Sitar - Vidushi Joya Biswas
Tabla - Samir Chatterjee
Vocal - Chhandayan Vocal Ensemble
directed by Vidushi Rajyasree Ghosh
Part 1 - Chhandayan Vocal Ensemble
Part 2 - Felicitation of Vidushi Joya Biswas
Part 3 - Sitar recital by Vidushi Joya Biswas
Admission - Free
Vidushi Joya Biswas
Joya Biswas is one of the best and most acclaimed Sitar players of India. She has been performing for over four decades widely acknowledged for her brilliance as a musician. She has represented India in many prestigious occasions within the country and abroad. She is popularly known as ‘The First Lady of Sitar’. This is because the instrument she plays is mostly represented by men. And as one of the very few women in the field she has created her own niche through her outstanding caliber placing her on the same or even higher level than many of India’s greatest musicians.
She hails from a very cultural family of Calcutta. She completed her academic pursuit in History, Journalism and Economics. Joya was married to an Indian nuclear scientist of high repute and she is also mother of a son of equally talented.
Joya’s formation as a Sitar player occurred under the guidance of the legendary maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, with whom she studied for several years. This way she represents the famous Maihar gharana initiated by Baba Alauddin Khan.
Joya. Biswas has performed in many countries of the world over the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She is well-known in India for her television and radio performances. She has received awards of recognition from outstanding personalities like the ex-prime minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi, Duke Ellington of the Jazz world and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa commented “Joya is a brilliant sitarist of India, Joya’s music touches her listeners with sweetness and technical brilliance.”
As an A-Top grade artiste of the National Radio of India Joya Biswas has held positions in the advisory committee of many high level Indian cultural institutions and organizations. Her lectures on different aspects of Indian music have been very well-received at many universities and colleges. Joya has also held the position of a Chairperson and Head of Faculty at the Indian Music School in Calcutta for several years. She has been a member of the Indian National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO. She is also an Executive Member of the West Bengal State Academy of Music in India.
The beauty of Joya. Biswas’ music lies in the aesthetic presentation of the authentic. With her deep and profound understanding of the ragas and tala systems she has developed a style of her own, sweet and melodious concealing her extraordinary skill. She devotes herself to bring out the Rasa and Bhava (emotion and mood) of each presentation with all sincerity, and that is what has taken her music to such a height.
Rajyasree Ghosh is a very talented vocalist of her generation in the field of Indian Classical Music. She is equally proficient in both classical and semi-classical music, which includes Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan, Tappa and Puratani songs etc.. Born in 1962, Rajyasree started her training at a very early age. Since then her career in music has been glorious journey. She emerged as a gold medalist both in her B.A and M.A exams in classical music (Khayal) from the Rabindra Bharati University. She also received National Scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resources Development of Govt. of India in 1986 to study under Pandit Amiya Ranjan Banerjee. She was a Scholar at the Sangeet Research Academy, where she studied music under the guidance of Smt. Girija Devi and Pandit Arun Bhaduri and Pandit K.G. Ginde. She took her talim in Nazrulgeeti from Smt. Suprava Sarkar and she is still learning Bengali Tappa, Puratani etc from Shri Ramkumar Chatterjee.
Rajyasree Ghosh has performed and won laurels in several prestigious music conferences in India. She was placed first place for three consecutive years (1984-1986) in the Dover Lane Music Competition in Khayal, Ragpradhan and Bhajan. She features regularly on the national radio and television of India and is holds the position of lecturer at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.
In the year 2000, she went to Muscat, Oman at the invitation of Bangiya Parishad and performed several music programs. She has been regularly visiting the USA and performing in several cities like Kansas City, San Francisco, Columbus, Dayton, Boston, Houston and Cincinnati which were highly appreciated by the Indian and non-Indian alike.
Gifted with a powerful and melodious voice, Rajyasree has developed a style characterized by riveting Bandishes, reposeful Alaps and rigorous bol-taans. Her music has a special romantic flavor emerging out of her powerful yet tender approach. Her creativity makes her music a sheer listening pleasure.
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.
Chatterjee began his studies early with Pt. 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 of India. 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 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. Nasiruddin Saami, Ud. Shujat Khan, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ud. Nishat Khan, Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Pta. Veena Sahashrabuddhe, 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, Joshua Bell, 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. 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 four decades and many of his students are established performers. He is the Founding President 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 guidebook to Indian music titled ‘Music of India’ and ‘Those Forty Days’, a journal of an austere practice regimen he undertook during the summer of 2016. He is on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, University of Pittsburgh and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. 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. He is the recipient of several awards such as the Sunshine Award, Jadu Bhatta Award and Acharya Varistha Award.