3:30 – 4:30pm, Sunday 4 November, Holy Trinity Cathedral
Raju Das Baul is a leading young representative of one of Bengal’s spiritually and philosophically richest folk forms, Baul music. Music has been Raju’s greatest passion since early childhood. A native of Bolpur, Santiniketan, West Bengal, he started singing under the guidance of his father, also a Baul musician, at the age of five. From the age of six he received initiation from his spiritual guide (Guru), Shree Satyananda Das Baul. He was brought up in close association with folk families from the Baul community and started singing with the blessings of countless well wishers. He made his performance debut in Joydev Kenduli when he was eight years old, singing the work of Lalon Sain, Bhaba Pagla and Guru Chand Baul Radha raman.
Raju das Baul is a virtuoso of the “Khamak”, a haracteristic musical instrument especially used in folk music, which he learned from the age of ten. Entirely self taught on the instrument, his Khamak playing comes without effort from the core of his heart. He has performed many times at all of the main Baul Festivals, including Joydeb Kenduli, Pous Mela, Baul Fakir Utsav Nadia and Sriniketan Mela Utsab.Edinburgh fringe festivals(UK) He has performed widely at prestigious multi genre festivals across India and collaborated with international musicians and ensembles, for example the Chennai Global Festival with award winning bassist Paul Jacob’s group, and most recently at The Hindu newspaper’s Friday Review November Fest, as part of Scottish classical guitar virtuoso Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti ensemble in Coimbatore and Kochi. He performed in the acclaimed contemporary dance theatre production The Absent Lover in England and Paris in 2010.
He has performed on numerous occasions on several TV stations, including Kolkata TV, DD Bangla,DD kisan reality show folkstar and 24 Ghanta News times.R plus news.B News chanel.STV scotland. and on radio on All India Radio, Akashbani Kolkata and Akashvani Shantiniketan.BBC Radio. His discography includes an album with New Zealand contemporary group The Three Seas at Piramal Haveli, a stunning structure deep in the Rajasthan desert, and the opening sequence of Tamil film Kadhai, alongside the great M. Balamuralikrishna.chinna pannu kumar. Music is his life and Raju das Baul intends to sing, play and perform until he draws his last breath.
“Raju, in a flowing gown, a turban and with bells on his feet lovingly played the Khamak. Din to gelo, sandhya holo, paar koro aamare (the day is done, it is evening, take me across)…he sang. It was goosebumps all the way as Raju threw open his voice. One was transported to the paddy fields of Bengal and its blue skies…. Raju Das sang another gem written by Lalan Fakir. The song exhorted one to drown in oneself. That was the only way to find the treasure. The one who merely floated through life would never find the gem…The Khamak that Raju played was phenomenal.” The Hindu, concert review with Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, Coimbatore, November 2014.
Raju Das Baul vocals, khamak