Vocal - Samarth Nagarkar
Tabla - Amod Dandawate
Violin - Anjna Swaminathan
Samarth Nagarkar is known for his captivating performances of authentic, traditionally rich approach towards raga- exposition and gayaki. He is described by critics as one of today’s foremost torchbearers
of Indian classical vocal traditions.
After years of rigorous training under Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Samarth graduated as Grade A scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata in 2009. Prior to this, he trained under Pt. Dinkar Kaikini in Mumbai. By virtue of this intense and extensive guru-shishya parampara training Samarth’s performance repertoire encompasses styles, ragas and compositions of three prominent gharanas – Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur.
Samarth has performed in several noted venues and concert platforms in India and the USA such as the ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Bangalore, Devnandan Ubhayakar Yuva Sangeet Utsav, Bangalore, Habitat Center, Delhi, N.C.P.A., Mumbai, The Ali Akbar College of Music, California, Basant Bahar, California and
Universities such as Stanford, Indiana, UT Southwestern, UPenn and PSU.
The most notable of the awards and accolades Samarth has received is the President’s Award for 1st prize in the All India Radio National Music Competition, 2000. The Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India awarded him a Fellowship in 2009.
A former head of K. K. Kapoor Sangeet Research Academy, Lucknow, Samarth is also known for his articulate and informative lecture-demonstrations and interactive workshops on Indian Music.
Currently based in New York Samarth is performing all over North America. He is only the faculty of reputed institutions such as Chhandayan Center for Indian Music.
Amod Dandawate has been primarily trained in the Farrukhabad style of Tabla playing. He was born and brought up in Hyderabad, India, and later migrated to the USA. He was initiated into Tabla by his father Dr. Vasantrao Dandawate, a disciple of the legendary Maestro Ustad Amir Hussain Khan. He started playing Tabla at a very young age but seriously pursued the art form only after completing his Bachelors degree in Engineering. At that point, he received initial guidance and encouragement from Shafaat Khan while performing as an accompanist and then spent some time taking lessons from Ustad Zakir Hussain. Having settled in New Jersey he has been receiving advanced training, since 2001, as a disciple of Pt. Samir Chatterjee, a well known Maestro of the Farrukhabad gharana (http://www.tabla.org).
Besides performing solo Tabla, Amod has accompanied several eminent artists and keeps a busy performance schedule. Amod also hold a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.
Anjna Swaminathan is a versatile artist in the field of South Indian Carnatic Violin. A disciple of the late violin maestroParur Sri M.S. Gopalakrishnan and Mysore Sri H.K. Narasimhamurthy, she performs regularly in Carnatic, Hindustani and creative music settings. In the summer of 2014, Anjna was a participant at the celebrated Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Alberta, Canada, where she worked closely with eminent jazz and creative musicians and led workshops on the fundamentals of Carnatic improvisation and listening. She has since performed with and been encouraged by established musicians in New York's thriving creative music scene including Jen Shyu, Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey, Amir ElSaffar, Imani Uzuri, Stephan Crump, Graham Haynes, Mat Maneri, Miles Okazaki and others. Anjna is a member of the ensemble RAJAS, led by her sister, percussionist-composer Rajna Swaminathan, which features a rotating collective of Indian classical musicians and jazz/creative musicians, and seeks to explore new improvisational and compositional possibilities stemming from the Indian classical idiom. In 2015, Anjna came under the tutelage of renowned vocalist and scholar, T.M. Krishna for her training in Carnatic music, and vocalist Samarth Nagarkar for her training in Hindustani music and accompaniment. She frequently engages with the burgeoning community of Indian classical musicians in New York and New Jersey, and is an active member of the Brooklyn Raga Massive, a growing artist-managed collective of musicians, performers and educators with a firm grounding in raga-based music and a mission to create a diverse, community-oriented artistic practice.
As a theatre artist, writer and dramaturg with interests in the intersection of race, class/caste, gender and sexuality, Hindu vedantic philosophy, and the boundaries of postcolonial Indian nationhood, Anjna often engages in artistic work that ties together multiple aesthetic forms towards a critical consciousness. She frequently takes part in interdisciplinary collaborations, often developing scores and providing musical accompaniment for Bharatanatyam (South Indian classical) dancers and dance companies, most notably, Ragamala Dance Company (Minneapolis), Rama Vaidyanathan, Mythily Prakash and Malini Srinivasan. From 2010 to 2017, Anjna performed and toured extensively in the United States and abroad with the acclaimed Minneapolis-based company Ragamala Dance, led by Doris Duke Artists Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, in whose projects she had the pleasure of working and performing alongside such artists as Rudresh Mahanthappa, Amir ElSaffar and Rez Abbasi. More recently, Anjna has delved into the realm of composition, and was commissioned (with co-composers Rajna Swaminathan and Sam McCormally) to create an original score for playwright/performer Anu Yadav's one-woman-play Meena's Dream. In her dramaturgical and theatrical work, she has a keen interest in developing new projects that seek to problematize the hierarchies of caste and gender that are inherent in her musical idiom, something that deeply informs her musical practice.
Anjna is co-artistic director of Rhythm Fantasies, Inc. - a non-profit organization that strives to promote South Indian classical music and dance in a space that encourages education and enrichment through innovation and cross-cultural collaboration. Anjna holds a Bachelors degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park.