Ustad Shaihd Parvez Khan
Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan descends from six generations of sitarists. He
is one of the leading exponents of the Etawah Gharana, a musical
tradition or "family" committed to this most famous of Indian
instruments. He was trained by his father and guru, Ustad Aziz Khan. At
the age of three Ustadji began his apprenticeship in this musically
cloistered environment. It would be some years before Ustadji was
allowed to pick up a sitar however, being first trained in the classical
vocal music that forms the foundation of the "gayaki ang" -- a style of
sitar which transfers the emotional directness and tonal nuance of the
human voice to the instrument.
Ustadji's music is novel and evolving, but his influences are numerous
and easily recognizable to a knowing ear. The fine balance of
traditionalism and innovation of an Ustad Vilayat Khan, the palatial
structure and spiritual depth of an Ustad Amir Khan, and the dazzling
brilliance and musical imperatives of an Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan are
all marvelously present in Ustadji's performances. Ustadji also remains
open to good music wherever he hears it.
Pt. Abhijit Banerjee
Considered among the top class of tabla players from India, Abhijit
Banerjee is one of the most sought after creative artists in the realm
of Indian classical music. With nearly 20 years of professional
experience, Abhijit has crafted a unique style and creative approach
which has brought him accolades and awards throughout the world for his
sensitivity, skill and deep sense of musicality. Apart from his
contributions to Indian music he has delved into a diverse variety of
world music crossover as both a performer and composer.
Abhijit started learning Tabla at a very tender age, and won prizes at
National level. He is an “A” grade artiste of All India Radio for
over eight years. Abhijit has toured extensively all over the globe
accompanying stalwart artistes, such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Late Pandit
Nikhil Banerjee, Pandit Jasraj, to name a few as well as performed
solo. Abhijit has collaborated with acclaimed world musicians such as Ry
Cooder, Larry Coryell, Badal Roy, Trilok Gurtu. Abhijit has scored
music for Documentary and telefilms. Abhijit’s own performing group,
TARANG, a talented ensemble has enjoyed roaring success. He has
formed Dhwani Academy, a school that specializes in Indian percussion,
which has branches in India, Los Angeles, New York and London (UK).
Dhwani Academy is involved in a lot of community work and attracts
students from all over the world.
Born into a family of prodigious musical talent, which has given Indian
music such violin legends as Prof. T.N. Krishnan and Dr. N. Rajam,
Kala’s genius with the violin manifested itself during her childhood.
Recognizing her innate talent, her astute grandfather, Vidwan A. Narayan
Iyer took her under his tutelage. Thus began her journey on the road to
astounding renown and acclaim worldwide.
She then went on to become a pre-eminent disciple of the legendary
vocalist Pandit Jasraj. During this mentorship Kala revolutionized the
violin technique and produced a sound so unique, evocative and akin to
classical Indian vocal music that today her violin is called ‘The
Today a virtuoso of staggering proportions, Kala has performed at all
the major music festivals in India, as well as the most prestigious
stages throughout the world, including the Sydney Opera House, London’s
Queen Elizabeth Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall to name a few.
Kala is a sought after artist to work and experiment with orchestras
like the London Symphony and London Philharmonic and world music legends
like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Kai Eckhart, Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, Terry
Bozzio, Abbos Kossimov, Ayrto Moriera, Giovanni Hidalgo and rock legend
Ray Manzarek of the Doors to name a few.
Along with being a stellar performer, Kala is also a sought after
teacher. She regularly lectures and conducts workshops all around the
world. A few worth mention here are the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music
in Netherlands, University of Giessen in Germany and the Weill Institute
in association with the Carnegie Hall in New York.
An established name in the world music scene, Kala today is keen to
enrich the lives of under-privileged and sick children through music in
the form of her foundation, ‘Kalashree’.
Anuradha Sridhar is the daughter and disciple of the violin maestro
Lalgudi Srimathi Brahmanandam, the reputed sister and violin duo partner
of violin virtuoso Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. Groomed in a milieu that
traces its roots back to the most significant Carnatic composer of all
time, Saint Thyagaraja, the strains of music have been handed down in
Anuradha’s family like a precious heirloom, from generation to
generation. Her grandfather, Lalgudi Gopala Iyer, was an innovative
teacher and a versatile musician. Her brother Shriram Brahmanandam is a
versatile mridangam artist. Among the South Indian classical music
aficionados of the San Francisco Bay Area, Anuradha is synonymous with
purity, rigor and refinement. As a tireless teacher, performer and
ambassador for Carnatic Music, Anuradha envisioned her music school,
Trinity Center for Music, a few months after she moved to the Bay Area
Shriram Brahmanandam was initiated into the mridangam by the renowned
guru Harihara Sharma and later continued his training with
C.V.Kuppuswami. He completed advanced training from the percussion
stalwart Kumbakonam Rajappa Iyer. Shriram has won awards for "Best
Mrudangist" during the music concert series held in the Indian Fine
Arts Society and in the Youth Association for Classical Music. He
has performed extensively in India and abroad including the annual
Cleveland Carnatic Festival and at the Lincoln Center in New York.
He has also performed drum fusion concerts with celebrated western
drummers Anandan Sivamani, and Anthony Brown.
A prolific composer, Shriram zealously looks for opportunities to create
new rhythmic compositions (mohras and korvais). Shriram
translates his passion for the mridangam into articulate, riveting
lecture-demonstration sessions (‘The Art of Mridangam Accompaniment’)
held around the Bay Area. Shriram's style of accompaniment, vibrant and
energetic as it is, never ceases to complement and glorify the main
artist. His exquisite grasp of melodic nuances and his tonal excellence
have won him praise from both peers and seniors in the musical world.