Indian Vocal - Indra Mukherjee
Shankar Slide Guitar - Kamala Shankar
Tabla - Samir Chatterjee
Kolkata-born Smt. Indra Mukherjee was brought up in a family with a rich musical tradition and started. Her fascination for Hindustani classical music soon found her under the tutelage of a stalwart like A.T.Kanan of Kirana Gharana. After moving to Delhi, Indra has been a disciple of Smt. Savita Devi, eminent exponent of Banaras Gharana, for over two decades.
Critics have said that her melodic voice lends beautifully to her extensive repertoire of Thumri, Dadra, Hori, Kajri, Chaiti and Bhajan. A graded audio-visual artist, Indra is frequently featured on radio and Television and gives regular recitals, both in India and abroad.
While doing graduate and post-graduate studies in Philosophy from Kolkata and Jadavpur University she gave in to her first love -music.
Vidushi Kamala Shankar is known as the first lady of Indian Classical Slide Guitar. She has enthralled the world through her immaculate and melodious rendition of Hindustani Classical music. She is known for her tremendous control and versatility. She has an exceptional and natural ability to play the ‘Gayaki Ang’ style and her music is popularly referred as "a singing guitar".
Kamala Shankar was born in Tanjore (Tamil Nadu) and brought up in Varanasi. At the age of 4 she was initiated into vocal music by her mother and was put under the able guidance of Guru Pt. Amarnath Mishra of Varanasi. She learnt Hindustani classical vocal for 8 years. Then she transferred her musical interest to the Hawaiian slide guitar where her vocal training gave her a solid basis in music theory. Her initial training on Guitar started with Dr. Shivnath Bhattacharya and she also was given valuable guidance by Guru Padmabhushan Pt. Chhannulal Mishra of Varanasi. She has not only learnt classical music but also the Poorab Ang like Thumri, Kajari, Dadra, Chaiti with Rabindra Sangeet, and Bhajan. Later on she was under the able guidance of Pt. Bimalendu Mukherjee. Kamala completed her Doctorate on Guitar under Dr. Gopal Shankar Mishra from Banaras Hindu University. She is a Top graded Guitar Artist of A I R and has performed many National Programmes and the Radio Sangeet Sammelan of Akashawani and Doordarshan. In addition to being a well-known artist in India, she has performed throughout the world.
Kamala is credited with inventing the Shankar Slide Guitar. The most unique feature of this instrument is that it has no sound hole unlike other guitars. It has four main strings and three chikari strings with eleven sympathetic strings. It has made up of a single piece of hollow wood and the wood is Cedar. The name of this instrument is dedicated to the deity of Varanasi Bhagwan Shankar.
Chatterjee began his studies early with Pandit Bankim Ghosh, Pt. Balaram Mukherjee, Pt. Rathin Dhar and Mohammad Salim. His later formation as a musician occurred under the guidance of Pt. Amalesh Chatterjee (since 1966) and Pt. Shyamal Bose (since 1984). All of Samir's teachers have been from the Farrukhabad Gharana (school) of Tabla-playing, which he now represents.
Samir is rated ‘A’ as an artiste of Indian national radio and television. He can be heard on numerous recordings featuring as soloist, accompanying many of India's greatest musicians and in collaboration with western musicians of outstanding caliber. In concert Samir has accompanied many of India's greatest musicians including Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ud. Vilayat Khan, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee, Pt. V.G. Jog, Pt . Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, M. S. Gopalakrishnan, Ud. Amjad Ali Khan, Ud. Salamat Ali Khan, Smt. Lakshmi Shankar, Ud. Aashis Khan, Dr. L. Subramanium, Ud. Shujat Khan, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ud. Rashid Khan, Pt. Tejendra N. Mazumdar, Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya, to name only a few.
Samir Chatterjee lives in the New York-New Jersey area, and has been a catalyst in the fusion of Indian and Non-Indian music, in his own creations and others as well. He performs with Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Douglas, Steve Gorn, Glen Velez, Boby Sanabria, Ben Verdery, Dance Theater of Harlem, Boston Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Ethos Percussion group, Da Capo Chamber Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva and other jazz, classical and avant guard musicians and ensembles. He is member of jazz trio SYNC with Ned Rothenberg and Jerome Harris and quintet Inner Diaspora together with Mark Feldman and Eric Friedlander. He also collaborates with Sufi-Rock singer Salman Ahmad of Junoon from Pakistan. He is also the composer and director of Indo-Flame and Nacho Nacho - both blends of Indian and Flamenco dance and music, Chhand-Anand - a world percussion ensemble and Dawn to Dusk and Beyond – on the effect of music on humans and nature. He performs with Sanjay Mishra on his CD "Blue Incantation" featuring Jerry Garcia as guest artist.
Samir Chatterjee has been teaching for the last 35 years and many of his students are established performers. He is the Founder-Director of CHHANDAYAN, an organization dedicated to promoting and preserving Indian music and culture. He has authored a comprehensive 654-page book entitled ‘A Study of Tabla’ and a guide book to Indian music titled ‘Music of India’. He is on the faculty at Yale University, Manhattan School of Music, University of Pittsburgh, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and University of Bridgeport in CT. He also contributes to several newspapers and periodicals. He won gold medal for his proficiency in a musical examination and has two master degrees, in English and History.