Vocal - Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande
Tabla - Suryaksha Deshpande
Harmonium - Kedar Naphade
The main performance will be preceded by a tabla solo by
Vikram Jeet Mukherjee
Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, an outstanding vocalist of the famed “Jaipur-Atrauli” Khayal Gayaki tradition, represents the new generation of veterans worthy of wearing the mantle of the old masters.
Born in a musical family, Ashwini completed “Sangeet Visharad” of the “Gandharva Mahavidyalaya” at the young age of 16 and won the President’s Gold Medal at the All India Radio Music Competition in 1977. After grasping the rudiments of Hindustani Classical music under the late Pt. Narayanrao Datar, she began imbibing all the traditional aspects of stylized Jaipur Gayaki under the strict tutelage of her mother, mentor and Guru, Smt. Manik Bhide.
Thoroughly grounded in the Jaipur Atrauli Khayal Gayaki tradition, Ashwini has developed into an artiste of immense public acclaim earning high praise from discerning critics and music lovers all over the globe. Ashwini’s musicianship is characterized by a blend of tonal sweetness coupled with vitality and emotion and raga structure-architecture. Her raga delineation shows an unerring grasp over the grammar of the raga yet maintaining a soulfulness in her singing. Through this she has succeeded in building up her own loyal audience. She yearns to explore the pathos of rare and complex (“achchop”) ragas characteristic of her Gharana. In this effort she has received invaluable guidance from her Guru the late Pt. Ratnakar Pai, a senior stalwart of the Gharana. This, and of course, her mother’s unstinted support, added to her own mature introspection lead Ashwini to new horizons of the ever-expanding terrain of Hindustani Classical Music.
Although a classicist by temperament and training, Ashwini is equally at ease with lighter varieties like Thumri-Dadra and Bhajans/Abhangs. Add to this, her fluency in Sanskrit enriches her repertoire further by inclusion of stotras/stutis. Ashwini has added to her devotional repertoire by scoring the music herself of many of her devotional presentations.
Ashwini’s debut recording album was released in 1985 by HMV and several more have followed thereafter under various banners including Rhythm House, Times Music, Sony Music, Music Today, Navras Records and Universal Music among others.
In October 2004 Ashwini published a book "Ragarachananjali" of her self-composed bandishes. The book has received rave reviews all over the music world and the effort has been lauded for its musical creativity and artistic presentation. Continuing her creative effort she has followed up with "Ragarachananjali 2", her second book of bandishes in October 2010.
Ashwini has traveled extensively all over the globe participating in various prestigious music conferences and Sangeet Sammelans. Her live concerts have been acclaimed for the sheer presentation delight, as much as for the aesthetic and musical quality. A 'top grade' artiste of Akashwani and Doordarshan, Ashwini has featured in several national programmes and AIR Sangeet Sammelans.
As a teacher of competence, Ashwini devotes quality time to her promising disciples assuring continuity of the rich tradition of the Jaipur Gayaki. Ashwini has regularly participated in lecture-demonstrations on Hindustani Classical Music in various schools, colleges and sangeet sabhas and contributes to the enlightenment of the unexposed audiences in India and abroad.
Ashwini's contribution to Hindustani classical vocal music has been acknowledged by way of awards and citations. In June 2015, she was declared the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademy Award for 2014. She was the first female Hindustani vocalist to have been decorated with the prestigious "Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Samman" in 2005 by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. She was a recipient of the Government of Maharashtra “Sanskritik Puraskar” for 2011 and the Sahyadri Doordarshan “Sangeet Ratna” Puraskar for 2010. She was awarded the first “Ganatapaswini Mogubai Kurdikar Samman” in 2014 and the Bangalore Kidney Foundation’s “Pandit Mallikarjun Mansoor Award” in 2013. She was honoured with the "Pandit Jasraj Gaurav Puraskar" on the occasion of the 75th birthday celebrations of the Maestro.
Ashwini, who is currently stationed in Mumbai, finally chose music as her first love forsaking a career in Biochemistry but not before completing her doctorate at the esteemed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre/ University of Mumbai.
Suryaksha Deshpande is fortunate enough to have a good Literary and Musical heritage. His father Shri. Prakash Deshpande is a retired Professor of English and an eminent writer and critic in Marathi and his mother Prof. Hema Deshpande herself is a vocalist. disciple of Pt. Babanrao Haldankar (veteran of Agra Gharana).
He has taken tremendous efforts in balancing his academic career and Tabla training. 1977 born Science Graduate, Suryaksha is a disciple of renowed scholar and performer Pt. Arvind Mulgaonkar of Farrukhabad Gharana (senior disciple of Ustad Amir Hussain Khan Sahab). He has also received training of "Delhi Baaz" from Pt. Sudhir Mainkar - a great Musicologist - disciple of Inam Ali Khan Sahab of Delhi Gharana. He has achieved excellence in competitions held by reputed organizations through out the country & was also felicitated with the prestigious Pt. V.D.Paluskar Award.
He has secured First Rank all over India in Tabla Alankar (Masters Degree) Exam held by Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. He is also a recipient of the prestigious National scholarship awarded by the Dept. of Culture. Govt. of India
He is an 'A' Grade artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan.
He is a recipient of the Fellowship for Junior Artist by The Dept. of Culture, India.
He has accompanied many great artist like Padmabhushan Dr. N. Rajam (Violin), Padmashree Pt. D.K. Datar (Violin), Padmashree Pt. Satish Vyas (santoor), Pt. Brij Narayan (Sarod), Pt. Ulhas Bapat (Santoor), Smt. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande (vocal), Shri. Jayateerth Mevundi (vocal), in India and abroad. He has performed with South Indian musicians like Shri. Sriram Parshuram (vocal), Shri. Sridhar Parthsarathy (Mridangam) etc. He has also played in many Talwadya Kachaheri concerts. He conceived the concept of Tabla and Dholaki (a folk percussion) being played together for the first time on stage with his Gurubhai Krishna Musalye-Ghotkar.
He had an opportunity to accompany Ghazal maestro U. Ghulam Ali in New Jersey.
He has successfully conducted many workshops & lecture demonstrations.
A blend of the Traditional Tabla of Farrukabaad Gharana, the expansion process of Delhi Gharana and influence of Laghu is clearly observed in his Tabla. A thoughtful and robust solo, a balanced accompaniment to Vocal Music and an appropriate accompaniment to instrumental music are some of his specialties.
Suryaksha is the owner and founder of Anubhooti school of Indian Classical Music.
Born on January 10, 1972, Kedar Naphade received preliminary training in Hindustani Classical Music from his grandfather, Shri Dadasaheb Naphade and from Shri Arvind Gajendragadkar.
Since he was 10 years of age, Kedar has had the great good fortune of training under the loving and expert guidance of Pt. Tulsidas Borkar, one of the topmost harmonium players in India today. Under his nurturing guidance, Kedar has imbibed the unique style of solo harmonium performance developed by Pt. Borkarji’s guru, Madhukar Pednekar or P. Madhukar. P. Madhukar was a genius with tremendous mastery over the instrument that is to date unsurpassed. His glorious tradition, which utilizes the strengths of the harmonium to the extreme, is presented to the connoisseur today by his stalwart disciples like Pt. Tulsidas Borkar and Pt. Anant Kemkar and the next generation of disciples consisting of Sudhir Nayak, Seema Mestri-Shirodkar, Kedar Naphade and others.
Kedar has also had the privilege of training under Smt. Padmavati Shaligram-Gokhale, a veteran singer of the Atrauli-Jaipur gharana. She played a pivotal role in his musical development and sowed in him the seed that developed into a passionate love for the vocal art form. As such, Kedar’s music derives inspiration from the stylistic genius and dexterous wizardry of P. Madhukar as well as the character of the traditional Hindustani vocal art form, especially of the Gwalior and Jaipur gharanas. In addition to classical music, Kedar also plays the semi-classical forms of Marathi Natyasangeet (Stage Music), Bhajans, Thumri, Dhun etc.
Kedar has performed harmonium solo and has accompanied vocalists at numerous concerts in India, Europe and in the U.S. including prestigious festivals and venues such as the Alladiya Khan Smruti Samaroha, Dadar Matunga Cultural Center, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space etc. He has accompanied artists of high caliber such as his guru Smt. Padmavati Shaligram-Gokhale, Pt. Phiroz Dastur, Pt. Jasraj, Smt. Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Smt. Laxmi Shankar and others. Kedar continues to train from Pt. Tulsidas Borkar and maintains an active concert schedule in the U.S.
Vikram Mukherjee is a tabla player and student at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Chemistry as well as a certificate in the Philosophy of Medicine, with hopes of becoming a physician. Outside of academics he is a founding member and vice-president of Pitt Sangeet and a research assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Lawrenceville. Having been exposed to both Indian and Western music by his parents from a young age, he has had training in violin, drum- set and tabla. Initially, his first exposure to tabla came from Shri John Protopapas at the age of 8 and thereafter continued his tutelage under the mentorship and love of Pt. Samir Chatterjee. He hopes to continue embellishing the wisdom and knowledge of his Guru’s as well as represent Indian classical music for the new generation.
For this performance he would like to give special thanks to his parents, Dr. Satyajit Mukherjee and Mrs. Asha Makam for their continued encouragement and support as well as his Guru Pt. Samir Chatterjee.