Sacred Strings

As one of the oldest musical styles in the world, the classical Indian raga resonates deeply to Eastern ears but often feels distant to Westerners. Even as the Beatles and countercultural America welcomed the beloved Ravi Shankar and his sitar-and-tabla combos into the pop lexicon of the 1960s, the sitar remains an intriguingly complex instrument to understand and the raga one of the more hypnotic, exotic song forms. Bridging traditions ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, is Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, a renowned Indian musician who builds his own unique stringed instruments. Fusing the Hawaiian slack-key guitar with the Indian veena, Bhatt and his Mohan veena helped win him a Grammy for his collabo with Ry Cooder on '94's A Meeting by the River. For Friday's performance, Subhen Chetterjee will accompany Bhatt on tabla, the traditional Indian hand drum. "To me, music is the medium to talk to God," Bhatt has said. This is your chance to hear their conversation.

Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $20 to $35. Call 954-462-0222.

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Jonathan Zwickel