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MEET THE MAESTROS OF WHITEFIELD MUSIC FESTIVAL 2019

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Ustad Rashid Khan (born 1 July 1968), belongs to the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, and is the great-grandson of Gharana founder, Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan.

The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior Gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play.

Born in Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, Rashidji received his training mainly from his maternal grand-uncle, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan in Badayun. A strict disciplinarian, Nissar Hussainji would insist on voice training (Swar Sadhana). Rashidji also trained briefly with his Uncle, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan in Mumbai.

Rashidji gave his first concert at of the age eleven in the year 1979. In 1980, he moved along with his Uncle Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan to the ITC Sangeet Research Academy(SRA) in Kolkata.  By 1994, Rashidji was acknowledged as a ‘Musician’ (a formal process) at the academy. There has been no looking back since, and Rashidji has enthralled audiences all over the world with his flawless performances.

He was awarded the Padma Shri, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006. He is also the receipient of several other awards including the GIMA award in 2019

Rashidji lives in Kolkata with his family.

Enjoy his live performance along with Pandit Shubhankar Banerjee on the tabla, Ustad Murad Ali on the sarangi and Pandit Vinay Mishra on the harmonium, at the Whitefield Music Festival on Sunday, November 17th 2019

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Pandit Vinay Mishra was born in the city of Varanasi, in a family of music lovers. As a child, his father indulged his wish to learn classical music and decided to take him to Pandit Channulal Mishra for vocal lessons where he received his early training. Later on, he studied harmonium rigorously under the tutelage of Ustad Mehtab Khan and his father Ustad Chand Khan of Varanasi. Vinay Mishra also got a chance to learn the finer nuances of Indian classical harmonium playing from the legendary harmonium exponent Pandit Appa Saheb Jalgaonkar.

Pandit Mishra also holds a Ph.D. in Music from University of Delhiand has a published a book called ‘Harmonium – Vividh Ayam’ which talks about the increasing importance of harmonium in today’s classical music era.

Pandit Vinay Mishra has shared the stage with  several eminent artists including, Pt. Girija Devi, Pt. Ashwini Bhide, Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pt. Venkatesh Kumar, Pt. Sanjeev Abhyankar, amongst others over the  last 15 years in several prestigious music festivals across India and has toured extensively over United StatesEuropeAfrica and the Middle East.

He is a graded artiste of the All India Radio and recipient of several prestigious awards.

Hear him live in concert with Ustad Rashid Khan at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Sunday, November 17th 2019

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Born in a family of musicians originally from Moradabad, Ustad Murad Ali is a sixth generation sarangi player. The intensive training, he had under his grandfather Ustad Siddique Ahmad Khan and father Ustad Ghulam Sabir Khan has stood him in good stead, and he is presently regarded as one of the leading sarangi players of the younger generation. His ancestors, Ustad Sagheer Ahmed Khan Sahib, Ustad Fakir Ahmed Khan Sahib, Ustad Rafique Ahmed Khan Sahib and his grandfather Ustad Siddique Ahmed Khan Sahib were all renowned sarangi players, musicologists and gurus of the Moradabad Gharana.

Hear him live in concert with Ustad Rashid Khan at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Sunday, November 17th 2019

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At the age of four, the musical wonder kid was placed to learn from Benaras Gharana’s Pandit Manik Das and then under the tutelage of Pandit Swapan Shiva, the celebrated artiste and teacher of Farukhabad Tabla Gharana, for twenty-five years.

Pandit Shubhankar Banerjee’s command over the tabla, and his unique style of playing, has enthralled music lovers and connoisseurs all around the world. Over the years he continues to dedicate himself to learning from different maestros.

Being trained in vocal music as well from his childhood, has made him a competent vocalist as well.

In addition to being a reputed soloist, Subhankarji is one of the few choicest accompanists of some of the most prominent celebrity musicians of our country including Late Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.Pandit, Dr.L.Subramanium, Dr.M.Balamuralikrishnan, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit M.S. Gopalkrishnan, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, Pandit V.G.Jog, Ustad Imrat Hussian Khan.

He has been performing in several venues the world over for the last eighteen years, including the Nobel Peace Prize concert, London Symphony Concert and the Festival of India Concert in Brazil.

Shubhankarji has received several awards from a young age, including one from the President of India in 1987.

Shubhankarji lives in Kolkata with his family.

Hear him perform live along with Ustad Rashid Khan and Pandit Vinay Mishra (on the harmonium), at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Sunday, November 17th 2019.

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Pandit Kumar Bose born 4 April 1953, is a tabla maestro and composer. He belongs to the Benaras Gharana style of playing.

Kumarji was born in Kolkata in a musical family. His father, Pt Biswanath Bose, a distinguished tabla player, taught him his first lessons in rhythm. After his father’s untimely death, he started his training under Pandit Kishan Maharaj.

Having honed his skills under the tutelage of the legendary Pandit Kishan Maharaj, Kumarji rose to prominence with his mesmerising performances with Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. Kumarji has been applauded for evolving a distinctive style of his own without diluting the purity of tradition. A master percussionist, he plays several other instruments, which include the sri-khole, the pakhwaj, the dholak, the nal, and the banga-kanga.

Kumarji gave his first public performance at the age of 4, and ever since he has performed at all major cities across the world with several legends of the Music World.

Kumarji has several awards to his credit, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2007 and the prestigious Dinanath Mangeshkar Award in 2012.

In addition to his musical abilities, Kumarji is also an awarded sportsman, a carom champion, and fluently speaks four languages.

Pandit Kumar Bose is currently based in Kolkata, where he conducts private lessons. He is known for maintaining high standards for his students, emphasising on the importance of devoted practice and maintaining tradition.

Pandit Kumar Bose in Conversation with Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar.

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Hear him play along with Sangeet Ratna Prabir Bhattacharya at the Whitefield Music Festival on Sunday, November 17th 2019

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Sangeet Ratna Prabir Bhattacharya started his music training at the age of 12, with his father Shri Amal Kumar Bhattacharya.

Soon after, the renowned Sitarist Late Pandit Deepak Choudhury took Prabirji as his student. Pandit Deepak Choudhury is still considered as one of the doyens of Maihar Gharana. Prabirji was trained intensively by Deepakji till his demise in 2010. Prabirji misses his Guru and feels Deepakjis guidance was the most precious gift he has received in the course of his music education and career.

Prabirji is an ‘A’ Grade Artist of the All India Radio.He is a Ph.D Scholar and a Gold Medalist  in M.A. (Music) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. Besides other awards, he is also a recipient of the National Scholarship awarded by the Government of India.

Prabirji has been fortunate to play with several legends of the Music World, including his Guru Pandit Deepak Choudhury, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Kisen Maharaj, Vid. Mandolin Sreenivas to name a few.

Hear him play live, with tabla maestro, Pandit Kumar Bose, at the Whitefield Musical Festival on Sunday, November 17th 2019.

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Pandit Nayan Ghosh holds a unique position in the Indian music scenario as a front ranking Tabla maestro and a Sitar exponent, with equal command in both streams.

Born in 1956, he received in-depth training in vocal music, tabla and then in sitar from his father Late Padma Bhushan Pandit Nikhil Ghosh, considered an important Tabla scion of the Farukhabad school of Tabla playing, a Guru and an educationist. Nayanji’s elder uncle was the pioneer flautist Pandit Pannalal Ghosh, also popularly regarded as the ‘Father of North Indian Flute’.

His first tabla solo broadcast was at the age of 4, in 1960, followed by extensive concertizing and teaching from 1974 onwards throughout the world, at prestigious venues and universities.

Innate artistry, tonal brilliance, a rich repertoire and intense melodiousness are his hallmarks. His Raga delineations are noted for their true depth and spirit. He has strived to strike a judicious balance of the ‘Gayaki’ (vocalization) and the ‘Tantrakari’ (instrumentation) elements in his sitar recitals. Likewise, his tabla solos project the stamp of tradition from the various schools of the tabla art, with focus on aesthetics, technique and virtuosity at the same time.

As an accompanist too, he has invited much acclaim for his sensitive support to stalwarts like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and many others.

Presently, as Director of India’s premier music teaching and research institute, Sangit Mahabharati, in Mumbai, and as Distinguished Guest Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay for their Cell for Human Values, he has been imparting intensive training to several young aspirants grooming them into performers and teachers.

Hear him play along with Pandit Rajeev Taranath, at the Whitefield Music Festival on Saturday, November 16th 2019

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Padma Shri Pandit Rajeev Taranath, was born in Bangalore on 17 October 1932. He received his initial training in vocal music from his father Pandit Taranath. He gave his first public vocal performance when he was nine years old. Rajeevji was singing for the All India Radio before he was twenty.

Although Rajeevji held a PhD in English literature, he discontinued his career as a Professor , and  went to Calcutta, where he began his musical training under the tutelage of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Rajeevji continued to learn from his Guru, till Ustadji’s demise in 2009. He has also had guidance from Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, Vid. Annapurna Devi, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and Pandit Aashish Khan.

In 1999–2000 he received the Indian’s government’s highest award in the arts from the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He researched and published the Teaching Techniques of the Maihar-Allauddin Gharana, as a Ford Foundation scholar (1989 to 1992). He was a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2019.

He is respected for his in-depth understanding as he unfolds the raga, the tonal quality and power of his strokes. His distinctive style shows technical excellence, imaginative power and emotional range. He has toured Australia, Europe, Yemen, the United States, and Canada. He has composed the music for many internationally acclaimed Indian films. He was the subject of a documentary made for the television in Aden entitled “Fannan Min-Al-Hind” (Artist from India).He has also served as the head of the Indian music program at the World Music Department of the California Institute of the Arts from 1995 to 2005.

He currently lives and teaches in Mysore, Karnataka.

Hear him live along with Pandit Nayan Ghosh, at the Whitefield Music Festival on Saturday, November 16th 2019

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Vid. U.Rajesh was born on 17 May 1977 at Palakol, Andhra Pradesh, and is the  youngest child of U.Satyanarayana and Kantham. He is the younger brother of late U.Srinivas, a notable Carnatic Mandolin player.

In his childhood, his father and brother were his tutors in music. He started playing Carnatic classical music on the mandolin at the age of six.

He and his brother have performed in concerts together, and have released musical albums together, till his brothers untimely demise.

Vid. U Rajesh has performed all over the world with legends of the Music World, and has several solo albums to his credit. His work with John McLaughlin’s album Floating Point, received a Grammy nomination in 2009.[4]

He lives in Chennai and is one of the directors of the music school, Srinivas Institute of World Music (SIOWM, named after U.Srinivas), Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which is providing free music tuition to the students.

Hear him live, in a jugalbandi concert with Vid. Mandola Joy on the Mandola, Vid. Anoor Vinod Shyamon the mridangam, Vid. Anoor Sunaad on the khanjira and Vid. Anubrata Banerjee on the table, at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019, on Saturday, November 16th 2019.

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Born to a family of musicians based in Kolkata, Vid.Mandola Joy is a North Indian classical instrumentalist and composer. He plays the customized fretless Mandola that he has been experimenting with for the last two decades. He has redefined this Western instrument to make it more appropriate for rendering Indian classical music. His brain child, the electric fretless “Shreetaar” with “chikari” strings and copper plated fingerboard finally took her unique form as a result of Joyji’s tireless experiments and trials. Made of Mahogany wood and bearing ten strings, Shreetaar is successfully capable of depicting each and every embellishments of Indian Classical music. The efficiency of playing technique, has also been pioneered by him, and  presently he is the only artiste to play this instrument.

Joyji received his initial training in classical music from Late Pt. V. G. Jog (Violin maestro) and later  from Late Pt. Buddhadeb Dasgupta (Sarod maestro). Currently he is pursuing his training from Sitar Maestro Pt. Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata.

A regular artiste in All India Radio, Vid. Mandola Joy has worked with many artistes of national and international repute.

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Watch Vid. Mandola Joy perform along with Vidwan U. Rajesh, Vid Anubrata Chatterjee, Vid. Anoor Vinod Shyam and Vid. Anoor Sunaad at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Saturaday, November 16th 2019

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Pt. Anubrata Chatterjee (born 1 June 1985) is an eminent Indian tabla player of the Farukhabad gharana. He is the son of world-renowned tabla maestro, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.

Nurtured from a very young age, Pt. Anubrata Chatterjee has had the rare fortune of being the youngest and the last Ganda-Bandh disciple of the great guru, Padmabhushan – Deshkottam Jnan Prakash Ghosh in 1992. Subsequently, he continued his training under the gifted tutelage of his father.

Subsequently, he continued his training under the gifted tutelage of his father focusing on Farukhabad Gharana along with Lucknow & Ajrada Gharana styles. He made his debut as an accompanying artist with the legendary Pt.Hari Prasad Chaurasia and since then, has gone on to successfully accompany living legends, such as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pt.Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Vid. T.H.Vikku Vinayakram, and other respected musicians all over the world. Pt. Chaterjee has proved himself both as a soloist and as an accompanist, by his consummate tabla renditions.

He has also given numerous memorable duet performances along with his father. Taking the ‘parampara’ forward, he has built upon his father’s style and expanded his own repertoire to display an amalgamation of power, grace, skill, and superb tonal clarity.

Internationally, he marked his debut with a solo performance at the B.B.C. World Radio, U.K. in the year 1991. Since then he has performed worldwide, in several prestigious International festivals held across the globe.

Taking after his father, Pt. Chaterjee gives great importance to imparting quality training to his students. He holds regular workshops in New York at MATRA (Music Academy for Tabla Research by Anindo Chatterjee) In the past, he has conducted numerous workshops in Japan, making many students to undertake advanced training under him.

While being deeply rooted in the traditional style of playing, he also understands the need for his art to be contemporary. He actively collaborates on projects that are traditional yet new age, which especially strike a chord with the youth.

Based on this thought, he formed a unique percussion group named Taal- India wherein every region of the country was represented by a percussion instrument. He has also been a part of various fusion bands

He has also created his band named, Laya Curry and Beats. His institution, Music Academy for Tabla Research by Anindo Chatterjee( MATRA) focuses on teaching the art all over the world.

Pt. Anubrata Chaterjee has been conferred with the Basavaraj Rajguru Award from the Government of Karnataka in 2014 and the prestigious, Sangeet Natak Akademi- Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva  Puraskar in 2016

Hear him live in concert with Vidwan U. Rajesh, at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Saturday, November 16th 2019

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Born into a well-known family of musicians of Karnataka, Vid. Anoor Sunaad was introduced to the world of music at a very young age.  He is the fifth generation of musicians in the family. He is the great grandson of Vid. Anoor Shamanna, a renowned Veena artist, the grandson of Vid. Ganakalabhushana Anoor S Ramakrishna, an esteemed Violinist and Guru. 

Sunaadji is learning Mridangam and Khanjira from his father Vidwan Sri Anoor V. Dattatreya Sharma, his uncle Vidwan Sri Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma. He also receives valuable guidance from cousin Vid.Vinod Shyam Anoor.

Watch him perform live in concert with Vidwan U. Rajesh, Vid. Anoor Vinod Shyam, Vid. Anubrata Chatterjee and Vid. Mandola Joy at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Saturday, November 16th 2019.

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Born into a well-known family of musicians of Karnataka, Vid. Anoor Vinod Shyam was introduced to the world of music at a very young age.  He is the great grandson of Vid.Anoor Shamanna, a renowned Veena artist, the grandson of Vid. Ganakalabhushana Anoor S Ramakrishna, an esteemed Violinist and Guru. His father Vid. Ganakalashree Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma is amongst the most respected percussionists and Guru in the field of Carnatic music.

He was inducted into formal learning at an early age of 10 under the guidance of Vid. R Sathyakumar. Vinodji continues his advanced learning from his father, Vidwan Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma.

Vid. Vinod Shyam is a versatile percussionist who excels in playing various percussion instruments. His ability to play multiple percussion instruments like Phakawaj, Khanjira, Tabala, Sri-Khol, Dholak, Dholki and Rhythm Pads besides the Mridangam, makes him a unique percussionist.

Having established himself as a sought after accompanist at an early age, Vinodji has the distinction of performing with many senior and scholarly musicians across India and overseas. He also performed at the world renowned Dumru Rhythm festival at Pune in 2015.

He is an active member in various percussion ensembles and has collaborated with multiple genres of music. He is a member of “Laya Lavanya” and “Nada Kalaarnava”- the innovative percussion groups.

Besides being a graded artiste of All India Radio he has to his credits several awards bestowed on him by many prestigious organisations, including the Kalavanta series organised by Karnataka Fine Arts Council, Ananya Nadajyothi Kala Pratibha Puraskara, Swara Sunada

Watch him perform live in concert with Vidwan U. Rajesh at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019 on Saturday, November 16th 2019 

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Odissi Pratibha Kumari Meghna Das, grew up among dancers and musicians at the Nrityalaya Academy for Music and Dance in Singapore, where she took stage for the first time as baby Siddhartha at the age of 3. With this, began a lifelong passion for classical dance.

Meghnaji started her formal training in Odissi at the age of 5, under her mother Smt. Sahana Das, a highly experienced Odissi dancer & choreographer. After moving to India (Bangalore), Meghnaji joined the Nrityagram city classes, and trained under their able and generous guidance, absorbing the form and polish of the Nrityagram school of Odissi.

In 2012, Meghnaji joined the Nrityantar Academy of Performing Arts and their Odissi Dance Ensemble, under guru and artistic director, Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra. As a student of Smt. Madhulita Mohapatra’s and a part of Nrityantar, Meghnaji has performed in several highly acclaimed recitals in and out of Bangalore, including the Mukhteshwar Festival 2016. Her professional debut performance was well received. Since then, she has performed all over India, and abroad in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the US, Sir Lanka, Colombia, Italy, the UK, and France and has attracted enthusiastic appreciation from audiences.

Meghnaji has written, directed, choreographed and produced 3 independent productions – Anamika, Neelachal, Ayam – that have taken stage to full houses across Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. As the Founder of Akar Productions, Meghnaji hopes to continue to be an integral part of a changing environment in which classical and folk arts are produced for stage in India today.

Currently pursuing a PhD in Performing Arts under Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, and TDU, Bangalore, Meghnaji is also the recipient of the national Chinta-O-Chetana Baishaki Award for her accomplishments as a young dancer and a graded Doordarshan artist, Meghnaji has been critically acclaimed for her technical finesse and grace.

Watch her perform live at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019, on Saturday, November 16th 2019

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A Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s in Mass Communication, Gurupriya Atreya is a professional musician, playback singer, arts curator, and radio jockey based in Bangalore, India.

After having interned with the likes of Radio Mirchi, Bangalore Mirror, Worldspace – The Satellite Radio, and The News Today, Gurupriya went on to work full time with Times of India, Yahoo! and finally, Timbre Media, where she currently works. As a part of Timbre Media, she has hosted shows for the Saregama classical app, handled the Tamil station Thenisai and RJ-ed for Amazon radio. Today, she continues her classical training under currently training from Pandit Kumar Mardur.

A PASSIONATE MUSICIAN

Gurupriya Atreya’s foray into music is nothing short of a life calling. While her late mother Dr. Padmavathy Shrinivasen spotted her inclination towards music and initiated her into Carnatic classical music, it was her Hindustani teacher Vidushi Smt. Geetha Hegde who honed it into a skill, a skill she continues to sharpen under the tutelage of Pt. Kumar Mardur.

While rooted in classical music, her repertoire spans several genres and avenues, including playback singing for films, commercial jingles, and music for television. Television was also an early platform for Gurupriya to showcase her talent, having won popular talent contests on Sun TV and Jaya TV. She has done a fair amount of playback singing, predominantly in South Indian languages, for many movies, including Village Lo Vinayakudu, Kurai Ondrum Illai, Kanden, and Cyber Yugadhol. Her most memorable song remains Rasiya – a duet with Ustad Faiyaz Khan for Yeh Dil Ramta Jogi.

Gurupriya has also collaborated on an album for kids with Vasu Dixit titled Jooba for Amar Chitra Katha, which was received with great appreciation and praise.

Today, Gurupriya finds herself in a creative space, where she enjoys collaborating with other young and passionate musicians towards creating new music in a contemporary space, influenced by her classical training and her experiences over the years. Over the past few months, she has put out two successful singles – Maula & Kula – both that garnered enthusiastic appreciation from viewers, fellow artists, press & critics alike. More singles are set to release in the coming months.

A CURATORIAL VENTURE

To celebrate the tradition of chamber music and to restore some of its glory, Gurupriya embarked on the journey of a lifetime by launching The Livingroom Kutcheri in May 2017. The property has already garnered widespread media coverage, and a loyal audience base over the last 2 years, having hosted a wide variety of performances – from music, to dance, theatre, and storytelling.

LRK was started with the hope to open a home to host a community of artists and art lovers, and create a space where performing arts could be relished in an intimate setting. Over the last two years, Gurupriya and her family have hosted one concert a month, holding anywhere between 45 and 85 people in her home for each event.

In just a short time, The Livingroom Kutcheri is a force to be reckoned with, attracting artists from across the country who want to share their work in intimate spaces. GoUNESCO has featured the property to be featured in their heritage documentary series, and several other collaborations are underway.

Hear her live, lending her voice to the Odissi Ensemble at the Whitefield Music Festival 2019, on Saturday, November 16th 2019