Kalpana Patowary is synonymous with folk music in India. Her mellifluous renditions have rightly earned her the credit for placing the folk music of Bhojpur and Assam on the country’s cultural radar. Kalpana has worked assiduously to promote folk music through her efforts both in rural and urban settings. Through her powerful performance, Kalpana manages to transport her audience into the realms of musical fantasia. Her work helps the younger generation understand, appreciate and respect our rich traditions of folk music. Her mellifluous and varied repertoire includes the myriad forms of folk music-such as Purvi, Bihu,Brajavali, Deori Bishu,Kajri, Holi, Chhath, Sohar, Vivah-geet, Birha, Nirugun and Goalporia.
She is the first woman to record Chhaprahiya Purvi with her commendable high pitch vocal. No woman ever dared recording this folk style as it demands high octave range. Until then, Purvi was a male preserve. Today many girls follow.
Her musical documented album on the Shakespeare of Bhojpuri Literature – The legacy of Bhikhari Thakur is the first recording on the work of Bhikhari Thakur. This got her International acclaim nominating in the Best Folk Album category GiMA awards 2015.
Being woman it was not smooth sailing, coming out from remote north east to an unfamiliar direction of Bhojpuri male preserve society.15 years back rural India did not appreciate woman singing outside household territory. Contrary to the tradition, Kalpana Patowary fought back standing singing out loud in her typical guttural voice proving women’s right to explore musical art. Her decade long service, contribution and proactive approach to Bhojpuri music, has helped the women artiste from remote villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to come out and chase their musical dreams and grow in both scope and recognition.
Kalpana Patowary through her body of musical recordings and collaborations, ie The legacy of Bhikhari Thakur, Anthology of Birha, The sacred scriptures of Monikut and Jimochhaya is archiving and preserving India’s musical heritage of folk traditions which is fading into oblivion without patronage and exposure. She has taken up the challenge of passing on the legacies to the younger generation with help of audio-visual aids, documentation, explanation, archiving etc. and restore them to the glory they deserve by travelling far and wide, recording on-site and polishing their finds in studios before making it available on modern platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud and YouTube.