Award-winning flutist Bhadra Rupa Das has been invited to perform a concert of Gaudiya Vaishnava songs, along with a presentation on Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, to 10,000 people at a shrine in Takayama, Japan.
Bhadra Rupa, alias Luis De La Calle, is signed to Sony World Music, has performed at theaters around the world, and is a member of the US, British, and Japanese national flute associations. At his music academy in Geneva, Switzerland, he teaches students how to play devotional songs by Vaishnava composers like Narottama Das Thakur.
He is particularly well-known as a performer in Japan, where he has been touring since signing his first contract with JVC World Sound at age fourteen.
His upcoming concert there, to be held in early November 2016, will be attended by thousands of spiritualists, politicians, diplomats, and artists.
Bhadra Rupa will begin with several of his own devotional compositions fusing Inca, Indian, classical and jazz styles on his De La Calle Quena Flute, which he invented to combine the best of the European tranverse and Inca bamboo flutes. He will be accompanied by a national Japanese symphony orchestra.
“I’ll then perform several Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava songs in glorification of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada,” he says. “I’ll use my introductions to each song as a chance to talk about these key Vaishnava personalities, and to explain philosophical themes from the Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita.”
Bhadra Rupa will also take the opportunity to tell the history of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his Sankirtana movement, and explain the purificatory power of the Hare Krishna mantra. In honor of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, he’ll finish by telling the story of Srila Prabhupada’s brave journey to America at age 70, his struggle to establish ISKCON in New York in 1966, and its subsequent success in spreading all over the world.
Before that, next month Sony Music will arrange for Bhadra to teach bamboo flute workshops to young people affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
“I’ll teach them using the rhythmic system of South Indian Carnatic music, yet replacing the usual onomatopoeic sounds with the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and different names of the Lord like Gauranga, Nityananda, Govinda and Shyamasundar,” he says.