Pt. Nagraj Rao Havaldar
Dr. Nagraj Rao Havaldar is a disciple Pandit Madhava Gudi, himself a prime disciple of the Kirana scion Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. He is also a disciple of Pandit Panchakshari Swami Mattigatti, a senior disciple of Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur, of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. During his study for "Sangeetha Ratna", a six year degree course Hindustani Classical Music from Karnataka University, Dharwad, Karnataka, he studied under Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur (the Head of the Department of Music), and luminaries like Panchakshari Swami Mattigatti, Pandit Basavaraj Rajaguru (Kirana), Pandit Sangameshwar Gurav (Kirana) and Dr. B.D. Pathak who were faculty members.
He has performed all over India, including prestigious venues such as the Hampi Utsava, Mysore Dassera Durbar Festival and Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh at Varanasi. He has also toured the United States and the United Kingdom extensively. While his style reflects his extensive training from Kirana masters, he is equally at ease with the Jaipur-Atrauli specialities such as Basanti Kedar, Basanti Kanada and Nat Malhar. He has pioneered to popularize the Kannada Khayal by adapting Vachanas, literary works of Haridasas and suitable contemporary poetry in Kannada to the traditional khayal form.
Pt. Samir Chatterjee
Samir Chatterjee is a virtuoso Tabla player from India. He travels widely across the world throughout the year performing in numerous festivals as a soloist or with other outstanding musicians from both Indian and non-Indian musical traditions. Samir performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway in 2007. He also performed a few times at the United Nations General Assembly. His compositions are widely acclaimed as well as his writings. Samir is a firm believer in the transforming effect of music on the society and all aspects of his work reflects this conviction.
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 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.
Sameer Havaldar hails from a family of musicians. His first guru was Pt. Prabhudeva Salimath in Talikoti. Sameer's father Seshacahala is a retired Professor of History, used to sing Kannada light music and also an approved Kannada cricket commentator. Sameer's uncle Dr. Nagaraj Rao Havaldar is a noted Hindustani Classical Vocalist and a scholar. Sameer's college education and advanced music study has been with his cousins Omkarnath and Kedarnath Havaldar in Bangalore. Sameer holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. He is an accomplished singer too. Sameer is continuing his vocal and harmonium learning under his uncle Pt. Dr. Nagaraj Rao Havaldar and Pt. Panchaksharaiah Hiremath respectively.