Sahnai - Hassan Haider
Tabla - Samir Chatterjee
Hassan Haider is an acknowledged Sahnai player. His family hails from Allahabad, and he was born in Kolkata (Calcutta) on April 6th 1985. His father Ud. Ali Ahmed Hussain was a famous Sahnai maestro. His family has been representing this art form for generations.
Hassan Haider received his training in Benaras and Senia Gharanas from his father. He also learned from Pt. Arvind Parikh, the famous sitar maestro from school of Ud. Imdad Khan, Ud. Enayat Khan and Ud. Vilayat Khan. Hassan’s great grandfather Ud. Wazir Ali Khan was a musician of distinction. He was the first musician to ever perform the Shahnai at the Buckingham Palace in London, England in 1910 and was awarded by Pt. Motilal Nehru, the father of India’s first Prime Minister Jawharlal Nehru.
Even at this young age, Hassan Haider has already performed at many important music festivals, venues and occasions in India, such as The Autumn Festival of Dance and Music in celebration of India’s 50th year of independence, Dover Lane Music Festival in Kolkata, Harballav Festival in Jalandhar, Uttarpara Sangeet Chakra in West Bengal, Sri Ram Shankarlal Festival in Delhi, Ud. Alauddin Khan Academy in Bhopal, Sangeet Natak Academy in Pune, only to name a few. All of his performances have been well reviewed in newspapers and magazines.
He had toured and performed with his father in several countries outside India. Those include the USA, Canada, U.K., France, Switzerland and Belgium. He is regularly featured on Indian radio and television.
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 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.
Since June, 2008 Samir has been working relentlessly towards the musical revival of Afghanistan. He has made several trips to the country working with different levels of the society and administration and within a very short period of time he has been able to make a remarkable difference in the cultural life of the country.