Paban Das Baul

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Paban Das Baul
Paban Das Baul at Nine Lives concert, 2009.jpg
Paban Das Baul at Nine Lives concert, 2009.
Background information
Born1961 (age 57–58)
Mohammedpur, Murshidabad district, West Bengal, India [1]
GenresBaul music, folk-fusion
InstrumentsDugdugi, Ektara
Years active1970s–present
LabelsReal World Records[2]

Paban Das Baul (born 1961) is a noted Bengali baul singer and musician, who also plays a dubki, a small tambourine and sometimes an ektara as an accompaniment. He is known for pioneering traditional Baul music on the international music scene and for establishing a genre of folk-fusion music.[3]

Early life[edit]

Born in Mohammedpur, a small village in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal, where his early musical influences were his father, and wandering baul singers.


Mimlu Sen and Paban Das Baul, Baul musicians, at International Asian Movies festival in Vesoul, France

In 1988, Das Baul started collaborating with Sam Mills, a London-born guitarist who had performed with experimental, avant garde group 23 Skidoo between 1979 and 1982, their collaboration resulted in the acclaimed album Real Sugar (1997), a Peter Gabriel's Real World Records release,[4] it marked one of the first fusions of Bengali music and Western pop music.[5] He has also collaborated with the London-based State of Bengal and Susheela Raman. In 2005, the Baul tradition was included in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.[6]

He also performed at the Jaipur Literature Festival [7] and the "Nine Lives" Concert, 2009 in London, of William Dalrymple.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He met Mimlu as a concert audience in 1982 in Paris, they later married and lived in Paris for many years, he has taught himself to read, not just Bengali, but Hindi, English and French.


  • Real Sugar (1997) (Real World)
  • Inner Knowledge (Womad Select - 1997)
  • State of Bengal vs. Paban Das Baul (2004)
  • Tana Tani (Push & Pull) (2004)
  • Paban Das Baul - Music Of The Honey Gatherers (Riverboat Records)[9]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sen, Mimlu (2009). Baulsphere. Random House. ISBN 81-8400-055-3.
  • Sen, Mimlu (2010). The Honey Gatherers: Travels with The Bauls: The Wandering Minstrels of Rural India. Random House. ISBN 1-84604-189-9.


External links[edit]