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New Delhi, April 1 – The Indian subcontinent abounds in a variety of musical instruments, and a considerable specialisation is displayed in their usage. Instruments present music solos, provide melodic or rhythmic accompaniment or produce drones.
The 10th edition of the Indian Instrumental Music Festival is set to take place on April 14 and 15, at Godrej Dance Academy Theatre in Mumbai, and will feature four instrumentalists wielding instruments from four different categories: drums-percussion (tabla), string-plucked instruments, and wind instruments (mandolin, sitar, sursingar and mohanveena).
Day 1: Vijay Ghate (Tabla) and U. Rajesh (Mandolin)
Vijay Ghate’s tryst with tabla began at a tender age of three. He had the privilege of training with the eminent maestro, Suresh Talwalkar. Today, he is known for his mastery in providing accompaniment to, not only vocal and instrumental music, but also to kathak dance. Having command over the technical as well as artistic aspect of laya-tala, he has performed with many stalwarts of Indian music.
Having mentored by his virtuoso brother, Mandolin U. Shrinivas, U. Rajesh was trained in Carnatic music. Today, he has to his credit, numerous solo concerts as well as presentations with top-ranking artistes. Besides establishing himself as a reputed artiste and composer, he has also collaborated with several international artistes, including John McLaughlin in the Grammy-nominated album.
Day 2: Joydeep Mukherjee (Sursingar and Mohanveena) and Kushal Das (Sitar)
Joydeep Mukherjee has trained with Pranab Kumar Naha of Senia Shahajanpur gharana, which is known for its foundation based on dhrupad as well as khayal idioms. Having resurrected sursingar, an instrument of late 18th/early 19th century, presently, he is a senior exponent of sarod as well as sursingar. Also, he is perhaps the only instrumentalist to wield a rare instrument called mohanveena, evolved by his grand-guru, the legendary Radhika Mohan Moitra.
Kushal Das was fortunate to be born in a family of sitar and esraj practitioners and was groomed in the art of playing sitar and surbahar by several accomplished musicians like Sanjoy Banerjee, Ajoy Sinha Roy and Ramakrishna Basu, besides his father and uncle. As a top-ranking musician of All India Radio, he has performed widely in major festivals across India and abroad.