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Dada Veda to perform at Strand Theatre

By HANNAH GUNNELL

hgunnell@shelbynews.com

Singer and songwriter Dada Veda will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at The Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville as part of his “Mission From God” tour.

Veda will perform his original folk-country songs and classic covers, according to The Strand Theatre’s newsletter. Some of his songs include, “I don’t eat meat (A vegetarian song)” and “Love is the best.”

Despite Veda’s recent album release in May, this tour is not to promote the album. His “Mission From God” tour is to raise money to help a nun build a hospital in Kolkata, India.

“In Kolkata, there is a nun who is working on this project for almost 20 years, and she has a very good piece of land and a very good location, and I was trying to help her raise money for an outpatient clinic on the first floor,” Veda said.

The nun’s name is Didi Ananda Prajaina, and Veda met her back in the 1980s while they were both working in Europe for Ananda Marga.

Ananda Marga is a global spiritual and social service, according to its website. Veda has volunteered for this organization since 1968, according to his Facebook page.

Veda said he needs to raise between $7,000 and $8,000 to help pay for the construction of the outpatient clinic. His gofundme page has raised about $1,000, but he has only made $500 on his tour.

“The tour has not raised that much because of the expenses of the tour,” he said. “I am an unknown act, so I don’t have a big audience in many places.”

His Shelbyville performance will end the tour that began in September 2018. He plans on going on another tour in the fall.

Veda has not been to Shelbyville before, and he said he was looking forward to performing in a theatre.

“For one, I like the theatre more than the bar, because the bar has distractions of noise,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having an audience that can listen to what I have to say, and enjoy the music and have a good time.”

Strand Theatre manager David Finkel said the Strand was proud to be hosting Veda.

“Communities like Shelbyville do not have this kind of music to make them a destination,” Finkel said. “We are proud to host this kind of art.”

Veda decided to go on tour to raise money for the hospital because he was inspired by the movie, “The Blues Brothers,” according to Veda’s website.

In the movie, the Blues Brothers go on a musical tour to raise money for nuns to save an orphanage in Chicago. One of the brothers, Dan Akyroyd, called it “his mission from God.” So this is Veda’s mission from god, according to his website.

“I’m helping a little nun also, so that’s why I named it ‘Mission From God,’” Dada said. “But I didn’t destroy any police cars on my tour like they did.”

Tickets for Saturday’s concert are $8. Profits will go toward The Abha Memorial Hospital.

In addition to singing and social activism, Veda is also a yoga and meditation teacher. He received formal yoga training in Sweden, and when he completed his training in 1977 he became an “orange-robed monk” of the Ananda Marga.