Tag Archives: tabla

Egyptian Percussion Master Hossam Ramzy Dies at 65

Hossam Ramzy

ARC Music announced today that Egyptian percussionist and composer Hossam Ramzy passed away on Tuesday, September 10th September 2019. He was 65. Hossam was undergoing treatment for a heart condition in Brazil, though the condition was very advanced.

Known as Egypt’s Ambassador of Rhythm, Hossam succeeded in injecting Egyptian rhythms into multiple projects. Hossam Ramzy worked with Jimmy Page & Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Shakira, Ricky Martin and A.R. Rahman, appeared on recordings by Peter Gabriel and Jay-Z, and composed music for numerous films.

Throughout the last three decades, Hossam traveled the world, educating in the art of true Egyptian dance. His concepts of dance and rhythm helped tens-of-thousands of dancers and percussionists perfect their techniques. During this time, he also found the time to release over thirty albums of Egyptian dance and world music, and produce countless more for artists from all around the world.

More about Hossam Ramzy .


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.


Artist Profiles: Yogesh Samsi

Yogesh Samsi

Pandit Yogesh Samsi was born in the family of the renowned vocalists Pandit Dinkar Kaikini and Shashikala Kaikini. He was initiated into tabla by his father at the age of six, and continued under the guidance of Pandit H. Taranath Rao; from the age of ten he studied with the late Ustad Alla Rakha.

An ‘A’ grade artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has given numerous solo performances as well as accompanied many distinguished artists. He has also accompanied Ustad Allah Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain in their solo performances. He has performed in music festivals throughout India as well as Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan and South Africa. Pandit Yogesh Samsi also teaches tabla workshops.


The Tabla Series (Sense World Music SENSE061, 2005)


Artist Profiles: Debu Nayak

Debu Nayak

Devapriya Nayak (Debu) was born in West Bengal, India, and began learning tabla at the age of three from his grandfather, Chaudhury Kausalya Nandan, who was an accomplished pakhawaj and tabla player of the Punjab Gharana. Later, Debu became a disciple of Pt. Radhakanta Nandi of the Benaras Gharana. In 1981, Debu came to the US to pursue higher studies and continued his tabla taalim from Maestros like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Anindo Chattergee and Pt. Samir Chatterjee.

Currently Debu remains a ?Ganda Bandha? shishya of Pt. Samir Chatterjee. Debu is an accomplished soloist and accompanist. He has performed with renowned artists like Pt. Vinayak Torvi, Pt. Ramesh Mishra, Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, Habib Wali Mohammad, Asif Ali Khan, Shahanaz Begum, Gaurav Mazumdar, Partha Bose, Mitali Banerjee-Bhawmik, Tulika Ghosh and many others.

Recently, his tabla was featured in a collaborative effort of Indian Classical Music and Jazz titled Probe. Debu, along with the members of Probe, have also performed at the Smithsonian Institution.

He is also the director of the Washington DC Chapter of Chhandayan, a tabla school dedicated to the promotion of tabla and Indian Classical Music in the Washington DC metro area.

His new CD is called Tabla Rising where he has showcased his 16 years of concert experience with various artists, vocalists & instrumentalists.




Artist Profiles: Sharda Sahai

Sharda Sahai began his study of tabla at an early age from his father, the late Pandit Bhagvati Sahai. Following his father’s demise in 1946, he became a disciple of the inimitable Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, himself a disciple of Sharda Sahai’s grandfather, Pandit Baldeo Sahai.

Sharda Sahai started his professional career at the age of nine, performing both as a soloist and as an accompanist. Throughout his career he has performed in over one thousand concerts worldwide.

He has accompanied almost every major artist of North Indian classical music including sitarists Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, and Nikhil Banerjee; sarodists Ali Akbar Khan and Amjad Ali Khan; and dancers Gopi Krishna and Birju Maharaj. He is one of the most highly respected musicians in India and since the 1970 when he first toured Europe and North America with Amjad Ali Khan that respect for him has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Many Indian musicians and students look him on as an authoritative model of the Benares tradition.


The Art of the Benares Baj (Audiorec, 1983)
azon.com/gp/product/B0072M89Q6?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&camp=1789&linkCode=xm2&creativeASIN=B0072M89Q6″>The Spirit of Benares (Audiorec)Compositions Of Benares (Audiorec Classics)
Gurukul (Sense World Music, 2005)


Play Tabla: A Video Guide to Playing Tabla


Artist Profiles: Trilok Gurtu

Trilok Gurtu

A renowned master musician and composer, Trilok Gurtu has been at the forefront of innovative musical collaborations for the past years.

The son of one of India’s most beloved classical singers, Shobha Gurtu, Trilok first picked up the tabla at the age of six. He went on to invent a peerless style, blending contemporary rock and jazz forms with classical Indian techniques, and developing an unorthodox East-West drum kit, with Western drums arranged on the ground, Indian-style, alongside his tablas and percussion instruments.

A four-time winner of the Down Beat Critic’s poll in the Best Percussionist category, Gurtu’s technique is indisputable and his resume speaks for itself: he has performed with a host of the world’s greatest musicians. Don Cherry, Jan Garbarek, Joe Zawinul, Pat Metheny, Bill Evans, Angelique Kidjo and Oumou Sangare have guested on his recordings.

Trilok has in turn appeared on albums by John McLaughlin, Pharoah sanders, Nitin Sawhney, Lalo Schifrin, Gilberto Gil and Bill Laswell, Gurtu’s music often finds its way onto the turntables of UK producer/DJs like Talvin Singh and Asian Dub Foundation.On last year’s African Fantasy album, his Blue Thumb debut, Gurtu developed an innovative marriage of African and Indian musical traditions.

On the Beat of Love, Gurtu widens and deepens the interplay between African and Indian Musical forms, achieving an even richer integration of the two by featuring more Indian vocalists and combining vocals from Indian and African artists. “We have the sense of both continents all the way through,” explains Badarou. “Some tracks have the Indian taking the lead and the African backing, some songs in reverse. I hope we achieved a synthesis of both.”

For his latest recording project, Indian-born Gurtu pairs with West African producer Wally Badarou. Gurtu and Badarou drew deep inspiration from Gurtu’s previous Blue Thumb release, African Fantasy, as they traveled to the capitals of Africa and India, gathering rhythms, street songs and musical friends, preparing to record the project.

They assembled the stories and sounds they found with the help of Grammy-winning engineer Matt Howe (Lauryn Hill) and Squeeze’s Chris Difford (who wrote the lyrics for “Ola Bombay” in addition to supervising part of the recording at his Helioscentric studio in East Sussex, England).

Trilok Gurtu

The result is a forward-thinking mix of trans-national world music styles. “We make bridges, not barriers. This is what the world requires…Technique is OK to prove your art, but it’s not everything. Only feelings will reach the people.”

In 2005, The Trilok Gurtu Collection came out. It assembled some of master percussionist Trilok Gurtu’s best tracks from the CMP catalog, where Trilok released albums over a span of 20 years, on this Silva Screen Treasury reissue (SIL-CD-3014 UPC 738572301422). The record came out June 6th, at a reduced price point.

The Trilok Gurtu Collection features some of his most memorable collaborations, including the Gurtu/Zawinul Ballad for Two Musicians, and the tribute to his great friend Don Cherry “Cherry Town”. Also featured are saxophonist Jan Garbarek, percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, saxophonist Bill Evans, guitarists Pat Matheney, Ralph Towner and David Gilmore, Indian vocalist Shobha Gurtu, violinist L. Shankar, and his long-time friend, trumpet player Don Cherry.


La Terra (The Earth), with Aktuala (Bla Bla, 1974)
Tappeto Volante (Flying Carpet) with Aktuala (Bla Bla, 1976)
Apo Calypso, with Embryo (1977)
Friends, with Toto Blanke Electric Circus (1979)
Family, with Toto Blanke Electric Circus (1980)
Personal Note, Mark Nauseef with Joachim Kühn, Jan Akkerman, Detlev Beier (1982)
Finale, with Charly Antolini (1983)
Song for Everyone, with L. Shankar (1985)
Usfret (CMP, 1987)
Ecotopia, with Oregon (1987)
45th Parallel, with Oregon (1989)
Live at the Royal Festival Hall, with the John McLaughlin Trio (1990)
Living Magic (1990)
Always, Never and Forever, with Oregon (1991)
Que Alegria, with the John McLaughlin Trio (1992)
Crazy Saints (1993)
Believe (1995)
Bad Habits Die Hard (CMP, 1995)
The Glimpse (1997)
Kathak (1998)
Cor, with Maria João & Mário Laginha (1998)
African Fantasy (2000)
The Beat of Love (2001)
Remembrance (2002)
Miles Gurtu, with Robert Miles (2004)
Broken Rhythms (2004)
Farakala (2006)
Arkeology (2007)
Massical (2009)
Piano Car, with Stefano Ianne (2010)
21 Spices, with Simon Phillips & NDR Big Band (2011)
Spellbound (Sunnyside, 2013)


Artist Profiles: Subhankar Banerjee

Subhankar Banerjee is a tabla virtuoso from Kolkata (Calcutta), who has been on the concert circuit since he was sixteen and has performed regularly with many distinguished artists, both vocalists and instrumentalists. Subhankar Banerjee’s style combines technical mastery with creativity and his popularity can be gauged by the fact that he has already featured on more than one hundred commercial recordings.

At the age of five he was placed under the tutelage of Shri Swapan Shiva, celebrated artist and teacher of Farukhabad Tabla Gharana. There are six recognized distinctive styles (gharanas) of tabla playing in North India, and over the years Subhankar has dedicated himself to the study other gharanas from different maestros.


Artist Profiles: Subhrangshu Chakraborty

Subhrangshu Chakraborty, tabla artist, started his musical run when he just age of six. His first guru Provas Kumar taught him in the farukha style. He was later admitted into the popular Tagore House, “Rabindra Bharati University” in Kolkata, Iindia, where he completed a B.A and M.A course in percussion.

He learned the same Gharania from Pandit Anil Roy Choudhury, a famous tabla exponent of India. Shubhrangshu took talim from Punjabi Gharana tabla master, the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha Khan Sahib. He was awarded the Nirod Baran Memorial Award from Rabindra Bharati University. Subhrangshu has composed many instrumental fusions like Anodhyo Samya Dhoni, Orrissa “99” and Naad Vinyas. He has collaborated with many vocalists and instrumentalists like Pt. Ajoy Pohankar, Arun Bhadury, Indrani Chatterjee, Pt. Shyamal Nath, Brayan Melvin, Shamuel Sejen, Pt. Deepak Choudhury and Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan.


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)