Oakland University and Great Lakes Aradhana Committee to Host Benefit Concert for Chennai Musicians

The event will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30 in Varner Recital Hall on Oakland University's Rochester campus.

In an effort to support the Chennai music community affected by last month’s devastating floods in southern India, music professor Mark Stone of Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, Michigan, is organizing a benefit concert with the Great Lakes Aradhana Committee, Michigan’s premier presenter of Carnatic music.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, in OU’s Varner Recital Hall. The program will feature Michigan Jugalbandi, a group led by Mark Stone (mbira/ gyil) that includes fellow OU professors Sam Jeyasingham (kanjira/ morsing) and Patrick Fitzgibbon (tabla/ drum set), as well as OU graduate student Matt Dufresne (saxophones) and mridangam artist Vinod Seetharaman.

Michigan Jugalbandi’s performance will be followed by a traditional Carnatic performance featuring Michigan’s preeminent Carnatic musicians: Madurai Sundar (voice), Jay Balan (violin), and Vinod Seetharaman (mridangam).

Admission is free, but all attendees are encouraged to give generously in support of recovery efforts underway in Chennai. All proceeds will be donated to the Carnatica Archival Center, a Chenai-based non-profit trust directed by KN Shashikiran. Carnatica will distribute 100 percent of the funds directly to victims of the recent flooding, working to rebuild their lives and artistic careers.

According to Shahikiran, many musicians have suffered damages in the flood, losing not only their musical instruments but also concert assignments due to cancellation of concerts.

“These musicians need the support of the Carnatic music community around the world to get back on their feet,” Shahikiran said. “As Carnatica's director and managing trustee, I take great pleasure in partnering with Professor Mark Stone, his team and all other associated organizations for this fundraiser. I am sure that with the support of the local rasikas, the event will be a great success.”

The Carnatica Archival Centre hosted professor Stone in Chenai last year while he was pursuing sabbatical research on Carnatic percussion with kanjera guru Papanasam Sethuraman. He also presented performances with many of the luminaries of India’s Carnatic music scene, including Sudha Raghunathan, Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan, Mandolin Rajesh, N. Guruprasad, Chitravina Ravikiran, and the Carnatic Brothers (K.N. Shashikiran and P. Ganesh). Professor Stone also performed in Chennai during the 2012 festival season and is a regular performer on the Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival.

For more information, contact Professor Stone at stone@oakland.edu or call the OU Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at (248) 370-2100.