In the footsteps of Kumar Gandharva – ragasinger Pushkar Lele tours Holland & Belgium

A not to be missed concert tour of young ragasinger Pushkar Lele in The Netherlands and Belgium from 30 November to 6 December 2011. Pushkar Lele sings in the North Indian hindusthani tradition. Natural curiosity led him to follow in the footsteps of that great innovator of Indian vocal music, Kumar Gandharva. No imitator, however, he performs his own interpretations of ragas and bhajan poetry. Pushkar Lele’s vocal art will be accompanied by Sanjay Deshpande on tabla and Suyog Kundalkar on harmonium.


Tour schedule:
Antwerpen – Zuiderpershuis 30 nov. 20:30
Utrecht – Rasa 1 dec. 20:30
Amsterdam – Tropentheater 2 dec. 20:00
Den Haag – Regentes – 4 dec. 03:00 PM
Maasmechelen – Schouwburg Cultureel Centrum – 6 dec. 20:15


Shankar Tucker conquers a world audience via YouTube

I’ve been tracking down his uploads ever since I noticed his presence on YouTube early this year. Shankar Tucker is quite a phenomenal guy who has conquered a world audience by storm via his YouTubechannel in less than a year.

One of Shankar Tucker’s videos: Sapnon se Bhare Naina, with singer Rohini Ravada

Shankar Tucker plays the clarinet and a handful of other instruments and is interested in Indian Classical music and Indian folk music traditions. He incorporates these different styles with elements of Jazz, Electronic, Classical and Pop in his compositions. He spends a lot of time in India, where he studies Hindustani music on clarinet with flute-bansuri player Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. So far Shankar Tucker’s channel has featured collaborations with a bunch of great singers, such as Mahesh Vinayakram, Aditya Rao, Rohan Kymal, Vidya and Vandana Iyer and Nirali Kartik.
Here’s a link to the Hindustan Times writing about him in September 2011, a.o. things saying: “(..) a student of flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia at the Brindaban Gurukul in Mumbai, he has picked the clarinet over flute”. And then, so funny what follows: “(..) he disclosed in an interview to an Indian Express that his guru doesn’t even know about his fusion experiments.” :))


The mellifluous voice of Kaushiki Chakrabarty in an ‘old clip’

A beautiful example on YouTube of the mellifluous voice of Kaushiki (Desikan-)Chakrabarty, she must be very young here. Ajoy Chakrabarty – her father and also her guru – explains and plays harmonium. Yogesh Samsi is playing tabla.


7 April 2011: Happy Birthday, Ravi Shankar !

Oceanic – Part 1, a beautiful, atmospheric track of Anoushka playing a sitar-duet with her father. Really touching. When I publish this message, it’s 7 April 2011, Ravi Shankar’s 91st birthday. Happy Birthday, Pandit ! 🙂


Film ‘Raga Unveiled’ sheds light on history and essence of the Hindustani classical musical system

The ambitious film Raga Unveiled, taking a look at the history and essence of the Hindustani classical musical system, has received a lot of praise. Will be screened on Sunday evening, 10 April 2011 at King’s Place in London, as a prelude to the Darbar Festival 2011, on 21 – 24 April 2011, at the same location. Here’s from YouTube a video to promote the film:


Raga playing on a piano? I don’t think so.

Watch the video below and ask yourself: is this raga-playing? I don’t think so. No ‘wavy notes’ here, a ‘first requirement’ in raga music. How to really expose a raag’s melodic material in detail if you can’t bend the notes in order to reveal the raag’s mood and character in all its nuances? And running parallel to this problem of execution is the tuning and scale-problem. Only a limited number of ragas is candidate for being ‘adapted’ to the piano. Otherwise: Utsav Lal is definitely very talented and I admire his playing and musical efforts.


Kala Ramnath: excerpts from ‘All in one bow’ (2006)

Excerpts from my short film ‘All in one bow – de streken van Kala Ramnath’ (17min.), about Mewati-gharana violinist Kala Ramnath, filmed in september 2005 at my place in Amsterdam. I hope to rework this material (playing and interview) and combine it with other material of Kala’s playing that I shot in 2006, a full concert in Utrecht and a workshop in Rotterdam.


PRE-LAUNCH new album Kaushiki Chakrabarty in Wereldmineralen Sat. 8 November 2008

cover Live at Saptak Festival
On Saturday 8 november 2008 my monthly edition of Radio 6-saturday morning programme Wereldmineralen features a WORLD PREMIERE broadcast of Kaushiki Chakrabarty‘s new album Live at Saptak Festival. The Sense World Music label recorded her concert at the prestigious Continue reading

Gharana, 31 October 2008: fabulous raga music in Amsterdam India Festival-preview

From 12 to 30 november 2008 the Concertgebouw and a number of other cultural venues in Amsterdam organise a spectacular festival devoted to India, The Amsterdam India Festival.


On Friday 31 october 2008 my radio programme Gharana on Indian classical music previews the festival’s musical programme by having a look at the scheduled ragaconcerts with dutch musicologist Joep Bor, an internationally acclaimed researcher in the field of raga music. I interview him Continue reading

Hidden gem Lenneke van Staalen performs in Van Gogh Museum (24 oct.), Noorderkerk (15 nov.) and Concertgebouw (23 nov.)

Lenneke van Staalen in a performance on Dutch national televison, May 2008
Lenneke van Staalen

As part of the upcoming Amsterdam India Festival in november, the Van Gogh Museum features an exhibition of Indian miniatures, from 17 October 2008 to 4 January 2009. Therefore some of the regular friday night concerts in the Van Gogh Museum are focusing on Indian Classical Music. The concert on friday 24 October features dutch musician Lenneke van Staalen, a well hidden gem on Continue reading