Bengali Music at Skokie Library and Album Preview
Chicago Folklore Ensemble will be performing a free concert of songs from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem collection Gitanjali. We will also be releasing a few tracks from an upcoming album! Please join us!
Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St, Skokie, IL
Saturday, September 21, 1 pm
Our Gitanjali is a show that takes audiences on a spiritual journey via the music and poetry of legendary Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore. In 1912, Tagore published a book of devotional poems called Gitanjali, and the work was so impactful in Europe that he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. However, Western readers of Tagore don’t always know that many of the poems in Gitanjali were originally lyrics of songs that Tagore composed, songs which are still known and beloved in Bengal today.
Our Gitanjali presents English translations of several poems from Gitanjali paired with the songs sung in the original Bengali and improvisations in the songs’ corresponding ragas, intertwining Tagore’s exquisite verses with the music that brings the poetry its full emotional resonance. In this show, vocals and narration by Subhajit Sengupta and Swarnali Banerjee, both originally from Kolkata, India, are accompanied by sweeping strings and accordion harmonies. Over the course of the show, the performers share stories and personal experiences that illustrate the enduring power and relevance of Tagore’s creative work.