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Music and Poetry of the Formless Divine in North India


November 1, 2013
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Campbell Recital Hall
Braun Music Building
Stanford, CA, 94305,

Featuring the musical compositions of Kumar Gandharva and the poetry of Kabir.  Pushkar Lele accompanied by Sanjay Deshpande on tabla and Vyasmurti Katti on harmonium, with translations and commentary by Linda Hess (Department of Religious Studies). Co-sponsored by the Center for South Asia, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Music, and Spicmacay-Stanford. Free and open to the public.

Pushkar Lele is an acclaimed younger singer of the Hindustani classical tradition, a seasoned performer and the recipient of many awards. His guru, Pt. Vijay Sardeshmukh, was a senior disciple of the great 20th-century artist, Kumar Gandharva. Pushkar often sings the beautiful compositions of Kumarji, including renditions of poetry by the 15th-century poet-saint Kabir and other poets of the nirgun tradition (devoted to the formless ultimate reality). His website, www.pushkarlele.com, provides information about his training, performance history, tours, and awards, as well as examples of his singing. Critics have described Pushkar’s music as “mellifluous and deep … vibrant … meditative … brilliant.”

Linda Hess, Senior Lecturer in Stanford’s Department of Religious Studies, is the author of Singing Emptiness: Kumar Gandharva Performs the Poetry of Kabir (Seagull, 2009) and Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds in North India (Oxford USA, forthcoming).