W&L Hosts Concert by Babukishan Das Baul
A concert by Babukishan Das Baul and his wife, Sandra Ann Baul, “Mystical Songs of the Bauls of Bengal,” will be presented at Washington and Lee University on Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Hillel 101. The concert is free and open to the public.
The Bauls are a tradition of religious minstrels in Bengal whose songs of joy, love and longing for mystical union with the Divine evoke a profound spirituality. Their solo vocals are accompanied by simple instrumentation (cylindrical metal drum with two strings and a one-stringed drone instrument or ektara).
Babukishan Das Baul (Babu) comes from the oldest living lineage of Baul performers. His grandfather Nabani Das Baul was close to Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore, and his father, Purna Das, came to America for six months in 1967 at the invitation of Albert Grossman and Bob Dylan to introduce Americans to Baul music.
Over the years, Babu has learned to play some 15 different instruments, including the harmonium, tabla, dholok, mandolin, ektara, khamak, dotara, etc., and has studied with great Eastern teachers, such as Nabani Das Baul, Purna Das Baul, Pandit Amarnath and Gyanprakash Ghosh.
He has learned both the classical and folk music of India as well as Western music, which has helped him compose. Baul has played at the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden and has performed with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Miles Davis.