The World Music Institute will launch its Global Salon series with an intimate performance from Bengali singer Shafi Mondol on Saturday, November 2 at 8:00 pm at the Thalia Theater.
Shafi Mondol is admired as a leading voice in the Baul tradition, a nomadic group of wandering saint/singers combining Vaishnava Hinduism and Sufi Muslim poetry. Translating to “mad” or “possessed,” Bauls represent a tradition of devotional music dating back to the 10th century that transcends political and religious divisions. Shafi Mondol carries this tradition forward, having studied with Shadhon Mukherjee and promoted the works of 19th century Baul saint and singer Lalon Fakir.
Forging a progressive approach to the Baul tradition, Mondol frequently incorporates western instruments such as electric guitar and violin into his music. The result is a mesmerizing mix of the ancient and contemporary, augmenting his mystical lyrics with modern timbres. This performance, however, will emphasize more traditional, trance-inducing sounds such as the single-stringed ektara and the duggi, or kettle drum.
Mondol’s contributions have helped the Baul tradition become globally recognized, most notably as a “Masterpiece of the Oral Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. When he is not touring internationally, Mondol runs the Bhabnagor Shongeet Ashram, teaching many prominent singers in Bangladesh.
Saturday, November 2, 8:00pm
Thalia Theater at Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
$30 Public • $25 WMI Friends • $5 Bring a Kid