This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Reserve your seats now at bit.ly/surdasinsong.
The IRCPL, Barnard Religion Department, Barnard Center for Translation Studies, and South Asia Institute at Columbia University present a concert and discussion:
Performing Bhakti: Surdas in Song and Translation
Featuring a Hindustani Classical and Devotional performance by:
Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar, Lead Vocals
Ajinkya Joshi, Tabla
Milind Kulkarni, Harmonium
The concert and discussion event celebrates the recent publication of Barnard Religion Professor Jack Hawley’s co-authored volume, Sur’s Ocean, which was recently published by Harvard University Press as part of the Murty Classical Library of India. The concert will be followed by a discussion on performance, song, and translation.
The concert is hosted and curated by Yogi Trivedi, Columbia University.
The sixteenth century poet Surdas is unarguably one of the best known bhakti poets in India. His poetry has been performed through several genres of music, art, and theater. His influence on later Hindi poets and later bhakti theologians illustrates his significance within the bhakti world. Musically speaking, however, Surdas has traveled beyond the bhakti world and has gained a prominent place within the performance setting of Hindustani or North Indian Classical Music. Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar will perform several pads from Sur’s Ocean and from Sur’s oral tradition in different classical and devotional repertoires. The performance will be followed by a short discussion on Sur’s Ocean and more generally, on the performance of bhakti through song and translation.
Join us for an intimate setting musical performance followed by a conversation with Professor Jack Hawley, the translator of Sur’s Ocean and with Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar. The discussion will be moderated by Yogi Trivedi, Columbia University.
Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar is one of the finest male vocalists in India today. His repertoire includes various genres of classical and devotional music, including khayal, bhajans, and abhangs. He is the torchbearer of the Mewati Gharana. His guru the world-renowned Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj has often cited him as his worthy successor and most promising artist of the Mewati Gharana or lineage. Sanjeev has performed at various venues around the world and has received numerous awards for his classical, devotional, and playback songs.
Professor Jack Hawley is the author or editor of some fifteen books. Most concern Hinduism and the religions of India, but others are broadly comparative. He has written scholarship on Surdas and other early modern Indian devotional poets. He has also translated hundreds of Braj devotional poems. His translations maintain the rasa or flavor essential to bhakti poetry, while also making the poems accessible to the English audience. Most recently, he has co-authored with Kenneth E. Bryant the Murty Classical Library of India: Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition.
Yogi Trivedi is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Journalism School and a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Religion. Trivedi’s latest book is the first-ever English biography of the North Indian spiritual leader and social reformer Swaminarayan (1781-1829). His scholarship is enriched by his training as a lecturer and musical performer of bhakti poetry and classical and devotional North Indian music. He has trained with various internationally acclaimed classical and folk musicians, such as Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj and Gujarati ghazal maestro Purushottam Upadhyaya.
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