Ben Kunin is one of today's most accomplished Sarode players in Bay
Area. He started learning his instrument, Sarod, with over 20 years at
the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA under the guidance of
legendary Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. He studied tabla with Pandit Swapan
Chaudhuri since 1987.
Ben Kunin's Acoustic Adventures CD was released the week of January
Ben patiently mentors students of Sarod and Hindustani, at Ali Akbar
College of Music. In addition to being a master student of Hindustani
music theory and Sarod-playing, Kunin is also an incredible classical
guitarist who can stand the hairs on your arms and neck on end and slip
time out of its more linear patterns. With an acoustic nylon-stringed
guitar, he can blow you away with some of the most inspired
guitar-playing since John Fahey, Terry Riley or the Sun City Girls.
Anyone who has felt the joy in the playing of Fahey, Robbie Basho or
other noted folkische fingerpickers will need to rush to their CD player
and pop this jewel in. The nine tracks on Acoustic Adventures
beautifully demonstrate the disciplines one learns in both Indian and
Western classical theory, while also displaying the transcendant freedom
that all great musicians channel in their own unique ways. The music is
closest to the Takoma-era players, but with its own special approach to
the "great tradition."
He has also released four CDs, including "Point of Departure" in
2005.You can buy Ben Kunin's Acoustic Adventures CD at Midheaven
Manidipa was born into a musical family with a long
tradition of classical music. She received her initial training at home
from her mother in Indian classical music. She was awarded a distinction
from "Surangama" and later received a diploma in Rabindrasangeet.She
underwent many years of rigorous training under the guidance of Sri
Subinoy Roy and Smt. Maya Sen.
She also received diploma in Indian Classical music. She was fortunate
to get a chance to learn classical music from Ustad Ali Akhbar Khan at
San Rafael for a while. She is a Chemical Engineer and by profession she
works in software field at Bay Area.
Manidipa had been performing Rabindrasangeet for The All India Radio,
Calcutta, Doordarshan Kendra, Calcutta. She was also a featured performer
on Radio and Television shows across North America.
Sound Wing of Calcutta, released her first Rabindrasangeet audio
cassette entitled "Amritero Sagare” under the supervision of Sri Subinoy
Roy. She performed across USA, including Banga Sanmelan
at Los Angeles and Rabindra Mela at New Jersey. Manidipa also performed
different programs in Calcutta. Critics, which inludes The Telegraph,
The Statesman, Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman and Desh, appreciated her
Rabindrasangeet performance. Manidipa received Plaque of Honor from
Maryland University, USA for Rabindra Sangeet. She received a
prestigious Uttamkumar Award for Rabindra Sangeet. She has also excelled
in Semi-Classical and Modern Hindi and Bengali Songs. Her Latest CD was
released last year along with other renowned Bengali singers at
Calcutta, like Indrani Sen, Protik Choudhury, Rupankar. Her song ‘Mone
pore Jaye’ was appreciated by several musicians in Calcutta.
Introduced to Rabindrasangeet by his mother-Amita Das, one of the
preeminent disciples of Shri Niharbindu Sen and Shrimati Gita Sen of
“Gitabitan” in Kolkata. Obtained an initial introduction to Sarod from
his father-Shri Pradip Das, a disciple of Ustad Bahadur Khan. Aditya
studied Rabindrasangeet at “Prangan” (Mumbai), for 15 years under the
guidance of Shrimati Shukla Mitra. He also received training from Smt
Gita Sen. Tenor with the Madrigal Singers of Clarksburg led by Don
Gardner (Western Classical Chorale and Medieval Hymns). Currently, he is
learning Hindustani Classical Vocal music from Smt. Lakshmi Shankar
(Patiala Gharana). Aditya has performed in several programs and concerts
in India and in the United States.
Notable performances include: House of Soviet Culture (Mumbai);
Renaissance Invitational Festival (Annapolis, MD); California Center for
the Arts (Escondido)-accompanied Pandit Ravi Shankar on the occasion of
India’s 50th Independence Day Anniversary Celebrations in a vocal
presentation of “Sare Jahan Se Accha” and NABC ’99 (Santa Clara).
Student of Hindustani Classical Vocal music for over two decades as a
disciple of Pandit Judhisthir Nath (Rampur Gharana). Currently she is a
disciple of Shrimati Lakshmi Shankar (Patiala Gharana). She has
performed in several Rabindrasangeet programs in all over California.
Her interest and further development in Rabindrasangeet took place when
her father Sabyasachi Bhattacharya was the Vice-Chancellor of Vishwa
Bharati University in Shantiniketan (1990-94). Notable performances
include California Center for the Arts (Escondido)-accompanied Pandit
Ravi Shankar on the occasion of India’s 50th Independence Day
Anniversary Celebrations in a vocal presentation of “Sare Jahan Se Accha”
and NABC ’99 (Santa Clara).
is a well known name in the SF Bay Area musical events. Besides having a
successful career in Semiconductor Industry as a Microprocessor
Architect, he loves to work with music. Prasenjit received his formal
music training during his teenage years from Sabyasachi Ghosh of
Shantiniketan. He also learnt music from his uncle Pranab Mitra. During
his undergraduate Engineering days, he used to sing contemporary and
modern Bengali songs in People’s theatre in Calcutta. His avid listening
of all kinds of music and ken interest in music have made him a self
taught singer. His most inspiration came from famous Hemanta Mukhejee.
He had been performimg regularly in various musical events across USA
over the last 25 years. He also has CDs/Cassettes of Adhunik and
Rabindrasangeet released in the market.
Shyamoshree Gupta Diamond:
Shyamoshree was born in Calcutta Brahmo family of many famous
Rabindrasangeet singers. Her academics in music is quite sound. She has
received First Class First Diploma from Dakshinee Calcutta. She
performed Rabindra Sangeet in Akashbaani Calcutta. Her singing
performance in Rabindrasadan, Kalamandir has acclaimed praises.She was
also performed in Natya Mandir, Bombay in many occations.
Sabyasachi Basu, a ‘Kolkattayia’ by birth and upbringing, throughout his
adult life helped to entertain the communities by dramatics, music,
debates, elocution – both on and off stage. Between such performances at
his spare time he practices founding companies and making them
successful both in India and USA. A singer taught strictly in the
Gharana of All India Radio and HMV and honed his skill during his days
at IIT, Kharagpur, his theoretical knowledge about Bengali music of all
genre is sometimes more visible than his practical demonstrations.
Someday he dreams to have the single largest collection of Bengali songs
of all genres.
learning her first notes at the age of five in the lap of Ila Banerjee ,
disciple of Late Naina Devi. She later received training under Sanjoy
Sarkar , a leading exponent of Rabindra Sangeet in Delhi. Sonali was a
regular artist for All India Radio. Her talent was recognized when she
was selected to sing on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations
of “Dakshini’ held in Kalamandir, Calcutta in July 1998. Sonali’s
Rabindra Sangeet rendition was praised in local media and she was
selected to sing in Shanti Niketan. Her performance in Shanti Niketan
was widely acclaimed by pundits of Rabindra Sangeet including the vice
chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University.
Sonali is a versatile artist and performs regularly in Bay Area musical
shows and ranging from Indian classical songs to Hindi film songs on
Karaoke . She has directed the production of ‘Mohalaya’ for Durga Puja ,
which has received rave reviews.
She has been applauded for her lead singing roles in numerous Tagore
dance dramas and Bengali musicals.
accomplished and successful entrepreneur Jay Roy finds pleasure in
Music. Besides working on his second startup company in Electronic
Design Automation, he tries to find time to practice music. His liking
on music started at a very early age from his mother. He would hear her
mother sing while cooking and hum along with her. He would listen to
music on record player his parents got as their wedding present. After
completing BTech degree in Electronics from IIT Kharagpur, he earned
PhD. in Computer Engineering from Cincinnati. He has been performing in
Bay area for several years. He likes to perform songs of famous singer
from India, Kishore Kumar. As, he says, ‘I could not have been more than
3 or 4 years old when I sang Kishore Kumar’s famous song - "ek poloker,
ektu dekha .... I guess my love for Kishore Kumar started then ...”. He
took formal music lesson on Indian Classical Music from Sweta Jhaveri.
Currently, he is learning Hindustani Classical Vocal music from
Malini did not receive any formal training but always had a love for
music as a hobby. Like all Bengali families she received training in
Indian classical music when she was in school which later was overtaken
by academic priorities. She represented her college in both zonal and
national youth festivals for Indian classical and western songs for
three consecutive years. She passed through the rigorous audition
process for Zee TV’s Close-Up Antakshari and represented her College at
the Inter-Collegiate competition in 1997 and became a semifinalist. She
got a fresh start to showcase her talent in the Bay-Area after she
relocated from Europe in 2004, when she again got a platform to show her
singing talent at NRI antakshari held in Sunnyvale Hindu Temple in 2005
and Saraswati Puja in 2006 organized by Prabasi.
Anoop Bhattacharya is a wonderful blend of talent at Work as well as in
Music. After passing out from one of best Technical schools in India,
IIT Kanpur, he currently develops computer vision algorithms at work.
Anoop has been playing the tabla since the age of 7. His guruji is Mr.
from Kanpur. Over the years, he has accompanied a number of well-known
artistes in Concert. He has also accompanied renowned Indian classical
singer Pt. Jasraj in Albany, NY (1995). He is a regular performer in Bay
Area and also plays with three bay-area bands. Soft spoken Anoop likes
to keep a low profile about him and have the music speak for whatever it
Julie Basu a MS
and PhD degree holder from Stanford University, was inspired in music
from her father, who was a very good singer. She started learning
Hindustani classical and Rabindra sangeet when she was 11 years old.
Learnt classical music for few years from Pandit Laxmi Ganesh Tiwari in
the Bay Area. Besides being a computer scientist by profession, she
continued learning different kinds of Indian music from various gurus
across bay area. She has performed in many programs. Her performance in
Gunjan’s presentation ‘Kajri’ was highly praised. She loves different
folk musics in particular.
Nilanjan Sarkar, a
software professional in Bay Area, was influenced by regular music
practice of his father, who was a disciple of Pt Gyan Ghosh. He grew up
with the songs of famous Indian singer Kishore Kumar and he was his
Idol. He was also known as Junior Kishore in his high school. He started
performing when he was in College.
His formal music training in Indian classical music was started in the
Bayarea from Sukhawat Ali Khan, famous sufi singer from Pakistan. He has
been regularly performing in ay area for several years, like the Prabasi
organization's Mahisasura Mardini (Mohalaya), RabindraSandhya at
Stanford , ICC Swarscape.He is also a active participant in a local
music band called HaranoSur.
has been playing the flute since age 7. She has played in wind
ensembles, symphonic bands, marching and pep bands throughout high
school and college. After studying Western classical music on flute and
piano, she was introduced to playing Bengali music while pursuing her
PhD in cell biology at Yale University. In 1992, she accompanied singers
Rabindrasangeet program in New Haven. Since 1996 she has been an
accompanist to vocalists in the Bengali community of the Bay Area. Some
of her performances include Mahalaya, Rabindrasandhya, a folk-music
fundraiser, and various dance-dramas. Most recently she has been
performing with the local
bangla band "Saampan". She also enjoys jamming with former members of
the band "Mohiner ghoraguli" and is always eager to expand her
Sudip Nag is a
very well known performer across Bay Area. He has been performing around
20 years in India as well as in USA. Being a senior director at Xilinx
Inc., he balances well, his singing career along with his software
activities. Though he never learnt music formally but he is passionate
about music. He has perfomed in Prabashi’s production Mahishasura
Mardini, Sanskriti’s production ‘Shyama’, Chandalika which made him the
most popular male voice in Bay Area.
Pradosh is an avid
listener of all kinds of Indian music – be it classical, folk, or
instrumental. But Tabla, is one of his passions. He started playing
Tabla at his childhood age under the tutelage of his father, Shri Paresh
C. Sarkar, and continued for 8 years. In those days, at times, he even
used to think of leaving this instrument for a more interesting hobby –
sketching. But he did not dare do so as his teacher was at his side
almost always. Since then, where ever he stayed for studies or for work
- Kanpur, Hyderabad, California, he continued taking lessons along with
performing and accompanying. His recent Guru is Shri Uttam Chakraborty.
He was a member of Kanpur Music Circle and a regular accompanyist there
during early ‘90s. He performed in ‘Andhra Pradesh Sham-E-Ghazal’ in
Hyderabad, organized by Department of Cultural Affairs, Andhra Pradesh
Govt, in 1996. Pradosh has been regularly accompanying light classical
artists in and around Bay Area. He accompanied several visiting artists
from Kolkata such as ‘Baul Samrat’ Purna Das Baul, Alok RoyChaudhuri,
and Rabindra Sangeet artist Jayoshree Dashgupta. Apart from tabla
accompaniment, he takes immense interest in Bengali Drama.
Shraddha Suman, popularly known as "Moglie", is a 9th Grader GATE
identified Student of High School. Apart from being a high academic
achiever (Recepient of President award, Winner of school science fair
award, invitation from John Hopkins university), she has been inclined
to music and dance since the age of 3. She is currently learning Indian
classical music from famous bay area classical vocalist Smt. Shubhangi
Sakhalkar. She is also an accomplished Odissi dancer from Jyoti Kala
Mandir. Being winner of several Talent shows, she has performed for ICC,
Prabasi, Pashchimi, Fremont Symphony, India day celebration, Fremont Art
and Cultural Council, ISKON, Sunnyvale Temple etc. She also write poems
some of them were published in the magazine of International society of
poets. She loves to play Tennis, likes to read mystery thrillers and
science fictions. She wish to be a Pediatric Doctor in future.
Being a master's degree holder in Computer Science from Regional Engg.
College, Rourkela, Subhas Khashnobish is also holding a Masters degree
in Music from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Pune in
Instrumental (Hawaiin Guitar) Classical Music. His professional work in
Software Industry did not stop his music career in USA. He has been
performing as well as teaching Hawaiin Guitar/Vocal for last 20 years in
Bay Area. He is a B-High Grade Approved Artist in Instrumental Classical
Music from All India Radio, Cuttack.He also performed in AIR, Cuttack
and Doordarshan, Bhubaneswar.
His own music composing and production is his first Bengali Puja Album 'Ebarey
Bandhbo Gaan Aktaaraay' sang by renowned singer Babul Supriyo in 1995,
released by Pan Music Company, Mumbai.
graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a PhD in Computer Science. He now works
at PayPal as an application architect. Shirshanka was introduced to
music at a very young age in India, inspired by his mother. He continued
learning music for several years, Rabindra Sangeeet, Hindustani
Classical and Nazrul Geeti, initially under the guidance of Shrimati
Namita Pal and later under the tutelage of Shri Ujjal Nandi. He has
performed in various college-level programs in India. His recent vocal
performance in the dance drama Shyama was praised by everybody.
Shailaja graduated from UCSC in 2004 with a Masters in Computer Science.
She now works as a CAD/Software Engineer at Intel. Her love for music
started at a very young age when as a child she was exposed to many
genres of music at home. Her childhood in Calcutta was a influential
factor is nurturing her interest in Bengali music. Shailaja is mostly a
self-taught singer, though she did take formal training in music for 2
years under Mrs. Ekta Roy. She recently performed at the medley
performance at Intel India Day.
Indrani has grown up in a family of musicians, her father being a
reputed composer and vocal artist, Adhir Bagchi and grandfather Late
Anil Bagchi, one of the renowned music directors from Bengal.
In addition to training from her father she has undergone formal
Hindusthani classical training from Ustad Jamini Ganguly from the age of
10.She has also received Hinduathani classical training from classical
music maestros, Smt.Uma De and Dr. Usha Ranjan Mukherjee.
She has been a regular artist of Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrulgeeti and
Adhunik songs (modern Bengali) for All India Radio and Doordarshan (Kolkata)
.She has performed in many significant live performances in Bengal from
her childhood and has won several awards as the best performer.
Indrani has performed in several significant live musical concerts of
Rabindrasangeet, classical, semi classical and film songs in India as
well as in the Bay area.
Her mother Ruby Bagchi (ex asst. Station Director of All India Radio
Kolkata and lyricist) is the prime inspiration behind her interest in