Faithful Renditions: A Guide To The 2017 Kabir Festival

Manzil Mystics.

Manzil Mystics.

For folk music fans, the annual Kabir Festival, which celebrates the life and works of fifteenth-century mystic Kabir and other saint-poets, is among the highlights of Mumbai’s cultural calendar. Perhaps the best aspect of the annual event is that it’s held at intimate venues that span the length and breadth of the city. During this year’s edition, 19 performances will be staged across a dozen venues between Thursday, January 12 and Sunday, January 15; each one is free. Here’s our round-up of the recitals and where to catch them.

Manzil Mystics
Capital-based Manzil Mystics is a musical ensemble made up of members of the educational non-profit Manzil. They describe the project as a “band inspired by Bhakti and Sufi philosophy”.
Thursday, January 12, from 7pm to 9pm at Saher.
Friday, January 13, between 11am and 1pm at Somaiya Vidyavihar.

‘A Musical Narrative on Amir Khusrau
Singers Ankit Chadha from Delhi, Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy from Bangalore, Vedanth Bharadwaj from Chennai and Ajay Tipaniya from Indore will present this storytelling and music performance about the relationship between thirteenth-century Sufi poet Amir Khusrau and his spiritual master Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Free passes for the Kashinath Ghanekar show will be available at the venue one hour before the event.
Thursday, January 12, between 7pm and 9pm at Saher.
Sunday, January 15, between 9am and noon at Kashinath Ghanekar.

‘The Sufi Voice in Hindustani Classical Music’
Kolkata-residing vocalist Subhomoy Bhattacharya will present a solo recital entitled ‘The Sufi Voice in Hindustani Classical Music’.
Thursday, January 12, between 7pm and 9pm at Sangit Mahabharati.
Friday, January 13, between 7pm and 9.30pm at Laxmi Baug.
Sunday, January 15, between 11am and 1pm at Whispering Palms.

‘Call of the Bauls’
A performance by Baul singers Lakshman Das Baul from Bolpur in West Bengal.
Thursday, January 12, between 7pm and 9pm at Sangit Mahabharati.
Friday, January 13, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm at Ramakrishna Mission.

‘A Contemporary Approach to Bhakti – Some Kannada and Hindi Poets’
The Vasu Dixit Collective, helmed by Bangalore-based vocalist Vasu Dixit aka the frontman of folk-fusion band Swarathma, will present ‘A Contemporary Approach to Bhakti – Some Kannada and Hindi Poets’.
Thursday, January 12, between 7pm and 9pm at The Great Eastern Home.

‘Jheeni’
Kathak dancer Sanjukta Wagh from Mumbai will stage her new production Jheeni, which features city-based musicians Carnatic classical-trained vocalist Shruthi Vishwanath and guitarist Hitesh Dhutia and tabla player Shruteendra Katagade from Pune. The performance, which is interspersed with excerpts from writer Arundhathi Subramaniam’s book Eating God, interprets the works of Kabir and Marathi saint-poets Chokhamela and Janabai.
Thursday, January 12, between 7pm and 9pm at The Great Eastern Home.

‘Dastan-e-Khanabadosh’
Capital-residing singer Ankit Chadha will present ‘Dastan-e-Khanabadosh’, a performance in the Urdu storytelling style of Dastangoi about “nomadic pastoralists and the settled world”.
Friday, January 13, between 11am and 1pm at Somaiya Vidyavihar.

‘Kahat Kabira’
Popular folk singer Prahlad Singh Tipaniya from the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh will perform ‘Kahat Kabira’, a concert of Kabir bhajans.
Friday, January 13, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm at Shishuvan School.
Sunday, January 15, between 6pm and 10pm at Gyan Sagar Amphitheatre.

‘Mystic Music from Kutch’
Folk singer Mooralala Marwada from Gujarat will perform ‘Mystic Music from Kutch’.
Friday, January 13, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm at Shishuvan School.
Saturday, January 14, between 6pm and 10pm at Carter Road Amphitheatre, Bandra.

‘Exploring Gyaneshwar’
Singer Shruthi Vishwanath will sing the verses of thirteenth-century saint-poet Gyaneshwar.
Friday, January 13, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm at Ramakrishna Mission.
Sunday, January 15, between 6pm and 10pm at Gyan Sagar Amphitheatre.

‘The Journey of Bhakti in India’
Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy and Vedanth Bharadwaj will present a musical exploration of the Bhakti movement.
Friday, January 13, between 7pm and 9.30pm at Laxmi Baug.

Unplugged Satsang
All the participating artists will assemble together to perform an unplugged concert.
Saturday, January 14, between 6.30am and 8.30am at Carter Road Amphitheatre, Bandra.

‘Singing the Saints’
Vocalists Vedanth Bharadwaj and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy will present a recital they’ve named ‘Singing the Saints’.
Saturday, January 14, between 6pm and 10pm at Carter Road Amphitheatre, Bandra.

Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café
Mumbai folk-fusion band Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café will perform.
Saturday, January 14, between 6pm and 10pm at Carter Road Amphitheatre, Bandra.

‘The Punjabi Sufis’
Hindustani classical-trained singer Radhika Sood Nayak from Mumbai will perform ‘The Punjabi Sufis’, a concert during which she will render the works by Baba Farid, Shah Hussain and Bulleh Shah. Free passes will be available at the venue one hour before event.
Sunday, January 15, between 9am to noon at Kashinath Ghanekar.

‘The Women Warkaris’
The verses of female mystics of the Warkari tradition such as Janabai, Muktabai, Kanhopatra and Gonabai will be rendered by Shruthi Vishwanath.
Sunday, January 15, between 11am and 1pm at Whispering Palms.

‘The Life and Poetry of Lalon Fakir
Baul singer Parvathy Baul, who is based in Trivandrum, will perform a concert based on the life and poetry of Bengali mystic Lalon Fakir.
Sunday, January 15, between 4pm and 5.30pm at Kitab Khana.

‘Meera’s Voice’
Radhika Sood Nayak will sing the verses of fifteenth-century mystic poet Meera Bai.
Sunday, January 15, between 6pm and 10pm at Gyan Sagar Amphitheatre.

‘Exploring Qawwali’
Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy and Vedanth Bharadwaj will perform a qawwali concert with folk singers Devnarayan Saroliya, Vijay Tipaniya and Dharmendra Tipaniya from Ujjain.
Sunday, January 15, between 6pm and 10pm at Gyan Sagar Amphitheatre.

Entry to all the events is free and on a first come, first served basis. You can also see the schedule here.

Venues
Carter Road Amphitheatre Carter Road Promenade, Bandra (West).

Kashinath Ghanekar Mini Theatre, Third Floor, near Hiranandani Meadows, Ghodbunder Road, Thane (West). Tel: 022 2173 2525.

Gyan Sagar Amphitheatre Brahmakumari Garden, Devidas Road, Govind Nagar, Borivali (West).

Kitab Khana Somaiya Bhavan, Ground Floor, M. G. Road, Flora Fountain, Fort. Tel: 022 6170 2276.

Laxmi Baug Avantikabai Gokhle Marg, Bhatwadi, Girgaum.

Ramakrishna Mission Auditorium, 12th Road, Khar (West). Tel: 022 6181 8000.

Saher (Society for Awareness, Harmony and Equal Rights) Ganesh Maidan, Janashakti Police Chowki, opposite Malabar Hotel, Jogeshwari (East). Tel: 022 2824 4386.

Sangit Mahabharati 10th Road, opposite Amitabh Bachchan’s Bungalow, Juhu. Tel: 022 2620 6106.

Shishuvan School 426 Shraddhanand Road, King’s Circle, Matunga (East). Tel: 022 2404 4063.

Somaiya Vidyavihar Tagore Amphitheatre, Vidyanagar, Vidyavihar, Ghatkaopar (East). Tel: 022 6728 3064.

The Great Eastern Home Pond Room, New Great Eastern Mills, Dr. Ambedkar Road, near Rani Baug, Byculla (East). Tel: 022 2377 0079.

Whispering Palms Building No.4, Akurli Road, Alika Nagar, Lokhandwala Township, Kandivali (East).

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