Dr. Francesca Cassio is the Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology, and Associate Professor of Music at Hofstra University, New York. Scholar and singer with expertise in Indian music, Dr. Cassio is trained in both the Western and Indian music cultures. She is a senior disciple of legendary masters of the 20th century: Padma Bhushan Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar and Padma Bhushan Vidushi Girija Devi. Dr. Cassio continues to receive extensive training in vocal and percussion tradition by Bhai Baldeep Singh, the 13th generation exponent of Gurbānī kīrtan.
In 2015, Dr. Cassio has been awarded the Stessin Prize by Hosftra University for outstanding scholarly publication, with the article “Female Voices in Gurbānī Sangīt and the Role of the Media in promoting Female Kīrtanie” (Sikh Formations, August 2014). Dr. Cassio has lectured and performed in North America, Europe and India.