. 2010. Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life. Wesleyan Univ. Press.

“Bala” (1976), a documentary by Satyajit Ray, the famed Bengali filmmaker.

Documentary by Aniruddha Knight, Balasaraswati’s grandson.

Sufi Raina

Sufi Raina, Teacher of Kathak Dance

The Center for World Music is pleased to welcome Sufi Raina to our roster of distinguished teaching artists, a team of professional musicians and dancers who bring the worlds’ performing arts into San Diego classrooms through World Music in the Schools.

Sufi Raina Headshot

Sufi Raina is a silver medalist in Kathak, one of the preeminent classical dance traditions of North India. She holds a master’s degree in Kathak from Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandar, Punjab, where her mentor was the esteemed Dr. Santosh Vyas. She also holds a master’s in psychology from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Trained in the Jaipur Gharana (tradition), Sufi was a lecturer in Kathak at KMV College Jalandhar for three years. During this time she taught dance as a major to undergraduate students. She also choreographed performances for the college as well as for national youth festivals. She was invited to England by the North Somerset Music Service, as a part of a cultural exchange program, to perform and teach Kathak in schools, introducing students to Indian classical dance.

Sufi Raina Dancing

Sufi has choreographed many dance performances for the stage and national television in India. She was an assistant choreographer for the Punjabi film Heer Ranjha. An innovative choreographer, Sufi is also trained in folk dance forms of India. Her love for Kathak, combined with countless dedicated hours of riyaaz (intense practice), have brought her to many stages across the world, enthralling an international audience with the nuances of this classical Indian dance form.

Sufi moved to Southern California in 2011. Since then, she has been actively performing in the region. A lifelong learner and a teacher by choice, she is the founder and artistic director of Tej Dance Studio in San Diego.

Sufi has recently taught for the Center for World Music as an artist in residence at Innovations Academy and at the San Diego French American School, as well as presenting assembly performances at Hawking STEAM Charter School and at SDFAS.

Want to see more? Visit these links:

Promotional Video for Tej Dance Studio
Kathak Performance Celebration World Dance Day in Punjab, India

Sri Rudraprasad Swain

Best Wishes to Sri Rudraprasad Swain

This month we say farewell to Sri Rudraprasad Swain, our resident teacher for the past six months from the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. His presence in the Center for World Music’s Odissi Dance School will be deeply missed.

Sri Rudraprasad Swain began study of Odissi dance at a tender age of five. At age fifteen he joined the Orissa Dance Academy and trained under legendary Guru Gangadhar Pradhan. He was further refined into a versatile and dynamic dancer under Guru Smt. Aruna Mohanty. He has participated in prestigious programs around the world—in Thailand, Germany, Europe, and United States—his most memorable performance being at the International Odissi Festival.

During his second residency with the Center for World Music Sri Rudraprasad Swain directed performances and workshops across San Diego County. He taught over forty students ages 5-50.  He produced fourteen performances and two workshops, spreading his passion for Odissi through the classroom and on the stage.  He challenged his students and gave them the confidence to learn Odissi and perform on stage both in solo and group programs.

On behalf of the Odissi Dance School, we wish Sri Rudraprasad Swain farewell and a special thank you for his dedication and commitment, for sharing his passion for Odissi with his students, and for giving us the opportunity to learn a beautiful dance form. We hope that, as he continues his journey in dance as a teacher and performer, his dreams come true. We look forward to his return for another residency.

See Sri Rudraprasad Swain perform on YouTube.

– Reni Biswas, Program Coordinator of the CWM Odissi Dance School

Shalini Patnaik

Shalini Patnaik, Ambassador of Odissi Dance

Center for World Music teaching artist Shalini Patnaik enjoys sharing her ancient art form with the San Diego community. She is one of the leading exponents in her generation of Odissi, the classical dance of northeastern India, and has a passion for teaching and sharing Indian culture through the language of dance. Born and raised in San Diego, California, she traveled repeatedly to India from a young age to learn the art form directly from dance masters in Orissa. Even today, she visits frequently for further training and performances.

Her teachers include the late Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and Gurus Aruna Mohanty, Manoranjan Pradhan, and Yudhistir Nayak.

Shalini and her sisters, together known as the “Patnaik Sisters,” were selected by pop superstar Madonna to choreograph and perform for a televised performance at the 1998 MTV Music Awards. She also choreographed for singer Ricky Martin’s 2006 tour. Shalini performed for Pandit Ravi Shankar’s 90th birthday celebration and for other superstars like George Harrison and Sting. Recently, Shalini was invited by Anoushka Shankar to perform as part of her “Traveler” tour.

While Shalini has enthralled audiences across the globe, she truly enjoys sharing her art form with fellow San Diegans, and especially with students.

Shalini and her sisters, Laboni and Shibani, have been instrumental in propagating Odissi throughout North America through performances, lecture demonstrations at universities, schools, and libraries, and teaching in the Center for World Music’s Odissi School. To share their passion for dance with others brings them immense joy; in doing so, they help preserve and propagate this rich, two-thousand-year-old cultural tradition outside of India.

Want to learn more?

Traditional dance helps keep sisters in touch with culture, The Coast News (2012)
She matches steps in India and beyond, The Telegraph (2012)

Shibani Patnaik is a distinguished Odissi dancer, member of the Patnaik Sisters, and Board Member for the Center for World Music.

Hawking Tabla Class Video

North Indian Percussion at Hawking Charter School

Our friends at the Stephen W. Hawking Charter School have just posted a nice video showing their World Music in the Schools students engaged in the rhythms of North Indian tabla. Under the direction of Miles Shrewsbery, tabla master and CWM teaching artist, they seem to be having quite a bit of fun.

The World Music in the Schools tabla program has been going strong at the Hawking Charter School since August 2013.

On YouTube:

K.V. Narayanaswamy

Defining “Classical” from a World Music Perspective

By Mark Hertica, professor of music at San Diego Miramar College
and Center for World Music board member

There are many terms in use today for the wide variety of musical styles played, heard, and recorded throughout our world: folk, pop, jazz, world, rock, classical, and more, as well as all their various sub-genres. While these terms are useful for most of us as general descriptors and for purposes of marketing, defining them is problematic. The term classical provides us with an excellent example of the problems posed.

Use of classical as applied to music presents several problems. For example, when associated with the Western tradition, as exemplified by such composers as Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Copland, and many others, it often refers generally to pre-composed music of the concert hall. But one of the more confusing aspects of the term in this usage is that classical also refers to a specific period of time from the latter eighteenth through the early nineteenth centuries when certain aesthetic principles were generally predominant in the music of European concert halls, churches, and the courts—a period in which the styles of Haydn and Mozart are most illustrative. Moreover, beyond the problem of European application, the problem is compounded as it is often used when referring to some traditions found worldwide in places such as Japan, China, India, Iran (Persia), Arabia, etc. Thus the determination of what is classical music is dependent upon the context in which and by whom it is used.

However, there are certain characteristics, some musical, some extra-musical, that upon closer inspection can be observed in all of the traditions referred to as classical music. First and foremost among these characteristics is that the musical traditions referred to as classical in various cultures have historically been associated with material wealth, education, and nobility. While today this music may be performed, observed, and enjoyed by people of all social backgrounds, historically this was music created and performed by members of the socially and politically elite classes. What are some of the other characteristics of classical music, and why would it find its creation and historical home among these elite classes?

Court Gamelan Solo

Court Gamelan, Royal Palace, Surakarta, Java

By their very nature the great courts of the world were, and, although perhaps less so, still are elitist, socially and politically. The high art found in these courts represents the most sophisticated and refined expression of the aesthetics of the cultures from which the courts arise. The art associated with these courts and their religious traditions therefore reflects and glorifies the people of the court and their divinities, and their music is an integral part of those traditions. The music, just as the court itself, must be elevated above the mundane, the everyday, as it expresses the aristocratic nature of its surroundings and speaks to and for its patrons. Indeed, to fully appreciate the artfulness of the music and the musician, it is as incumbent upon the listener as it is upon the musician to be familiar with the musical language. As Ananda Coomaraswarmy points out, “the listener must respond with an art of his own.”

The language of these various court musics, like the visual art, literature, dance, etc., is highly nuanced and packed with meaning for those who know how to listen to those nuances and for the meaning. To the untrained ear subtle details of rhythm and melody might be lost, but those educated in the details of the musical aesthetics of a given culture learn to hear and maintain in memory those details, hearing them as constructing the hidden meanings that may be lost on the unschooled ear.

To convey these messages classical music found around the world requires highly skilled and knowledgeable performers to play in an aesthetically pleasing manner for these audiences. To obtain the proficiency necessary for proper performance, the players must devote years of their lives to acquiring the physical dexterity necessary for flawless performance. But physical dexterity is not enough. Performers must have an intimate knowledge of the various nuances of the musical aesthetics that govern what is acceptable in a given style or genre; this is the basis for musical education. Whether for ritual or entertainment purposes, the musician must be well acquainted with proper performance procedures and practices.

With all of this in mind, if both the listener and the musician are to fulfill their roles effectively, then both must have sufficient time to practice their art. This requires resources for both day-to-day living and musical studies. And around the world it was the court and the religious institutions that possessed those resources. So as these musics developed, it was by and for these social elites that this music was created.

As resources necessary for musical education and training have become much more widely available, classical music is no longer the realm solely of the social and political elite. However, for a fuller appreciation of the art, the listener still must become acquainted with the particular musical language being performed. An uninitiated listener may well appreciate the inherent beauty of an Arabic maqam, a Tyagaraja kriti, a gendhing for Javanese gamelan, or a Beethoven symphony, but without some understanding of the nuances, the subtle art of the composers and performers, the messages put forth within the music will more than likely not be heard. As Wynton Marsalis tells us, “When an art form is created, the question is how do you come to it, not how does it come to you. Beethoven’s music is not going to come to you . . . you have to go to it. And when you go to it, you get the benefits of it.”

Miles Shrewsbery and the Cultural Context of the Tabla

One of the most important things students do in Miles Shrewsbery’s music classes at the Museum School and at Hawking Charter School is take off their shoes.

This is no ordinary music class. An American tabla artist and teaching artist for the Center for World Music, Miles instructs students grades K–6 how to play a North Indian percussion instrument called the tabla. An essential part of studying the tabla, like many traditional world music instruments, is the passing on of the symbolic meaning and special significance of the instrument and its cultural origins. Miles teaches the geography of North India, its language, and the stories about the history and masters of the instrument. Students also learn the various customs surrounding this musical tradition.

“These elements are inseparable from the music. The context of music is what creates the unique feelings and expressions from a given culture,” says Miles.

MIles SchoolMiles teaches his students that playing the tabla is more than the physical act of playing the drums. It’s also about understanding a worldview — something that Miles came to realize through his own study of the tabla in India and the US.

From the moment Miles first heard the tabla at age 17, “it was love at first sound.” He had an immediate connection with the instrument, even though he knew nothing about India and its culture.

Miles’ teachers, Abhiman Kaushal and Pandit Nandkumar Bhatlouande of Hyderabad, India, educated him about the rich context in which the tabla originates. “In addition to practicing, I studied the language, values and the cultural practices. For example, I learned about respect  and responsibility for one’s family, one’s teacher and to the tradition of the tabla — the whole interchange.”

Removing your shoes before playing the tabla is one of the practices Miles encourages in his students. He explains, “we remove our shoes just before playing the tabla. Why? On the practical side, most activities in India are traditionally done sitting crossed legged on the ground, so this is a way of keeping the space clean. On the spiritual side of things, the idea comes from within Indian music. We believe that the instrument is a pathway to God, so in a sense, removing your shoes signifies both respect and cleanliness to the instrument and what it represents. We also never step over the instrument, much like the Indonesian gamelan, because it is disrespectful to show the bottom of one’s feet toward something as sacred as an instrument.”

The students of the Museum School and Hawking Charter School are exposed to many of the most important skills, knowledge, and wisdom Miles has gained from his years of dedication to the tabla. Each student is now part of a long continuum of musicians who have passed down the artform within one of the oldest musical traditions in the world. Not bad for an elementary school music class.

“We really underestimate how much children can register when it comes to developing a broader cultural understanding,” Miles says. “I’m always amazed at how much children can master, both at the level of playing the instrument and of understanding the cultural nuances of the tradition. I wish adults were such quick studies!”

 

Profile picMiles Shrewsbery is an American tabla artist and disciple of Sri Abhiman Kaushal and Pandit Nandkumar Bhatlouande of Hyderabad, India, as well as a co-owner of Avaaz Records. Miles is trained in the Farukhabad Gharana of his teachers and is a respected performer of its rich, aesthetic repertoire through his years of dedicated study and practice. Miles has performed all over the world in prestigious venues such as the Symphony Space (New York City), Smithsonian Museum (Washington D.C.), Tokyo Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo, Japan), Royal Horticultural Hall (London, England), and St. Paul Cathedral (New York City). He has performed with top musicians such as Shujaat Khan, Deepak Ram, Googoosh, Cheap Trick, and Yusef Lateef. Some notable soundtracks and recordings where Miles’ tabla and percussion can be found are: Sinbad (Dreamworks 2003), The Rundown (Columbia 2003), The Riches (FX 2007), Yusef Lateef and Adam Rudolph – Into the Garden (Meta Records 2003), Dave Stringer – Divas and Devas (Spirit Voyage 2007), and Dave Stringer – Yatra (Silenzio 2011). In 2004, Miles earned a B.A. in ethnomusicology from UCLA, and in 2009, he earned an M.A. in ethnomusicology from UCR. In 2012 Miles was awarded the American Institute of Indian Studies’ Senior Performing Arts Fellowship, which supported Miles to further his studies and practice in New Delhi, India for one year. Currently, Miles is a teaching artist in residence for the Center For World Music in San Diego, California.

 

To see video of Miles performing, please visit these links:

Traditional:

House Concert in New Deli, India

Tabla Solo – Delhi Kaida

Contemporary:

Eight Dollar Watermelon

Chasm

The Tabla: Paired Drum of South Asia

This article is one in a series of reports on the fascinating variety of musical instruments that audience members and students encounter through Center for World Music programs.

The tabla is a paired drum set from the northern regions of South Asia (North India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and parts of Afghanistan).  Consisting of a high drum (dayan) and a low drum (dagga or bayan), the tabla is played with the fingers, using a variety of different strokes and hand positions, to produce up to twenty different sounds.  Each of these sounds in turn has a name, or a syllable.  Together, these syllables (for example: ta, tin, dha, dhin) are used pedagogically as a rhythmic solfège—the syllables are sung to the student in order to teach rhythmic phrases, which are then reproduced on the drums.

Although the tabla was invented and popularized in the Mughal courts of Delhi approximately 300 years ago, the systems of music it stems from are over two thousand years old.  The tabla, in a sense, is a modern instrument that reflects South Asia’s embodiment of the ancient and the new—it has both Hindu roots and an Islamic Mughal past while continuing to thrive as a vibrant tradition, both within the contexts of North Indian Classical music as well as in the global musical landscape.

—Miles Shrewsbery, World Music in the Schools Teaching Artist

See the tabla in action on YouTube: Tabla Legend Ustad Alla Rakha | Interview with Zakir Hussain (Alla Rakha’s son) | Miles Shrewsbery Tabla Solo

Learn more about Teaching Artist Miles Shrewsbery and his music at tablamiles.com.

Where is Matt?

Where in the World is Matt? An Uplifting Video

A must-see video if you haven’t seen it; wonderful to watch again from time to time if you have.  Not traditional music, but otherwise embodies very nicely the spirit of the Center for World Music’s mission . . .

See also Matt’s website.

Events

Graphic for 2024 Concert Season

2024 Concert Season

We are pleased to announce our 2024 Concert Season with two exciting series. The first series, Sound of the Border | Sonido de la Frontera, will be held at Mingei International Museum. The series is inspired by a Mingei exhibit, La Frontera, and will delve into the vibrant cultural landscape of the U.S.-Mexico border.  The second series, Mesmerizing Melodies from Three Ancient Lands, held at the La Jolla Community Center, will showcase the cross-cultural exchange of musical ideas between three distant lands along ancient trade routes.

Tickets

General Seating: $35 – $40
VIP Seating: $50 – $55
General Admission Series Pass: $100
VIP Series Pass: $145

Tickets to concerts in the Sound of the Border | Sonido de la Frontera series include admission to the performance and access to Mingei International Museum’s Gallery Level ($14 value) after 4 PM on the day of the performance. The Commons Level is free for all.

Buy Center for World Music tickets
Please purchase your tickets early. These performances sell out well in advance. Tickets are transferrable but non-refundable.

Sound of the Border | Sonido de la Frontera

Mingei International Museum – 7:30 PM

Sound of the Border | Sonido de la Frontera is a concert series centered around the vibrant cultural dynamism along the U.S.-Mexico border. Inspired by the ‘La Frontera’ exhibit at Mingei International Museum, this series explores the essence of this borderland represented by three musical traditions.

In this border region music acts as a powerful form of social and cultural activism and as a way to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of inhabitants on both sides of la fronteraSonido de la Frontera is dedicated to highlighting the role of music as a transformative and unifying force.

Audiences who take this musical journey will resonate with the stories, the resilience, and the distinctive yet interconnected human experiences that define this unique cultural space.

Three drummers
January 12th: Uniting Cultures through Drums and Percussion
Featuring Drummers Without Borders


February 9th
: Songs and Activism in the Borderlands
Featuring Martha Gonzalez and Tylana Enomoto

March 8th: Celebrating Mexican Musical Heritage
Featuring Hermanos Herrera


Mesmerizing Melodies from Three Ancient Lands

La Jolla Community Center – 7:30 PM

In this concert series we explore three traditions that have exchanged musical ideas for at least a thousand years along ancient trade routes from Western China through Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and North Africa all the way to Morocco and Southern Spain.

Throughout this huge area of the globe, melody is king. We will be treated to the incredibly virtuosic melodies of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music; the haunting, emotionally charged melodies of Persian classical music; and the extraordinarily subtle, delicate elaboration of “microtonal” melodies in Turkish classical music.

Each performance in this series promises an immersive odyssey into the very nature of melody and its ability to touch the human heart and fill the souls of listeners, no matter where in the world they come from.


April 12th: The Timeless Heritage of Carnatic Music
Featuring the Muralikrishnan Carnatic Quartet


May 10th: Namad Ensemble: A Performance in Dastgâh Segâh and Dastgâh Nava
Featuring the Namad Ensemble


June 14th: Discovering the Soul of Turkish Music
Featuring Münir Beken


2024 CONCERT SEASON AMBASSADOR

Logo of Revitalized Affordable Housing Development

Revitalized Affordable Housing Development

GRANT SUPPORT

City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

Financial support was provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

The Muralikrishnan Carnatic Quartet: The Timeless Heritage of Carnatic Music

The Muralikrishnan Carnatic Quartet: The Timeless Heritage of Carnatic Music

La Jolla Community Center

Friday, April 12, 2024  |  7:30 PM

Experience a special presentation by the Muralikrishnan Carnatic Quartet, featuring Carnatic (South Indian classical) music virtuoso Rose Muralikrishnan. Join us for an evening filled with evocative melodies, elaborate improvisations, and compelling rhythms.

Tickets

General Seating: $40
VIP Seating: $55
General Admission Series Pass: $100
VIP Series Pass: $145

Please purchase tickets online. These performances sell out well in advance. Tickets are transferrable but non-refundable.


Rose Muralikrishnan
Dr. Rose Muralikrishnan received her advanced vocal training from the late Dr. Madras Lalithangi Vasanthakumari, a legendary vocalist in the Carnatic music tradition of South India. She has performed and conducted musical ensembles at many international music festivals at some of the finest music venues around the world. These include the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, UCSD’s  Mandeville Theater, and others.

Rose received her bachelor’s degree in South Indian Music Performance and Theory from Queen Mary’s College, Chennai, India. She then received her master’s degree in Carnatic Music from the University of Madras and eventually earned her Doctorate in Music from Madurai.

As an adjunct professor of South Indian music at San Diego State University in 1991, she lectured at several universities including UCSD, UCLA, UCSB, and USC.  In India, she served as principal of the Carnatic music school at the Santhome Communication Center in Chennai. Before joining the center, she was a music instructor at the Jiddu Krishnamurthy Foundation’s famous Rishi Valley School.

Dr. Muralikrishnan is a founder, CEO, and artistic director of Spring Nectar Foundation for Indian Music and Heritage in Cerritos, CA. Her compositions have won recognition at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House, where the Spring Nectar Ensemble, of which she is conductor, performed. Her production Gayaka Vadhya Brundham, staged for the first time in the United States at Carpenter Performing Arts Center, Long Beach, in June 1996, revived for SoCal audiences an Indian art form called vadhya brundham (orchestral music).

Dr. Muralikrishnan is one of the very few women composers and music directors in her field. Several famous performers such as Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Sudha Raghunathan, Rajkumar Bharathi have sung under her musical direction. Muralikrishnan has also composed and directed music for many dance dramas as well as Indian opera productions. 

She will be joined by Carnatic veena and keyboard virtuoso N. Muralikrishnan (NMK) on the veena and Carnatic and Western vocalist Dr. Amrithavarshini (#themusicaldoc) on Carnatic vocals, keyboard and veena. A mridangam artist (to be announced) will join the team to provide rhythmic accompaniment.

For more information visit www.rosemuralikrishnan.com.


This is the first concert of the series Mesmerizing Melodies from Three Ancient Lands. Click here to join our newsletter for more information about upcoming concerts.

Upcoming concerts in this series:
May 10th: Kourosh Taghavi: A Performance in Dastgah Segah and Dastgah Nava
June 14th: Münir Beken: Discovering the Soul of Turkish Music


2024 CONCERT SEASON AMBASSADOR

Logo of Revitalized Affordable Housing Development

Revitalized Affordable Housing Development

GRANT SUPPORT

City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

Financial support was provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Journeys with Kabir: Prahlad Singh Tipanya in Concert

Padma Shri Prahlad Singh Tipanya, one of India’s most popular and highly honored folk singers, is renowned for singing the songs of Kabir, the great iconoclastic mystic of 15th-century North India. He is also a highly respected interpreter of Kabir’s spirituality.

We are delighted to welcome this extraordinary musician and his troupe back to San Diego some 20 years after their first, unforgettably wonderful concert at the University of San Diego during their first US tour in 2003.

Tipanya and his troupe of three musicians from his home village in North India will present a concert of devotional songs based on the mystical poems (dohas) of Kabir.

During the concert, Dr. Linda Hess, retired professor of religious studies at Stanford University and a leading scholar and translator of Kabir, will present translations of the powerful poetry that the musicians will sing.

Kabir is famous for both his profound mystical insight and his sharp social commentary. He was at once a yogi, celebrating union with the divine present in all beings, and a forceful advocate of communal harmony and social equality. A low-caste weaver who debunked birth-based systems of hierarchy, Kabir remains a hero for downtrodden communities in North India today. His poetry is known for pushing us beyond social, religious, and caste distinctions, promoting awareness of our universal belonginness.

The great joy is to follow the route of Kabir upward to that Union he so marvelously evokes. —Robert Bly

What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death. If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive, do you think ghosts will do it after? —Kabir

Prahlad Singh Tipanya has powerfully contributed to a resurgence of Kabir oral traditions and music in India and beyond.

Tipanya lives in his natal village of Lunyakhedi in Madhya Pradesh, north-central India, the heart of the cultural region known as Malwa. A village schoolteacher, Tipanya began singing Kabir’s dohas and playing the 5-string tambura in the folk style of the Malwa region in 1978, when he was 24.

Now almost five decades later, he is a household name in India; countless people enjoy his audio and video presence as well as his live performances. His official YouTube channel has 335K subscribers.

Tickets On Sale SoonFrom the 1980s, Tipanya-ji’s voice has been heard widely on All India Radio and Doordarshan, the Indian national television network. He and his troupe have been performing internationally since their first US tour in 2003, followed by further North American tours in 2009 and 2017. The group’s Spring 2024 US tour will take them coast-to-coast, playing at venues including UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford, Loyola Marymount, the University of Chicago, the University of Cincinnati, and Oberlin College.

In his homeland, Tipanya has received numerous honors, including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award and, in 2011, the Padma Shri award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Government of India.

Presented in partnership with the Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego.