Kabir in Song: Padmashri Prahlad Singh Tipanya and the Kabir Ensemble singing religious poetry from North India

Lecture | November 4 | 12-2 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)

 Prahlad Singh Tipanya

 Nora Melnikova, Lecturer – Hindi, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies

 Linda Hess, Kabir scholar and former professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University

 Institute for South Asia Studies, Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and Southeast Asian Studies

Please join us for an afternoon of North India devotional music by Padmashri Prahlad Singh Tipanya and his folk ensemble as they sing the poetry of the famous nirgun-bhakti poet Kabir, the great iconoclastic mystic of 15th-century North India, in the vigorous and joyful folk style of Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region.

Padmashri Prahlad Singh Tipanya is a locally, nationally, and internationally acclaimed folk singer from Lunyakhedi, a small village in Ujjain District, Madhya Pradesh. He is renowned for his singing and interpretation of Kabir, the great fifteenth-century Hindi poet, along with other Hindi poets associated with nirgun devotion. Nirgun refers to a God or ultimate reality beyond word and form. Kabir is famous for both his profound mystical insight and his sharp
social commentary. His voice is often invoked as inspiring communal harmony and social equality.

Tipanya-ji, a village schoolteacher with no musical tradition in his family, began singing and playing the tambura in the folk style of the Malwa region in 1978. Nearly four decades later he is a household name, his recordings heard in countless public and private places. Many acknowledge him as having powerfully contributed to a resurgence of Kabir oral traditions and music in Malwa and beyond.

Since 1980 Tipanya-ji’s voice has been heard on All India Radio stations in many cities. He has also been a frequent artist on Doordarshan. In 2003 his troupe performed in London, then toured the US for over two months. In 2005 he went to Pakistan, and in 2009 there was another two-month tour of Canada and the US. His awards include Malwa Ratna, Shrestha Kala Acharya, Isuri Samman, Bhajan Bhushan, Madhya Pradesh ka Shikhar
Samman, and the Sangeet Natak Academy award. In 2011 he received the prestigious Padma Shri award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Government of India.

Read more about Tipanya-ji HERE

Tipaniyaji will be accompanied by five other musicians, singing and playing instruments

He will be in conversation with Dr. Linda Hess, a well-known scholar of Kabir and former professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. Dr. Hess will provide translations of the bhajans.

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

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Please note that parking is not always easily available in Berkeley. Take public transportation if possible or arrive early to secure your spot.

The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.

 isas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-3608