Tag Archives: India

Artist Profiles: Shailendra Mishra

Shailendra Mishra

Shailendra Mishra is an award-winning Indian Tabla player who performs jugalbandi concerts of North &South Styles of Indian music as well as fusion music. He studied with H Pandit Anand Gopal Banerjee at the Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta and later with Pandit Samir Chatterji under Guru Shishya Parampara.

Mishra has worked as a senior instrumentalist with Song and Drama Division. He has also taught music under Guru Shishya Parampra.

He has given solo performances and also accompanied the following musicians: Pandit V.G. Jog (Violin), Pandit Shrikant Bakre (Vocal). Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra, (Vocal), Vidushi Dr. N.Rajam (Violin), Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (vocal) Pandit Jagdish Prasad (Vocal), Pandit Nityanand Haldipur (Flute), Pandit Vishnu Prasanna (Shehnai), Pandit Dinanath Mishra (Vocal), Pandit Vinayank Torvi (Vocal), Pandit Rajendra Prasanna (Flute), Pandit Amiya Ranjan Banerjee (Vocal), Pandit Deepak Chatterjee (Vocal), and many other personalities.


Artist Profiles: Sanju Sahai

Sanju Sahai

Sanju Sahai, also known as Vishnu, is currently one of the finest and most sought after tabla players. He is the direct descendant of Pandit Ram Sahai, the founder of the Benares Gharana. He is the sixth generation of tabla player in that family. Sanju was trained by his guru Pandit Sharda Sahai, the virtuoso tabla player. He has established himself as an internationally recognized tabla player, and is one of India’s upcoming musicians. He is an ?A? grade artist for All India Radio.

Sanju began playing tabla at the age of four, demonstrating his prodigious skilled aged nine in his first public performance.

He has accompanied many of India?s legendary musicians, such as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Aashish Khan (sarod), Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra (vocal), Pandit Birju Maharaj and Gopi Krishna (Kathak), Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (guitar)Bhajan Sapori (santoor), Umyalpuram Shivraman (mridangam), Ustad Sultal Khan (Sarangi), and Shrinivas (mandolin), to name but a few. Sanju is also known as a soloist; however, he is not merely a percussionist but an imaginative and sensitive musician.

He has performed throughout India, UK, Europe, Middle East, Indonesia, and USA. He has performed for the Queen of England as well as Prince Charles for a private concert at Highgrove. His recent concert venues include London?s Royal Albert Hall where he participated at the 100th anniversary of the proms. In 2000 he performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.

He has worked with jazz, Egyptian, Spanish, hip hop, folk and blues music as well as composing various pieces of ensembles. Sanju has played for numerous live recordings- BBC TV, Channel East, Asian Net TV, BBC World Service, All India Radio and also on CDs with ARC Music and NA Classical India. In addition, he has performed at Glastonbury Festival, Royal Festival Hall, House of Commons, Salt Lake City for the opening of the Olympics, and is also working with Michael Nyman, one of the most celebrated British composers.

Sanju is based in London and promotes concerts and musical education through workshops or individual learning. Sanju teaches tabla at London University and schools/colleges throughout the United Kingdom.


The Benares Touch (ARC Music EUCD 1638, 2001)
Gurukul (Sense World Music, 2005)
Sacred Beats of the Tabla (ARC Music, 2011)


Artist Profiles: Sanjoy Bandopadhyay

Sanjoy Bandopadhyay was born on September 16, 1954. He is a virtuoso of the sitar and is specialized in Hindustani instrumental music. Sanjoy started learning from his father Pt. Peeyush Prasanna Bandopadhyay at the age of 6. Later he had rigorous training under the late Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra of Senia-Shahajahanpur Gharana for 18 years. Sanjoy received advanced training from Pt. Bimalendu Mukherjee. He also received additional training from Pt. Manas Chakraborty, Dr. M.R. Gautam. He has performed in many important music festivals in India and Western countries.

Sanjoy?s education at the leading Indian schools of instrumental music ultimately helped him to develop a wide vision and as a result he developed a distinctive style. His exceptional fluidity in raga elaboration, musical applications of simple and intricate laya designs in combination with skillful handling of the instrument gives the listeners a remarkable musical experience. He loves both popular and rare raga-s and use different tala-s for desired platforms for different desired musical expressions.

Sanjoy is currently working as Chair-Professor [Ustd. Allauddin Khan Chair] at the Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata [India].


Moon Moods (On Air Communications, 2004)
A Tribute to Mozart: Live in Vienna (On Air Communications, 2005)
Joy & Peace (2007)


Artist Profiles: Sanjeeb Sircar

Sanjeeb Sircar

Sanjeeb Sircar is a sitar player based in New Delhi, India. He has over 20 years of experience playing and teaching the instrument at a number of places including the USA and Europe.

Sircar studied sitar at the Benares Hindu University, Varanasi, in the early and mid-1970, with Dr. Thakur Raj Bhan Singh, Dr. Gangrade, and then in Allahabad with Pandit Banwari Lal. He continued his post-graduation studies and has been receiving classes in the past years from renowned instrumentalist Ustad Shujaat Khan.

In addition to playing sitar, Sircar plays other instruments such as tabla, guitar, and piano. He studied and plays jazz to an intermediate level, and enjoys playing fusion music. He also sings in Christian choirs.


Artist Profiles: S. Sowmya

S. Sowmya

S. Sowmya was born onApril 16, 1969. A Carnatic musician by profession, Sowmya’s life has been immersed in melody from the very beginning. Growing up in a traditional South Indian family, she had her initial tutelage in music from her father Dr. Srinivasan, a chemical engineer with an enduring passion for Carnatic Music.

Later, she was singularly fortunate to be taken under the wings of Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan – exemplary musician, esteemed musicologist and extraordinary human being.

Her musical instincts were further guided by Smt. T. Muktha, of the legendary Brinda-Muktha duo. She attributes her success and achievements till today to these individuals and to the bountiful blessings of her beloved Ambal, the Goddess Kamakshi of Kanchipuram.

The desire to propagate the traditions of South Indian music worldwide led her to associate with her friend and vocalist Shashikiran, to establish Carnatica, an institution dedicated to music and dance instruction, archival, talent search and other related activities. Carnatica’s web portal is now a popular online destination for music-related information, products, courses and discussions.

In addition to being an accomplished musician, Sowmya also has excellent academic credentials. She is a double postgraduate (Master’s in Chemistry as well as Indian Music) and was a top-ranked scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) and the University of Madras. Discontinuing her doctoral research program at IIT to concentrate on her music, she is now a widely traveled, popular vocalist who strives to adhere to the strict classical values imbibed from her gurus Dr. Ramanathan and Smt. Mukta.

Selected discography:

Aravinda Lochanane
Kadanakuthuhalam (Swathi Soft Solutions)
Manohari Mala (Swathi Soft Solutions)
Bharat Sangeet Utsav 2005 – Live In Concert, Nov 2005 (Swathi Soft Solutions)
Hindolam – Ragan Tanam Pallavi (Charsur Digital Workstation)
December Season 1999 (Charsur Digital Workstation)


Artist Profiles: Sandip Chatterjee

Sandip Chatterjee

Encouraged by his father, Asoke Kumar Chatterjee, a distinguished international footballer, Sandip Chatterjee was accepted, at the age of eight, as a pupil by the eminent santoor player Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya in the year 1980. He has taken taleem of Ragdari and Layakari from vocal Maestro Pandit Ajay Chakraborty since 1999.

A regular performer for All India Radio, Sandip has performed at major music conferences and festivals all over India. His earlier CDs include Moment Of Dawn, Mangal Dhwani, Summer Rain , Shanti and Shringar.

He was awarded Best Hindustani Classical Instrumentalist Award in the all India Music and Dance competition in 1986, New Delhi; winner in 1990 of the President of India Award in Hindustani classical music – All India Radio – in New Delhi. Jadubhatta Puraskar by Salt Lake Cultural Association of Kolkata for Guru Shisya Parampara in 1999.

Sandip was also recognized by Pt.V. Balsara as A grade artist of song and drama division of Govt. of India and received a National Scholarship from Govt. of India in 2000-01.


Santoor Recital
Raaga In Rame (Saagar Music)
Valley Again, with Santosh Sant (2012)
Soul Mates with Santosh Sant (HMV)


Artist Profiles: Samir Chatterjee

Samir Chatterjee

Pandit Samir Chatterjee studied tabla initially with Amalesh Chatterjee, and later with Shyamal Bose, so that he is able to combine the styles of both the Rampur and the Farrukhabad gharanas represented by his teachers. Samir has performed and recorded widely with many of India’s leading musicians, and is currently based in New York, where he has extended his performances to include jazz and dance collaborations. He is the Founder-Director of Chhandayan, an organization working in Calcutta, New York, and Washington D.C. to promote and preserve Indian music and culture.


Tintal (India Archives)
Tabla Trilogy
Music of Tabla
Music and Life
Guru Pranam
Learning Tabla Accompaniment


Artist Profiles: S. D. Batish

S. D. Batish

S. D. Batish was a leading figure the Indian music scene since 1936. His songs were broadcast from All India Radio nationwide. His old movies are regularly shown on Indian TV.

He was a true master of the various vocal and instrumental styles of North Indian music, including Bhajans, Geet, Thumri, Ghazals, Film Sangeet, etc. Shiv Dayal Batish was born December 14, 1914, in Patiala, India.

S. D. Batish studied singing from Guru Chandan Ram Charan of Patiala. He was an expert player of the Sitar, Tabla, Dilruba, Vichitra Veena, Violin and Harmonium. S. D. Batish specialized as a vocalist, composer, author and teacher. He recorded numerous albums for His Masters Voice – EMI (India), Topic Records and Batish Records, an independent label run by his family in Santa Cruz, California.

Some of his hit songs in India are: Khamosh Nigaahen from the film Daasi Pagadi Sambhaal Jattaa from the film Gowaandhi Ishk Ishk Qawaali from the film Barsaat Ki Ek Raat Aankhen Keha Gai Dil Ki Baat from the film Laadli Aae Sajanaa Hamaar from the film Taksaal Pucho Naa Kaise Maine Raina Bitaae from the film Meri Surat Teri Aakhen Aao Hamaare Hotel Me from the film Kundan Daayam Paraa Huaa Tere Dar Par private ghazal by Ghalib Laazim Thaa Ke Dekho private ghazal by Ghalib Manmohan Mana Men from film Kaise Kahoon Best Vocalist Award for the song “Manmohan Mana Men” in 1964 fom Sur Singar Samsad

Shiv Dayal Batish died on July 29, 2006 in Santa Cruz, California.


My Favorite Bhajans (Batish, 1980)
Kaise Kahoon (Saregama, 2004)
Hamari Manzil (Saregama, 2004)
Ram Bhajans: Devotional Hindu Folk Songs (Batish, 2006)
Om Shanti Meditation: Dilruba (Batish, 2006)
72 Carnatic Melakarta Series, Vol. 1 (Batish, 2006)
Rasik Raga Lakshan Manjari (Batish, 2007)


Artist Profiles: Ritesh Das

Ritesh Das
Born in Calcutta, India, Ritesh comes from a family of dancers. His parents directed one of India’s leading dance and music facilities and in this environment Ritesh had the opportunity to observe many dance and music gurus. Ritesh began his traditional tabla training with Shankar Ghosh, one of the veterans of tabla.

Ritesh arrived to the U.S. in the late 1970s and continued his studies with Zakir Hussain. In the early eighties he became a student of Swapan Chaudhuri, a legendary figure in tabla, at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California.

He has been accompanying dance, music and vocal performances from an early age. In the Indian tradition he has worked with Aashish Khan, Krishna Bhat, Aruna Narayan-Kalle, Sabri Khan, Gauri Guha, G.S. Sachdev, Pandit Vyas, Chitresh Das and Joannas Das.

Ritesh’s foremost interest, indeed passion, is the fusion of the North Indian classical rhythms with culturally diverse musical expressions. From 1979-1985, he was the principal percussionist for the Aman Folk Ensemble, an international folk dance company based in Los Angeles, California. Since his arrival in Canada his many credits include performances and recordings with Loreena McKennitt, Jane Siberry, The Tea Party, George Koller, Sonny Greenwich, Don Thompson and Donald Quan.

In 1991 Ritesh founded the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, the first musical group of its kind in Canada. He is also the founding member and artistic co-director of M-DO, a Canadian center in Toronto for cross-cultural music and dance activities. As a composer, he oversees all the Ensemble’s music and has also composed full scores for Firedance, a collective with Joanna Das and Esmeralda Enrique.

Ritesh began teaching tabla when he moved to Canada in 1987. He teaches privately from a studio in downtown Toronto and in the Toronto Metropolitan school system as a recipient of the Ontario Arts Council “Artists in Education” grants, and in programs offered by the Royal Conservatory of Music and the National Ballet School.


Toronto Tabla Ensemble (1996)
Second Palla (1998)
Firedance (2000)
Weaving (2002)
Alankar (2008)


Artist Profiles: Ramesh Shotham

Ramesh Shotham

Ramesh Shotham was born in Madras, South India. He began his career as a drummer in a rock band that performed all over the Indian subcontinent, co-leading a group called Human Bondage. During the mid-seventies, he returned to Madras to study the tavil, a traditional Temple music drum,- played throughout South India and Sri Lanka. Later, he studied the other classical percussion instruments, like ghatam, mridangam, kanjira and morsing at the Karnataka College of Percussion under Professor TA.S. Mani.

In 1980 Shotham arrived to Europe with the Indo-Jazz Fusion- group Sangam to participate in various European festivals. Since then Shotham works and lives in Europe and is recognized as one of the most successful percussionists in Europe.

He has worked not only with leading European and American Jazz and Rock musicians, but also with artists from Africa, Australia, China, Korea and several Arabic countries.

Shotham has recorded over 120 LPs and CDs and has worked for all the leading TV and Radio stations in Germany and Europe. In 1984 he was invited as artist-in-residence at the Iwalewa Haus, University of Bayreuth.

In 1986 he was guest teacher at the Conservatory in Rotterdam. He has also conducted workshops and seminars in various cities. Ramesh Shotham has performed at various international festivals.

Shotham’s Work with musicians such as Carla Bley, Chris Hinze, Steve Coleman, Steve Swallow, Jonas Hellborg, Charlie Mariano and a host of others is well documented. He also founded his own bands like Bhavani and Madras Special. These concepts were used to feature Shotham’s own compositions.

Shotham toured with Sigi Schwab’s Percussion Project regularly. He was invited during the 1997 Music Triennale in Cologne to perform with the Carla Bley Big Band. Early 1998 involved work with Steve Coleman in India. Shotham recently appeared in Heartbeat of the Continents, a film by Manfred Waffender featuring different styles of drumming, produced by arte and the ZDF.

Along with Rabih Abou-Kahlil and Zoltan Lantos, he recorded a documentary film for Euroarts to demonstrate the influences of World music on Jazz. Recent activities included a trip to Cuba to play at the Jazzfestival with Steve Coleman, a summer tour with Carla Bley’s Escalator over the hill Project and an invitation to a World Music festival in Tunisia with the well known Oud player Mohammed Zinelabidin.

Ramesh Shotham was commissioned by the WDR to travel to India with his group Madras Special in early 1999 to perform and record new music. The musical concept was based on a quartet format with very special guest musicians, with whom Ramesh Shotham shares a creative friendship since many years.

Zoltan Lantos, the Hungarian violinist who spent several years in India plays a crucial role in Madras Special. His virtuosity and warm sounds coupled with his knowledge of Indian ragas is just right for this music. Sandhya Sanjana, the Indian singer, lives in Amsterdam and easily bridges pop and Indian classical music.


Open Hand (Keytone, 1993)
Madras Special (Permission Music, 2002)
Urban Folklore (Double Moon, 2006)