Mitali Banerjee Bhawmik - Vocal
Samir Chatterjee - Tabla
Harmonium - Anirban Chakraborty
The Baithak concert series is dedicated to the fond memories of Mr. Chandrakant Rao.
Mitali Banerjee Bhawmik
Mitali Banerjee Bhawmik, an artiste of Hindustani Classical vocal music, was born in Nogaon, Assan, where she started her initial lessons in music at a very early age from Sri Ajit Dutta. Later she had the privilege of receiving extensive training in the different styles of Hindustani Classical vocal music from Sri Biren Phukan in Guahati, Assam. For further training, Mitali came to Calcutta in 1983 where she initially received lessons from Srimati Meera Banerjee, the noted vocalist. Since 1984 Mitali is under the tutelage of Padmabhushan Pandit V. G. Jog the famous violin maestro. Pandit Jog's vast and extensive experience in the different musical styles and traditions have helped Mitali to blend the best of few styles (Gharanas) in her music in contrast to sticking to a single traditional Gharana style. This has been the essence of Pandit Jog's philosophy in music and training methodology.Mitali also received training in semi-classical (thumri, dadra, hori etc) music from Smt. Dahlia Rahut, a senior disciple of Smt. Girija Devi.
Mitali has performed in several concerts both in India and USA. To name a few, in USA, she has performed at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Yale University in Connecticut, Princeton University, Rutgers University in New Jersey, Chhandayan All Night Concert, other universities in US and also at several locations in New York and New Jersey area. In India Mitali has performed at the Sangeet Research Academy, Salt Lake Music Festival, Bhawanipur Sangeet Samaj, Dover Lane Music Conference periodicals, Calcutta School of Music, World Bengali Conference, SPIC-MACAY concerts, West Bengal State Music conference in Kolkata, Delhi habitat center, IIC Delhi, NCPA Mumbai, Varanasi, Rajkot & Surat & several others. She has also performed at the Nehru Centre and Stratford in London UK.
Her melodious voice and perfect rendition of the "raga's" have won her numerous acclaims and appreciation from the listeners. Besides Khayals, Mitali also specializes in semi-classical music like Thumris and Bhajans.
Mitali has two CDs “Vandana”, where her Guru Pandit V. G. Jog has accompanied her on the violin. She has another album, named “Rasiya” where she has been accompanied by Pt Ramesh Mishra on Sarengi and Pt Samir Chatterjee on tabla.
Mitali is the director of Ethnomedia Music Studio where she teaches Hindustani Classical Music to several students in the area. Mitali along with her students has won the prestigious New Jersey Council of the Arts grant for four years.
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 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, Pt. Manilal Nag, Ud. Ali Ahmed Hussain, Ud. Aashis Khan, Dr. L. Subramanium, U Srinivas, Ud. Naseeruddin Sami, Smt. Veena Sahashrabuddhe, Ud. Shujat Khan, Ud. Saheed Parvez, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ud. Nishat Khan, Ud. Rashid Khan, Pt. Tejendra N. Mazumdar, Pt. Debashish Bhattacharya, Smt. Arti Anklekar, Smt. Kaushiki Chakraborty, 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, Joshua Bell, Yoko Ono Lenon, David Liebman, Oliver Lake, Dave Douglas, Ned Rothenberg, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Jerome Harris, Eric Friedlander, Steve Gorn, Glen Velez, Boby Sanabria, Jin Hi Kim, Min Xiao-Fen, 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 also collaborates with Sufi-Rock singer Salman Ahmad of Junoon from Pakistan. He is the composer and director of Indo-Flame – a blend of Indian and Flamenco dance and music, Chhand-Anand - a world percussion ensemble, RabiThakur – a ballet on the life of Tagore, Meghadootam – a feature program of music and dance on an ancient Indian poem, 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, a guide book to Indian music titled Music of India and Those Forty Days, a journal of an austere practice regimen. He is on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music, University of Pittsburgh and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He also taught at the Yale University, Columbia University, New York University and Princeton University, among many other major institutions in the USA, Europe and India. 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.
Anirban Chakrabarty hails from a family of Musicians. His father, Amal Chakrabarty is a dedicated vocalist. From his very childhood Anirban was initiated to Hindustani Classical Music by his father. He is a post graduate in music with first class from the Rabindra Bharati University. Although he is a good vocalist, his keen interest in playing Harmonium have driven him under the tutelage of Pandit Manas Chakraborty, the doyen of Kotali Gharana to master himself in the gayaki of Kotali style. He has also keen interest in composing music in lighter forms. The guidance of the Master Musician has already shaped him in well organized Harmonium player, and hoping him to be a musician of high repute in future.
Anirban has to his credit a number of brilliant performances as a harmonium accompanist throughout the country with both upcoming and reputed musicians. Anirban has accompanied musicians of repute like Pandit Manas Chakraborty, Pandit Dinanath Mishra, Pandit Arun Bhaduri, Smt. Kankana Banerjee, Gaan Saraswati Shreela Bandopadhyay, Pandit Madhup Mudgal, Sri. Sarathi Chatterjee, Smt. Ruchira Panda, Sri. Subhasish Mukherjee, Smt. Raka Mukherjee, Sri. Ratan Mohan Sharma and many more.
He is also a regular artist of several television channels. Besides, he is equally adept in playing table, keyboard, guitar and also worked as an arranger for several light music album. Recently popular commercial artists like Indrani Sen, Manomay Bhattacharya, Shampa Kundu, Shubhankar Bhaskar, Sahaj Ma have jointly made album of Modern Bengali Songs and devotional Songs composed and arranged by Anirban. Recently an album of Poetry and songs of TAGORE of Sri Tarun Chakrabarty has been released, arranged by Anirban. Now Anirban is also working as the Lecturer of Music in ‘Vivekananda Teachers Training Institute’ and also as the General Secretary of ‘Sur Sanchayan Sangeet Vidyalaya’, an institute to uphold the diploma courses of various forms of Indian music. Anirban to his credit has accompanied on harmonium with both upcoming and veteran musicians in all major music festivals of our country. He has also visited UK and USA as a harmonium accompanist with Ruchira Panda and earned accolades both from music lovers and connoisseurs.