Tag Archives: sitar

A Sound Journey Through Varanasi

Srdjan Beronja – The Sounds of Varanasi

Srdjan Beronja – The Sounds of Varanasi – a unique sound journey through the holy city (ARC Music, 2014)

The Sounds of Varanasi is a set of recording made in Varanasi, India in 2011 by Serbian musician and producer Srdjan Beronja. He lived in Varanasi (formerly Benares) where he studied classical Indian tabla and made live recordings with local virtuoso musicians on traditional Indian instruments as well as field recordings of rituals, mantras (praying recitations), weddings,  and other distinctive sounds of the holy city of Varanasi.

The Indian artists featured include Pt. Dhruv Nath Mishra on sitar; Ravi Tripathi on tabla; Pt. Sukhdev Prasad Mishra on Indian violin; Vikas Tripathi on tabla; Pt. Atul Shankar on bansuri; Prakash Bimlesh on vocals and harmonium; and Pt. Kailash Nath Mishra on tabla.


Anoushka Shankar to Perform in Miami in March 2019

Anoushka Shankar

Acclaimed Indian music composer and sitarist Anoushka Shankar is set to perform on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center.

Anoushka is the daughter of Ravi Shankar and sister of Norah Jones. Anoushka Shankar studied sitar under her father from a very young age and has gone on to master the instrument and also expand her musical horizons.

She has collaborated with leading classical orchestras and pop artists as diverse as Sting, M.I.A., Herbie Hancock, and her sister Norah Jones.

Anoushka Shankar’s discography includes: Anoushka, Anourag, Rise, Breathing Under Water, Traveller, Traces of You, Home, and Land of Gold.

Accompanied by a stellar quintet for this concert, Anoushka Shankar returns to her roots with a concert of meditative Indian classical ragas.

Doors 6:00 p.m., Show 7:00 p.m.


Artist Profiles: Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar

Legendary virtuoso sitarist, composer, teacher and writer, Ravi Shankar was born April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, India. He was renowned throughout the world for his pioneering work in bringing Indian music to the West. He was a cultural influence in the West for several decades as India’s most recognized and esteemed musical ambassador. The youngest son of a Bengali family, he grew up in Varanasi (Benares), the holiest of Indian cities.

At a young age he accompanied his elder brother, Uday Shankar, with his company of dancers and musicians to Paris where he attended school. He spent several years in the West absorbing different kinds of music but returned to India in 1938 where he began his career in his native India. He combined his concert performances with his work for All India Radio (1949-56) where he established the National Chamber Orchestra. As word of his virtuosity spread throughout India, then Europe, Asia and the United States, Shankar embarked on one of the most extraordinary careers in the history of contemporary music.

Ravi Shankar was a prolific composer and in addition to his numerous ragas and talas, he wrote for musicians from the East and West including Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Japanese artists. Among his works are two Concertos for Sitar and Orchestra, the first commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra and premiered under Andre Previn.

In 1980 he was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, to compose “Raga-Mala” (A garland of Ragas), which was his second Sitar Concerto. Ravi Shankar also wrote, composed and choreographed the ballet “Ghanashyam,” a work that made history on the British and Indian cultural scenes.

He composed extensively for ballets and films including Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy, which raised film music to a new standard of excellence, and Gandhi, the Academy Award winning classic by Richard Attenborough which won him nominations for both an Oscar and a Grammy Award.

Ravi Shankar was the recipient of many awards and honors including the Presidential Padma Vibhushan Award (1980) and the Award of Deshikottam, given by Vishawa Bharati and presented in December 1982 by the then Prime Minister, the late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of the Arts and Letters and recipient of twelve doctorates.

In 1986 he became a member of the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House of Parliament. He was a Fellow of the Sangeet Natak Academy and Founder President of The Research Institute for Music and the Performing Arts.

In 1999 the government of India honored Ravi Shankar by awarding him its highest civilian award, the “Bharat Ratna” or Jewel of India. In February 2000, Mr. Shankar received France’s highest civilian award, the “Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur”.

In 1996 Angel Records released In Celebration, a lavishly documented 4-CD retrospective of his greatest recordings, in honor of his 75th birthday. Angel/EMI is continuing to release many of Mr. Shankar’s albums previously unavailable on CD.

In 2004, Ken Hunt, Pandit Ravi Shankar’s approved biographer, a full-time freelance writer, broadcaster and translator specializing in music, compiled The Rough Guide To Ravi Shankar. The album is an excellent introduction to the music of the most famous Indian alive.

Called the “Godfather of World Music” by George Harrison, Ravi Shankar was also given the title “Global Ambassador” by the World Economic Forum. He continued to tour each season all over the world dividing his time between India and the USA with regular visits to Europe and the Far East. He was the author of three books My Music, My Life (in English), Rag Anurag (in Bengali) and Raga Mala (English) – the latest of which is an autobiography that was released in Fall 1999.

Ravi Shankar in 2012

Perhaps no other greater tribute can be paid to this remarkable musician than the words of his colleague, Yehudi Menuhin, “Ravi Shankar has brought me a precious gift and through him I have added a new dimension to my experience of music. To me, his genius and his humanity can only be compared to that of Mozart’s.”

Ravi Shankar died on December 11, 2012 in La Jolla, California, USA. His daughter, groundbreaking sitarist Anoushka Shankar continues the family tradition.


Three Ragas (Angel Records, 1956)
Improvisations (Angel Records, 1962)
India’s Most Distinguished Musician in Concert (Beat Goes On, 1962)
India’s Master Musician (Angel Records, 1963)
In London (Angel Records, 1964)
Ragas & Talas (World Pacific, 1964)
Sound of the Sitar (Angel Records, 1965)
West Meets East (Beat Goes On, 1966)
In San Francisco (Beat Goes On, 1967)
At the Monterey International Pop Festival (One Way Records, 1967)
Live at Monterey 1967 (Beat Goes On, 1967)
In New York (Beat Goes On, 1968)
A Morning Raga/An Evening Raga (Angel Records, 1968)
The Sounds of India (Columbia, 1968)
West Meets East, Vol. 2 (Beat Goes On, 1968)
At the Woodstock Festival (Beat Goes On, 1970)
Ravi Shankar: Concerto for Sitar & Orchestra; Morning Love (Beat Goes On, 1971)
Transmigration Macabre: Music from the Film Viola (See For Miles Records, 1973)
Shankar Family & Friends (Topspin Media, 1974)
Ravi Shankar’s Music Festival from India (Dark Horse, 1976)
Raga Parameshwari (Capitol, 1976)
East Meets West in an Historical Improvisation (Ravi Shankar Music Circle, 1979)
Räga-Mälä (Sitar Concerto No. 2) (Angel Records, 1982)
Tana Mana (Private Music, 1987)
Inside the Kremlin (Private Music, 1988)
The Genius of Ravi Shankar (Scorpio Distribution, 1990)
Passages (Atlantic, 1990)
Megh Malhar, Vol. 1 (Music Today, 1991)
Flute & Sitar Music of India (Empire, 1993)
Doyen of Hindustani Music Oriental, 1995)
Ravi Shankar in Venice: Raga Gurjari Todi, Manj-Khamaj, Shailangi (Discovery, 1995)
Concert for Peace: Royal Albert Hall (Moment Records, 1995)
Genesis [Original Soundtrack] (Milan, 1995)
Sublime Sounds of Sitar (Oriental, 1996)
Chants of India (Angel Records, 1997)
Raga Tala (Movieplay Music, 1997)
From India (Saar, 1997)
Raga Jogeshwari (Interra, 1998)
Four Ragas (Movieplay Music, 2000)
Full Circle: Carnegie Hall 2000 Angel Records, 2001)
Inde du Nord Ocora, 2001)
Spiritual Music of India: Ragas for Meditation (Proper, 2003)
Shankar: Concerto for Sitar & Orchestra; Morning Love (Warner Classics, 2003)
Traditional: The Spirit of India (Deutsche Grammophon, 2004)
Raga Hamir, Raga Hemant (2004)
Jod, Jhala, Gat (Saregama, 2004)
Raag Mishra Pilu (Saregama, 2004)
Raag Rajya Kalyan (Saregama, 2004)
Raga Bilaskhani Todi (Saregama, 2004)
Raga Mala: Aalap, Rajakhani Gat Teentaal (Saregama, 2004)
Alap, Jod, Gat, Vilamlit, Madhyalaya Teentaal (Saregama, 2004)
Raga Des: Maseekhani Gat-Teentaal/Rajakhani Gat-Ektaal (Saregama, 2004)
Raag Mishra Pilu (Saregama, 2004)
Homage to Mahatma Gandhi (Deutsche Grammophon / Edge Music, 2004)
Real Togetherness (Saregama, 2004)
Eternal Ragas (Saregama, 2004)
Timeless Classics: Hindustani Classical (Saregama, 2004)
Unique: Indian Night Live Stuttgart ’88 (Chhanda Dhara, 2004)
Sangeet Sartaj, Vols. 1 & 2 (Music Today, 2005)
Sur Saaz Aur Taal, Vol. 2 (Music Today, 2005)
Jazz et Ragas (Beat Goes On, 2005)
Spirit of India Chhandra Dhara (Chhanda Dhara, 2005)
Raga Charukauns (Chhanda Dhara, 2005)
Saaz Sitar, Vol. 1 (Music Today, 2005)
Saaz Sitar, Vol. 2 (Music Today, 2005)
Homage to Mahatma Gandhi (Fontana, 2006)
Raga Jogeshwari (Fontana, 2006)
Sitar Soul (Music Today, 2007)
More Flowers of India (Él, 2008)
Psychedelic India (Cherry Red, 2010)
Nine Decades, Vol. 2: Reminiscence of North Vista (East Meets West, 2011)
Nine Decades, Vol. 3 (East Meets West, 2011)
Nine Decades – Vol.4 – A Night at St. John the Divine (East Meets West, 2014)
Ravi & Anoushka Shankar Live In Bangalore (East Meets West, 2015)
Nine Decades 5 – Ghanashyam: A Broken Branch (East Meets West, 2017)


Artist Profiles: Shujaat Husain Khan

Shujaat Husain Khan

Born into one of the most illustrious musical families in India, sitarist and vocalist Shujaat Husain Khan is one of today’s most notable artists in the realm of Indian classical music. Shujaat is the son and disciple of one of India’s great living masters of the sitar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, from whom he has absorbed the art of playing in this gayaki ang style. Because the traditions of poetry, singing, and instrumental playing are so strongly linked in the Imdadkhani legacy, Shujaat has an enormous repertoire of poetry to use in his own work, often, when giving a sitar recital, he bursts into song mid- performance. And because of his extraordinary family, he had the chance to learn from many elder masters from his earliest years. As such, he has a profound knowledge of hundreds of rarer ragas from the Indian classical repertoire.

Shujaat first picked up the sitar at age three, playing a specially made custom instrument to suit his size. He represents the seventh generation in an unbroken family line of North Indian (Hindustani) master musicians. Among the illustrious names in this family are his grandfather, Ustad (“Master”) Inayat Khan, his great-grandfather Ustad Midad Khan, after whom the Imdadkhani gharana, or school, is named, and his great-great-grandfather, Ustad Sahebdad Khan. The Imdadkhani school of North Indian classical music is especially famous for a technique called gayaki ang, in which the instrumentalist mimics the tones, inflections, and subtle phrasing of singers.

Shujaat began his career in Indian classical music with his first public performance at age six. Since then, he has played at all the major music festivals in India and on stages across the world. In 2001, he was awarded the Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Sammaan, India’s highest honor for a classical musician under the age of 45.

Throughout his career, his work has been sparked by a deep love of the music of his homeland and an intellectual curiosity that has led Shujaat to invent new musical horizons, setting the pace for other artists to follow.

He ventured into new territory in 2003 by releasing a CD, Hawa Hawa, devoted entirely to folk songs. “Those rhythms, that raw style of singing,” he declared passionately, “really does something to me.” Shujaat adds that playing folk music makes special demands of players that are quite different than those required of musicians playing classical music. “You can be an incredibly virtuosic sitarist or vocalist, but in order to play folk, the music and emotions just have to boil out of you.”

Shujaat Khan has over 100 musical releases on various international labels; and a video called Khandan.


Waiting for Love (1999)
Hawa Hawa (World Village, 2003)
Spring (2013)
Dawning (2013)
Ruby (2015)


Artist Profiles: Subrata De

Subrata De

Subrata De was born in 1970 in Jamshedpur. He was initiated in the art of playing Hindustani Classical Music on the sitar at the age of seven under the guidance of Sri. Amarjeet Singh of Jamshedpur. Later, he obtained training from Suramani Bauri Bandhu Sethi of Bhubaneswar, from where he has imbibed the essential elements of sitar with great devotion

After 10 years he placed himself in the hands of sitar maestro Pandit Manilal Nag of Calcutta of Bishnupur Gharana, with strict discipline and sincerity, to learn extensively the Dhrupad and Gayeki Style, Tankari, Alapang, Gatkari etc. of Bishnupur Gharana and now has become an accomplished sitar player. Currently, he is involved in various musical organizations as a lecturer in sitar.

As a professional artist, he has been awarded ‘Sangeet Praveen’ by ‘Prayag Sangeet Samiti’, ‘Allahabad and Sangeet Bhaskar’ by ‘Pracheen Kala Kendra’, Chandigarh. Also he has received ‘National Scholarship’ from Govt. of India Ministry of HRD, Dept. of Culture and he has been selected by ‘Indian Council’ for Cultural Relation for their panel of Musician. He has been associated with ‘All India Radio’ as a graded artist since 1990. He has been selected by ‘Sahitya Kala Parishad – New Delhi’ to perform in Yuva-Mahotsova’98.

The release of few audio cassettes and CDs like meditation de la India, Ganga, Insearch & Swaranjali, also created a milestone in his musical career.

He has given numerous performances in various International & major festivals all over India and many countries in abroad namely, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia, Cuba, Brazil, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Paraguay, U.S.A, Armenia, Austria, Holland, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, Hong Kong, as a Solo and an accompanist and also he dedicated himself to extend and create an environment of Classical Music in rural areas of India and in abroad with leading organizations and eminent dancers. Apart from this, he has been associated with media & various cultural organizations as a sitarist and& cultural coordinator. At present working with G.D. Goenka World School, Sohna.


Artist Profiles: Surajit Das

Surajit Das

Sitar player Surajit Das was born in Calcutta (India) in a musical family. His aunt, Shrimati Suruchi Das, gave him his first sitar lessons at age of nine. After a few years of training he developed great interest in Indian classical music and received further guidance from the well-known sitarist Prof. Kashinath Mukerjee. In 1983 he obtained his Masters Degree in Indian classical music at the Music University Proyag Sangeet Samity in Allahabad. He gave many concerts, some of which were broadcast on radio and TV in India.

Surajit studied and developed all the ragas known to Prof. Chinmoy Lahere, a well-known classical singer in India, who gave him further guidance. To promote his music, he went on a European tour to France, Belgium, Switzerland in 1988-89 and later moved to The Netherlands where he still lives and works. He gave guest performances at the seminars of Deepak Chopra and recently has been working with Roy Martina.

He teaches the value of his music and regularly performs in several European countries. Surajit is convinced of the peaceful influence Indian classical music has. Except Indian classical music he also did experiment successfully with fusion music and world music.

Surajit has a fusion group called Shanti. The instruments used include sitar, tabla, mantra singing, didjeridu, and keyboards.


Sapta Rasa: Seven Moods of Our Mind (Oreade Music)
Secret Chants – A Trip To India (Oreade Music)
Ayurvedic Healing Cycle (Oreade Music)
Chakra Yoga Meditation (Oreade Music)
Ayurvedic Music Therapy (Oreade Music)
Kamasutra (Oreade Music)


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. 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: Purbayan Chatterjee

Purbayan Chatterjee

Purbayan Chatterjee comes from a family steeped in the classical music tradition. His father and guru, Partha Chatterjee, is a distinguished sitarist in his own right, having achieved the status of a highly respected teacher and performer in Europe and USA as well as India. He had the great fortune to study extensively with one of India’s greatest musicians Nikhil Bannerjee, who holds a profound influence on Purbayan’s approach to music.

In the tradition of the Senia Maihar gharana, Purbayan’s playing is an aesthetically satisfying combination of the best facets of “Dhrupad” and “Khayal”, North India’s two greatest classical vocal forms. The discipline and richness of the “Dhrupad” form is interspersed with the exuberance and lyricism of “Khayal”.


Horizon (Peshkar)
Nirman (Sense World Music)
Samwad, with Kala Ramnath (Sense World Music)
Rasayana, with Shashank (Sense World Music) )
Aavishkar, with Kala Ramnath (Sense World Music)
Taalash (Sense World Music)
Rising Stars Magical Fingers (HMV)
Singing Sitar (Virgin Records India)
Lehar (Times Music)
Purbayan (Times Music)
Stringstruck (Times Music)
Sitarscape (EMI Virgin)
Hemisphere (Times Music)