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2019 STL Indian Music Fest

Three evening family event features traditional, classical, instrumental and modern styles


ST.LOUIS / September 4, 2019 - Soorya Performing Arts, a not for profit organization, is bringing their 6th Annual St. Louis Indian music festival to the Ghandi Center (727 Weidman Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011) September 20th – 22nd to showcase different music genres from India. This FREE event provides an overview of devotional, classical, folk, instrumental, film and modern music systems from India, this festival is conceived by music Gurus Seema Kasthuri and her husband Prasanna Kasthuri.  Showcasing Indian music’s four millennian history dating back to 2nd century BCE, it features great works that provide a detailed study of music and life in Indian culture:  from a peasant or weaver singing while working, to a royal musician singing in front of a king or a devotee singing in the temple.

Below are descriptions of each style of Indian music and the musicians who will be performing them.


The festival presents works of great poet-composers like Narsi Mehta from the state of Gujarat, who devoted his life to create beautiful works on relationships of metaphysics and nature. His songs are sung even 500 years after his passing. Punjab is the land of Sikh faith. Keertans are devotional hymns sung in praise of the saint Gurunanak and his spiritual work - Granth Saheeba. Bhai Sohan Singh and his two musicians will present the beautiful renditions of Keertans. Saint Chaitanya was a preacher from Bengal in 15th century, his followers took the path of selfless service. The founder of ISCKON followed this great saint and spread the essence of simple living. A team from the ISCKON center will present Bhajan music with a full orchestra. Sai center presents the songs of baba who promoted universal brotherhood.  Annamacharya was a saint poet from state of Andhra Pradesh, who lived in 16th century. He created innumerous compositions in Telugu language. A group led by Phani, owner of Paradise restaurant, will be presenting the beautiful melodies from 16th century. Devaranamas are 15th century Kannada language poems. These devaranamas speak about social inequalities, injustices of medieval India. Mythili Rochan and other Sangama members will present these songs, reflecting the progressive minds which defied discriminations.



Sanskrit and Tamil are the oldest languages in the World. Tamil’s great work Thirupuzhal (15th century) will be presented by a group of Tamil people led by Balachandra and Vidya Anand. Sant Tukaram and Naamdev created a social revolution in Maharashtra in 17-18th century defying the age old caste system. They preached oneness among all human beings. Their songs are called Abhangs. A group of musicians led by Deepali and Kalpana will present Abhang Gayan.



Music in India is well researched in both rhythm and melody aspect. Distinctive approach of musical elements are clearly seen in two classical music system – Carnatic music from south India and Hindustani Music from north India. St. Louis’s leading Carnatic musician Seema Kasthuri will be presenting complex melodies with creativity of spontaneous notes and improvisation rhythm-less expansion of melody. She will present Kharaharapriya (Dorian) as main melody with Kartik Balachandran on violin and Shivananda on Mrudanga. Dancer and musician Prasanna Kasthuri will be presenting a new approach to Carnatic music by using new poetry through an ancient music. He is applying old methods of singing to 21st century Kannada poems. Well known Guitarist Todd Mosby will present the Hindustani music with the Etawa Gharana of Ustad Imrat Khan. He will be accompanied on Tabla by Partha Karmakar and elaborating on raagas from north India. Nithya Sai Ganesh will present a concert with the ancient Indian instrument – Veena. Soorya Music School will be presenting the Sanskrit, Telugu songs pertaining to Carnatic music. Upcoming stars like Priya Kanna, Akshara, Sapthaka will be singing at this event.



Music of India has changed a lot since the days of traditional music. The influence of the west has led to the creation of Bollywood which imbibes the qualities of Indian folk, traditional, Brazilian, Jazz and other world music genres. Falgun Dave presents popular singer Kishore Kumar’s song through “Yadein”. Jagadambika Mathur will present Ghazals (Romantic Songs) reflecting the influence of Islam in Indian music.

The music festival will feature a closing performance called – “Mera Bharath Mahan” with multiple languages to showcase the depth, variety and entertaining qualities of Indian music.

Soorya Dance Company will be presenting unique dance performances based on 15th century poems led by famous Indian dancers Samanvita, Sadhana, Mounica and others.

This event is partially sponsored by Missouri Arts Council. 

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