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Harvard Sangeet Presents Pandit Jasraj

Ranjani Saigal

Founded in response to the steadily growing number of remarkable South Asian musical talents and enthusiasts on campus, Sangeet a South Asian musical organization on Harvard campus was established. The mission is two-fold: to usher South Asian music to its deserved place among the other cultural and artistic establishments at Harvard, and to forge a legacy at the intercollegiate and global levels, establishing Harvard as the premier seat of South Asian musical leadership, prominence and excellence.

Devoted to all aspects of South Asian musical performance and scholarship, Sangeet's activities include themed jam sessions, study breaks, bhajan workshops, karaoke nights, concert field trips, antaksharis, fusion opportunities and campus-wide performances, interspersed with major one-of-a-kind events including lecture-demonstrations with visiting maestros, intercollegiate conferences, grand musical productions and more. In addition, Sangeet is also proud to offer a music school through which members of the Harvard community can pursue vocal, instrumental and percussion lessons in the various genres of South Asian music.

Office bearers of Sangeet are talented musicians who have learnt music from great Gurus. The Co-Presidents Vasanthi Sridhar and Samir Rao are Carnatic Vocalists. Samir Rao is a student first of Smt. Padma Sundar and now Sri Madurai R. Sundar. Treasurer Ramya Parthasarathy is an aspiring veena player, having learned under Sri Srikanth Chary for the past few years.  She also is an accomplished Bharata Natyam dancer, having trained in the Vazhavoor style under Smt. Vidhya Subramanian.  Design chair Momin Malik  is studying sitar in the gharana of Sharif Khan Poonchwaley with Ustad Saleem Khan, and has begun learning dhrupad from Ustad Hafeez Khan of the Talwandi Gharana. Many other office bearers have expertise in other genres of music as well.   While music is a serious hobby ,  most of them are non-music majors.

“Harvard Sangeet, is devoted to all the various aspects of South Asian musical performance and scholarship. Over the past year, the group has grown exponentially and has become recognized as a mainstay of music and South Asian culture on campus” says Vasanthi Sridhar. “Amongst other things, we've managed to bring many top artists of repute on campus, start up a comprehensive on-campus music school, and overall establish a vibrant music scene that is patronized not only by students, but of late, by a growing number of people from the greater Boston community as well. In all this, we've been fortunate enough to have our efforts recognized by entities ranging from senior Harvard administration itself, to Kalki magazine in India! Thus, it's been a dizzying experience, but a most rewarding one too!” says Sridhar.

The have an exciting fall line-up of major performances. The inaugural concert features none other than the contemporary doyen of North Indian vocal music, Pandit Jasraj with expert accompanists Anuradha Pal on tabla, Rajendra Vaishampayan on Harmonium and Sougata Banerjee providing vocal support.  A benefit concert, Sangeet will be using the proceeds to promote South Asian music in a new and trailblazing manner!

The event will be held at the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Date: Sunday Sept 24, 2006

Time: 5:30 pm

Cost: Harvard Students: $3
General Public: $7

Web: www.HarvardSangeet.org/jasraj.html
Email: HarvardSangeet@gmail.org

Sangeet welcomes the community at large to listen to this great performer in the beautiful Sanders theater.


About the artists:

PANDIT JASRAJ --- The contemporary doyen of North Indian vocal music, Pandit Jasraj needs little introduction. Endowed with a rich, soulful and sonorous voice which traverses effortlessly over three and a half octaves, Panditji has enthralled audiences all across the globe for six decades now. Panditji's vocalising is characterised by perfect diction, clarity in sur (pitch) and tunefulness, complete mastery of laya (rhythm), felicitous choice of composition, and an inimitable intertwining of notes with lyrics that evokes the desired mood and feeling.

ANURADHA PAL --- The first and only female professional Tabla player in the world, Anuradha Pal has been internationally acclaimed as an accomplished soloist and a versatile and sought after accompanist. A disciple of the World-renowned Tabla maestro's, Late Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, Anuradha has performed extensively in India, USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Japan and the far- east with top ranking musicians like Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shahid Parvez, Sultan Khan, and Smt Veena Sahasrabuddhe amongst others.

RAJENDRA VAISHAMPAYAN --- Rajendra Started learning Tabla at the age of five. About twelve years thereafter, he came in contact with Pandit Manohar Chimote - who improved the harmonium to play solo performances, created his own style of playing and renamed the instrument as 'Samvadini'. Rajendra's mission is to continue popularizing Samvadini as solo performing instrument, an initiative which his Guru adopted as his life mission. He has toured India and United States for solo performances of Samvadini, and has had the privilege of accompanying his Guru in various concerts on Samvadini. He has also had the honor of accompanying various acclaimed artistes worldwide.
SOUGATA BANERJEE - Hailing from the rich and glorious heritage of the Bishnupur Gharana, Sougata Banerjee, was very fortunate to start his training at an early age under the able tutelage of his illustrious grandfather, the late Sangeetacharya Satya Kinkar Bandhopadhyay, the doyen of this Gharana. His "talim" continued under his uncle, Dr. Amiya Ranjan Bandopadhyay, and then his father, Sri Nihar Ranjan Bandopadhyay, both of whom are "A" grade artists and professors at the Rabindra Bharati University in Calcutta. At present, he is indeed fortunate to receive his advance training under Padma Vibhushan Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj.


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