Artist Profiles: Deborshee Bhattacharjee

Deborshee Bhattacharjee

Deborshee Bhattacharjee is a very promising musician of this age. Born into a musical family, Deborshee was introduced to music by his mother, Smt. Reena Bhattacharjee.

Since the age of ten, he has been undergoing training from the maestro Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty He has been awarded the West Bengal State Music Academy award in both the junior and senior groups respectively at the age of ten and eighteen. He has also won the Ravi Kichlu Award and is the recipient of the prestigious National Scholarship.

With a gifted voice for “khayals”, Deborshee has nurtured his talents through his regular “reyaz”. Presently he is a teacher at his guru’s institution, the esteemed “Shrutinandan”.

He has performed in almost all stages of Kolkata and often accompanies his guru on stage. An introduction to this wonderful vocalist shall be incomplete without mentioning that an All India Radio artist and performs often in radio and television.

He has also formed a classical fusion band called Dhun. His performances have been highly praised and applauded by musicians of international repute like Bidushi Girija Devi, Pt Bhajan Sopori, Pt Arun Bhaduri, Laxman Rao Pandit & many more.

Deborshee has been learning in Shrutinandan for the past 12 years now and presently is a teacher there. Deborshee has sung in the album, Geetinandan-2, which has been released by this institution. This collection offers quality music produced by the budding artists of Shrutinandan, under the sublime guidance of their guru, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty.

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Artist Profiles: Debasish Chaudhuri

Debasish Chaudhuri

Debasish Chaudhuri is a promising and acclaimed tabla player from Kolkata, India currently based in Los Angeles, USA. He began learning tabla (Indian hand percussion) from the age of five from late Pandit Nanku Maharaj of Benaras and subsequently from late Pandit Kanai Dutta of the Farukkabad gharana.

For more than thirty years, Debasish has been under the noble guidance of his guru and uncle the world renowned tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri of the Lucknow Gharana (school). Debasish Chaudhuri is a graded All India Radio artist and has a diploma in Tabla – “Sangeet Pravakar”

Debasish has performed in many concerts in India and in the United States, including tabla solos, percussion ensembles and accompanied countless instrumentalists and vocalists, including Dr. Omnakutty (vocal), Ajoy Pohankar (vocal), K. Sekhar (tavil), Ustad Aashish Khan (sarod), Alam Khan (sarod), Ganesh Kumar (ganjira), the late Pandit V.G. Jog (violin), Kartick Seshadri (sitar), Pandit Jasraj (vocal), Paul Livingstone (sitar) David Trasoff (sarod), David Philipson (Indian Flute) Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri (tabla) to name a few.

Since 2004, Debasish has been teaching tabla in greater Los Angeles area and performing throughout the United States with various artists, including visiting renowned artists from India. Previously he served as a tabla faculty for Pandit Jasraj School of Music Foundation LA Chapter. He is also a visiting tabla faculty at Phoenix Gharana School of Indian Arts Phoenix, Arizona.
Currently, he is an active director and joint secretary of a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization called “Rupak School of World Music”.

Rupak holds, workshops, concerts, and hosts regular classes for teaching Indian Classical Music in Los Angeles (California) and in Phoenix (Arizona).

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Artist Profiles: Bhoomi

Bhoomi

Bhoomi (translation: earth), a musical band from Kolkata (Calcutta), is a group of five music lovers. The band was formed in 1997, with the aim of reviving the folk music of Bengal and making it popular among all sections of the society by providing it an urban touch.

It is the only band which defines its music as decidedly “urban folk”. The band uses a consistent fusion of modern, urban lyrics with Bangla rural folk tunes like Baul and Bhatiyali (traditionally sung by the boatmen on the rivers Ganga and Padma). Bhoomi has successfully taken urban music beyond the college campuses and youth circuits into the lives of listeners of all ages. Their music is inspired by everyday city life, which they experience and which is experienced by so many people everywhere.

Bhoomi was the first Indian band to be invited by the United Nations to perform on July 12, 2006 at the Dag Hammerscholjd Auditorium in New York. They joined the ranks of legends Lata Mangeshkar and Pandit Ravi Shankar, becoming only the third Indian act to be invited to play at the United Nations. Bhoomi wasfeatured in the series Global Hit by the BBC and Public Radio International.

Discography:

Jatra Shuru (2000)
Gaan Doriyae (2010)

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Artist Profiles: Deepak Mehta

Deepak Mehta

Tabla Exponent A tabla virtuoso from Delhi Gharana, Yuva Ratna Deepak Mehta (born May 28, 1982) did not grow up in a family of musicians.

Initially self-trained, he was spotted by his class teacher at the age of six. At that time, he began playing his first percussion instrument, the bongo, followed by congas Since then, he played in All India Radio, Doordarshan and accompanied with the music groups of Bhappi Lahari, Narinder Chanchal, Prem Bhatia & Party and many more. He started earning fame and got coverage in print and electronic media. His story was covered and telecast at that time by the famous TV serial ?Surabhi? in 1994.

Deepak Mehta finally shifted to the more demanding discipline of Hindustani Classical music, choosing to learn tabla on the landmark advice of sarod legend Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

Deepak became the disciple of world renowned gurus, the late Ustad Chhamma Khan of Delhi Gharana, followed by his son Padamshree, and the late Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan. With such training, Mehta became a powerhouse performer of tabla. His electrifying performances captivate audiences, whether in the United State of America, other countries or motherland India.

It was no surprise that, at the age of 14, thanks to his sheer virtuosity and timeless supply of rhythmic melody and creativity on tabla, he was awarded the highest prize meant for teenagers, the National ?Bal Shree? Award 1996, presented by the President of India, the late Dr. Shank Dayal Sharma.

After the award, Deepak was featured or interviewed by numerous Indian media outlets, including Star Plus, Zee-News, Jain-TV,U-TV,E-TV, Total-TV, DD1,DD-Metro, Siti Cable, AIR, as well as several newspapers & magazines. The recording of his autobiography at this young age by Sweta Production is itself witnesses and proof of recognition of his art and talent.

Deepak Mehta has performed extensively in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Russia and Kirghistan and has been honored with many coveted awards, samaans and appreciations.

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Artist Profiles: Dhruba Ghosh

Dhruba Ghosh

Dhruba Ghosh was partly responsible for the renaissance of the sarangi in India. He was renowned for bringing out the sinuous and haunting melodic nature of the instrument and developed new techniques to extend the sarangi’s range of sounds.

Dhruba toured the world extensively and worked with musicians from a variety of genres including western classical, jazz and fusion, including Trilok Gurtu and Toronto’s Tasa.

He participated in the album Miho: Journey to the Mountains with Paul Winter Consort. The recording won the Grammy in the Best New Age Album category.

Pandit Dhruba Ghosh died July 10, 2017 in Mumbai, India.

Discography:

Bowing Sounds Frown Dawn To Moonlight ‎(Fonti Musicali, 1994)
Raga Yaman / Hemant ‎(India Archive Music, 1995)
Raga Kaushi Kanada / Kajri ‎(India Archive Music, 2000)
Raga Komal Rishab Asavari / Jogiya ‎(India Archive Music, 2007)
Miho: Journey to the Mountains (Living Music, 2010)

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Artist Profiles: Deepak Ram

Deepak Ram

Deepak Ram is a highly gifted musician with a firm foundation in the traditions of North Indian classical music, as well as an inspired versatility ? straddling and ultimately doing away with the boundary that once divided East from West ? that makes each of his projects uniquely his own.

At a young age, Deepak Ram’s reputation grew rapidly. Among his many laurels is the award for Best Instrumental Album, South African Music Awards 2000. Ram has collaborated with renowned musicians in a variety of genres from jazz pianist Darius Brubeck to Tunisian ud player Dhafer Yousseff. He has performed throughout the world, including South Africa?s Millennium Concert on Robben Island before such illustrious audience members as presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. In addition to masterful composition, arranging and performance, Ram is also an accomplished teacher, most recently holding a post with the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Ram plays the bansuri, a bamboo flute whose origins date several thousands years back into India?s rich past, being the chosen instrument of Lord Krishna, its sweet, melancholy, yet joyful sound a manifestation of the divine.

Ram is accompanied on this recording by Swapan Chaudhuri on the tabla. Chaudhuri has shone in performances throughout the world, from Sand Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, both as accompanist as well as solo artist. Chaudhuri share Ram’s rich classical background as well as his poetic grace and inspired elegance.

Ram is featured on the soundtrack to the Sci-Fi movie, The Matrix Reloaded. Listen for Deepak?s soaring bansuri parts on Navras, a 9-minute work composed by British-based Juno Reactor in collaboration with Matrix score composer Don Davis.

Discography:

Song Of Nature – Orange Horizons – A Musical Rendition Of Nature (Magnasound, 1993)
Song Of Nature – Rhythm Of The Rain – A Musical Rendition Of Nature (Magnasound, 1993)
Gathering Forces II, with Darius Brubeck (B&W Music, 1994)
Ragas: Bhupali And Kirwani, with Shibshankar Ray (Bhakti Records, 1995)
Flute For Thought (M.E.L.T. 2000, 1998)
Searching For Satyam (M.E.L.T. 2000, 2000)
Beauty In Diversity (Golden Horn, 2002)
Prasad (Blessing), with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri (Golden Horn, 2002)
Samvad (Conversation), with Ustad Tari Khan (Worldwide Records, 2007)
Steps (Golden Horn, 2008)

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The Winds and Echoes of the Andes

Los Ruphay – A Cry For Revolution< - Earth Healing Music from Bolivia

Los Ruphay – A Cry For Revolution< - Earth Healing Music from Bolivia (ARC Records EUCD2795, 2018)

It’s a 50th anniversary album for the band. They’re not as old as the Rolling Stones, but they’re older than the Internet, and they owe nothing to either. This is music that percolated through relative isolation, part Inca and part Spanish and mainly the former, because lower literacy rates equal high aural retention rates.

This half century-old Bolivian ensemble is the equivalent of a superlative, studied European Reformation Revivalist band. Except that they’ve spent more time with homemade instruments. And with their (South American griot) grandfathers and grandmothers. And with childhood bedtime stories of the Golden Man. And border wars, in living memory, with headhunters, ritual cannibals and slavers from the Amazon basin on the other side of the Andes.

Long ago, before the Andes rose, the Amazon flowed from East to West. Said dramatic rise trapped dolphins, otters and other creatures on the far side, and they adapted to freshwater. Bolivian legend includes intriguing tales of these creatures’ origins and motives, not to mention stories of 75-meter snakes and reptiles the world in general complacently believes disappeared with Jurassic extinctions. In short, within this tradition, everything over the next hilltop will kill you if you go there alone and quietly. This leads to a tight ensemble sound, yet also to individual resource. This is the basis for revolution.

“A Cry For Revolution” is a half century-old band articulating the revolutionary message of post-Conquistador centuries. The wind instruments capture the wind of the Andes. The drums capture the echo of mountains. Complete instrumentation for the record, among the eight players thereon, includes charango, vocals, flutes, pan-flutes, percussion, quena, guitar and cello, with much interchange between band members. This is an album paying homage to the ancestors. It’s that kind of World Folk.

It is a large album; one will put it on for a dinner party and feel insecure about having set enough places. One will water the yard and worry that spots have been missed. That wind. That echo. It is a record that makes one’s world larger.

Buy A Cry For Revolution – Earth Healing Music from Bolivia

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Artist Profiles: Debashish Bhattacharya

Debashish Bhattacharya

India’s Debashish Bhattacharya is one of the greatest slide guitarists in the world. He has, both through creating the actual design of the instrument, and with his incredible talent and discipline, elevated the Hindustani slide guitar to be the highest evolution of slide guitar anywhere. Debashish started Indian music from his parents before he learned the alphabet.

Born into a musical family on January 12, 1963, in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, Debashish Bhattacharya learned to sing before he could talk. At the age of 3, he started playing the Hawaiian lap steel guitar, giving his first major concert on All India Radio at 4.

In his childhood he mastered many Indian classical instrumental styles as well as vocal music from different musical teachers in Calcutta. He became a disciple and student of Brij Bhushan Khabra, the father of Indian classical guitar, for 10 years, and also trained under Ajoy Chakrabarty, the eminent Indian vocalist. He also studied with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

The first slide guitarist to receive the President of India Award in 1984 he was made a Pandit (master) at 40. Since then he has been established as one of the world’s most outstanding slide guitarists by tours of inspirational live concerts and bestselling albums, including the breathtaking collaboration with slide guitarist Bob Brozman, Mahima. A designer, as well as a virtuoso, Debashish has designed nineteen slide guitars since he began experimenting in his twenties.

To develop his playing, he has undergone decades of disciplined study of Indian vocal technique combined with his instrumental work. Debashish can sing perfectly in parallel with every blindingly fast melody he plays. Possessed of a very open musical mind, Debashish is eager and more than qualified to collaborate and truly blend with musicians from any other country.

Since 1996, his collaboration with Bob Brozman has resulted in two “World of Slide” tours of the USA and Canada, plus more appearances with Bob, and with The International Troupe, in Canada and South Africa. Debashish also toured Europe and recorded with John McLaughlin with Shakti. In 2002, Debashish returned to Quebec with Bob.

All the guitars heard on 3: Calcutta Slide-Guitar 3: Calcutta Slide-Guitar (Riverboat TUGCD1036), his 2005 album, are unique instruments designed by Debashish himself, a Trinity of Guitars, Chaturangui, Gandharvi and Anandi, representing three generations of instruments, while also continuing a thousand-year tradition of music. 3: Calcutta Slide-Guitar is shaped from Debashish’s original three-finger picking technique.

Discography:

Ahir Bhairav & Bhairavi (India Archives, 1992)
Calcutta to California (Frequency Glide, 1996)
Raga Bhimpalasi (India Archives, 1997)
Sunrise (Sagarika Music, 1998)
Hindustani Slide Guitar (India Archives, 2000)
Mahima (Riverboat, 2003)
Till Death Do Us Part (Saregama, 2004)
Season of Life (Saregama, 2004)
The Melting Pot Overfloweth (Saregama, 2004)
Love’s Dawn (Saregama, 2004)
Calcutta Slide-Guitar, Vol. 3 (Riverboat, 2005)
Raga Pahadi Jhinjhoti (India Archives, 2007)
Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar (Riverboat, 2008)
O Shakuntala! (Riverboat, 2009)
Beyond the Ragasphere (Riverboat, 2013)
Madeira: If Music Could Intoxicate (Debashish Bhattacharya, 2013)
Slide-Guitar Ragas From Dusk Till Dawn (Riverboat, 2015)
Hawaii to Calcutta: A Tribute to Tau Moe (Riverboat, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Buddhadev Das Gupta

Buddhadev Dasgupta

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta was a virtuoso performer who created a uniquely modern style rooted in a profound knowledge and feeling for raga music. He will be remembered along with giants such as Vilayat Khan, Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan for defining instrumental music in North India after independence.

Buddhadev was born in Bihar in 1933. For an extended period of thirty-eight years, he undertook a monumental regimen of practice and study under the illustrious Acharya Radhika Mohan Maitra, a celebrated performer and teacher. Radhika Mohan Maitra was known not only for his brilliance of technique but also for his scrupulous attention to correct and logical exposition of ragas as well as for his vast repertoire of ragas and compositions. These qualities were passed to his foremost student Buddhadev Dasgupta.

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta’s style represented a modern synthesis of the rababiya and beenkar styles. This synthesis manifested itself in his brilliant combination of complex right hand picking patterns with fluid left hand movement. Buddhadevji’s baaj, however, was not a mere synthesis of these two idioms but a thrustful, avant-garde approach that gave him a totally new dimension to sarod playing and to Indian instrumental music in general. A hallmark of the music of Buddhadev Dasgupta is the architecture of his formal organization. Grand large scale structures are eveloped through systematic exposition of traditional forms.

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta is perhaps unmatched in the variety and complexity of his taans (rapid melodic sequences that convey the contours of a raga). Long flowing melodic lines are masterfully constructed from smaller phrases which are concise formulations of the essential grammar of the raga. Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta is also well known for his intense cultivation of laykari. Rhythmic patterns of striking beauty and force are an essential part of his playing.

Dasgupta recorded for several major record labels, including HMV, Nimbus and Columbia. As as scholar and a musician, he contributed to Nimbus Records’ four-volume “Raga Guide”, and to “Alap” a book and ten-volume introduction to Hindustani Music published by Times Music. Panditji was on the panel of experts of All India Radio, Vishwa Bharati University, Rabindra Bharati University, Allahabad University, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Sangeet Research Academy, the Rotterdam Conservatorium of Music, and the Den Haag Conservatory. Buddhadev was a “Top Grade” artist of AlR, and revered in musical communities as a connoisseur’s musician.

A recipient of many awards, Buddhadev Dasgupta was decorated with such coveted honours as the Shiromani Award (1992), Sangeet Bhaskar of the Pracheen Kala Kendra (1995), and most importantly, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1993). He was also an active and successful teacher, and a number of his disciples have made an impressive mark with music-lovers.

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta died on January 15, 2018.

Partial discography:

Nidhi

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Artist Profiles: Brij Bhushan Kabra

Brij Bhushan Kabra

Pandit Brij Bhushan Kabra was born in 1937. Her was a senior disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and pioneered the use of the guitar in Hindustani music. He recorded widely, and was perhaps best known for the album “Call of the Valley,” which he recorded with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. He worked actively with the State Music Academies of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and in 1980 was the recipient of the Gujarat State Award for his meritorious services in the field of music.

Brij Bhushan Kabra died on April 12, 2018.

Partial Discography:

Call of the Valley (Gramaphone Company of India, 1968), reissued by Saregama
Exotic Sounds of Guitar (1986)
Jugalbandi Duet for Violin and Guitar – Raga Bageswari

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Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion