Andrew Shantz - Vocal
Suryaksha Deshpande - Tabla
Deepal Chodhari - Santoor
Suryaksha Deshpande - Tabla
Our facilities are wheelchair accessible.
After beginning his musical career as a jazz pianist Andrew Shantz immersed himself in the world of Hindustani - North Indian - classical music in 2008. He currently studies classical vocal (khayal) under Pt. Sanjoy Banerjee of Kirana Gharana and was initiated into Hindustani vocal music in Kolkata, India by his Guruma Smt. Madhumita Saha with whom he studies light-classical music. Andrew also receives special guidance from tabla maestro Pt. Samar Saha.
Andrew has received several awards and scholarships including the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Apprenticeship to support his vocal studies. He also took 1st place in the 2017 Swaradhara vocal competition (adult division) held in New Jersey by Marathi Vishwa.
Andrew is also a trustee of Suromurchhana USA which, was founded to continue the work of the Kolkata Suromurchhana cultural organization founded in India by Pt. Sanjoy Banerjee to promote the Indian classical arts.
Smt. Deepal Chodhari
Acclaimed as a Sangeet Visharad from Bhatkhande University via Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Mumbai), Smt. Deepal Chodhari has been pursuing the santoor since her school years from her guruji, Shri Dineshkumar Sampat (immediate disciple of Pandit Kartik Kumar). With the blessings of her guruji, she pursues the santoor with style evolved out of gayaki (vocal), gatkari (instrumental technique) and layakari (rhythmic improvisation).
As guided by the santoor maestro Rahul Sharma, Smt. Deepal is studying the santoor padhiti (style) of the legendary padma-vibhushan santoor maestro, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma with his senior disciple, Dr. Dhananjay Daithankar. She also took training from Shri Dilip Kale.
Her raga renderings on the santoor have a consistent clarity of tone & vigor. These styles of music compositions have been passed on from her guruji through Maihar gharana. Her solid foundation in Hindustani classical music also brings soulful emotions on the santoor with traditional (raagdari) patterns and compositions.
She mastered the intricacies of the santoor in bridge setting, string setting, tuning, and using a combination of strings in the right gauges to bring the best quality of sound.
Gifted as a vocalist and an instrumentalist, she underwent vocal training during her Sangeet Visharad from Smt. Shashikala Kaikini at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
Smt. Deepal has been honored by State level awards and has been felicitated from several renowned cultural organizations in India and USA. She has attained the New Jersey Folk Art Apprenticeship Award under the guidance of Smt. Mitali Bhawmik and has also performed on National Television in India with her Guruji Shri Dinesh Kumar Sampat. Alongwith lecture demonstrations on the santoor, she recently directed an instrumental ensemble with close to 30 instrumentalists, both western and Indian, to create a fusion of an Indian composition.
Smt. Deepal has performed successfully at various cultural organizations in India & USA. She is one of the very few santoor performers in the tri-state area preserving the rich cultural heritage of the oldest instrument of India- the santoor. Please visit www.100strings.com to learn more about her.
Suryaksha Deshpande started showing early signs of musical acumen right from his childhood and was fortunate enough to receive tremendous encouragement from his parents who share intellectual & musical background as well as keen interest in artistic endeavors, thus started his tuneful journey that spans 25 years of rigorous Tabla training, from a curious student to a passionate professional.
He became an integral part of rich tradition and precious legacy of Farukhabad Gharana through training and valuable guidance from Pt. Arvind Mulgaonkar a respected scholar and senior disciple of the highly revered and legendary Ustad Amir Hussian Khan Saheb. Precise training and meticulous efforts started bearing fruits of success with outstanding achievements in numerous and prestigious Tabla competitions held across the states. Defying the expectation of academic accomplishments Suryaksha secured First Rank with Masters in Tabla surpassing all the students across India. The graph of progress kept climbing with him being awarded the Prestigious National Scholarship and Fellowship for Junior Artiste from Dep. of Culture; Govt. Of India.
The next step was to prove his professional prowess across both genres of Tabla that is Solo and Accompaniments. Suryaksha soon became a well-known artiste and one of the favorite accompanists among the senior artists. He went on to deliver fabulous performances with veterans of Indian Classical Music Vocalists & Instrumentalist such as Padmabhushan Dr. N. Rajam, Padmashree Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar,Smt. Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar, Pt. Satish Vyas & Smt. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande to name a few.
Through research and experimentation, Suryaksha has developed a unique style with fine blend of Traditional Language oriented Tabla of Farukhabad Gharana & expansion process of Delhi Gharana interspersed with influence of Laghu. Observant, subtle for balanced accompaniment to instrumental as well as vocal music can be counted amongst his specialties.
Suryaksha's voyage from being a devoted student to dedicated artiste inspired him to impart the knowledge of his art Tabla to diligent students paved the way in for his latest venture Anubhooti School of Indian Classical Music at New Jersey, United States.