Classical Tuesdays in Old Town is excited to feature North Indian vocalist Srivani Jade on Tuesday Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in Slavonian Hall. Jade, returning by popular demand, is turning her attention to Sufi mystic music and is bringing The Nirguni Ensemble to back her up in this venture.
The show promises to be a musical offering of uplifting spiritual poetry from the Indian Subcontinent over the centuries (13th century to present): Nirguni and Sufi poets like Rumi, Khusrau, Kabir and others, have all written about transcending form and seeing the One in everyone and everything. The musicians will be performing some lovely gems of thought from these poets and thinkers, and taking the audience along with them on an uplifting spiritual journey.
Sufi music is the devotional music of the Sufis (Islamic mystics), inspired by the works of Sufi poets — Rumi being probably the best known in the Western world. Some Sufi groups employ music, dance and other practices as they strive to obtain direct experience of God.
Jade was last seen at the Slavonian Hall last November when she performed with composer and trumpet player Samantha Boshnack’s “B’shnorkestra.”
Although she grew up performing on the stage and radio in India, Jade debuted as a Khayal singer (Khayal is the modern genre of classical singing in North India) in Ragamala’s Utsav festival (Seattle, 2008) and Devanandan Ubhayaker Yuva Sangeet Utsav (an annual music event conducted in Bangalore, India) for emerging artists in 2009. She has since continued to study, teach and perform Hindustani vocal music in both North America and India.
She has five solo albums to her credit, and several grants, artist residencies and awards, including the Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award (2009) and an NEA grant for her musical composition work on the existential love poetry of Meera Bai, a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of the god Krishna who is a celebrated Hindu saint. Jade has composed and recorded theme vocals for independent films such as “Tapasya” (2003), “Siddhanto” (2014) and stage productions such as “Indian Ink” (Sound Theater Company). She is an auditioned artist with All India Radio, and visiting artist with the University of Washington School of Music’s Ethnomusicology program. She has also presented workshops on Hindustani/Bhakti music at UW-Bothell, University of Puget Sound and University of British Columbia.
Jade’s inter-disciplinary work, with visual artist Annette Solyst’s miniature ‘Peacock’ paintings, was featured as a month-long installation at Jack Straw New Media Gallery in 2014. Her work as a soloist for Seattle-based B’shnorkestra’s Global Concerto series was featured in the 2016 Earshot Jazz Festival and received critical acclaim.
Her latest work, “Soul Raga,” features one-on-one dialogues between Indian vocals and West Javanese Sundanese music, Senegalese drumming and Greek clarinet. “Soul Raga” has received grant support from 4Culture and Jack Straw Productions, and premiered in Seattle this summer.
Srivani was founding editor of Ragavani Journal of South Asian Music and Dance (2007-08). She has served on the board of Kirkland Performance Center (2010-12), a vibrant international art house, and helped curate the Namaste Kirkland annual performance series focused on the performing arts of India. Her “Gayaki” teaching studio in Kirkland also hosts monthly baithaks — or social gatherings — where students and visiting musicians perform and interact in an unplugged and intimate gathering space.
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