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Gaan Sammelan To Be Presented By Learnquest Academy

Suchita Rao

Learnquest Academy in cooperation with Harvard Sangeet will present a two day vocal music festival starting on Friday evening, October 3, 2008 at 7:30 pm with a vocal recital by famous Carnatic sister duo Ranjani-Gayatri. The next day, Saturday, October 4, 2008 will feature six acclaimed Hindustani vocalists between 10:30A.M and 10:30p.m. The venue will be Penthouse performance hall in Hilles Library located on 59 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA.

Learnquest Academy of Music has been hosting Gaan Sammelan for the past two years in a row. The highlight of this year’s presentation is the addition of a Carnatic vocal segment to the vocal music program. Ranjani-Gayatri will open this year’s Carnatic vocal segment. The sisters started their musical career as violinists and have emerged into a notable pair as vocalists. Their music, imbued with a deep and abiding classicism, has been described as an exhilarating blend of vitality, melody and emotion. Endowed with strong and pliant voices, the sisters have a striking style of their own, which has won the hearts of the traditionalists and the lay rasikas as well.

The all-day fare on Saturday, October 4 features vocalists such as Pandit Parameshwar Hegde, a disciple of the legendary Pandit Basavraj Rajguru. Tonal purity, sweetness of sound, brilliant taans and bol layakari (rhythmic play of lyrics) are key features of his style.  His style reflects aspects of Gwalior, Kirana and Patiala gharanas.

Manjusha Kulkarni-Patil will be one of the younger vocalists who will sing at the Gaan Sammelan. She has performed extensively in India and UAE. Her training began with Pt. Chintubua Mhaiskar, and she subsequently received rigorous training under Pt. Kanebua Ichalkaranji.

Hemant Pendse, a premiere disciple of Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, will be another featured artist. A Hindustani classical vocalist of high caliber with influence of Jaipur-Agra gharana, Hemant Pendse lived with Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki for 12 years imbibing invaluable training from his guru in a true guru-shishya tradition. Besides traditional hindustani classical music, he is also a practitioner of his guru’s legendary contributions to semi-classical music forms such as Marathi Natya Sangeet, Abhanga, Bhajans and Bhavageet.

Hemang Mehta, a young award winning vocalist from Pune and a disciple of Guru Sri Chandrashekhar Swamy and renowned vocalist Pandit Jasraj of Mewati Gharana is another artist who will participate in Gaan Sammelan. With rigorous training and untiring “riyaz” from a tender age of nine, Hemang has developed a style that is highly emotive and communicative.

Aparna Gurav, a rising star in Hindustani vocal music will present Khayaal music in the tradition of Gwalior Gharana. Having learned the fundamentals of Classical music for fifteen years under the able tutelage of Dr.Sudha Patwardhan, she received her further training from the renowned vocalist Dr.Veena Sahasrabuddhe.  Aparna has accompanied her Guru Veena-ji on several occasions. Dr.Vikas Kashalkar, a well known Gwalior Gharana vocalist has also taught Aparna fine nuances of music which have helped her refine her talents.

Pandit Narayan Bhattacharya hailing from Kolkata and who has performed widely in India, Bangladesh and Europe will also participate in the Gaan Sammelan. He received his training in vocal music from Ustad Sagiruddin Khan, Pandit Dinanath Mishra and Pt. Jagdish Prasad.  As a Hindustani classical vocalist his repertoire includes not only Khayal and Thumri, but also Bhajans, Ghazals and Nazrulgeeti.

With six non-stop Hindustani Vocal Music performances and one Carnatic Vocal performance presented in a short span of two days , Gaan Sammelan promises to be a great treat for lovers of Indian Vocal Music.

LearnQuest may be contacted at 781-891-8535 or via email at events@learnquest.org.

Harvard Sangeet may be contacted at 443-540-9417 or via email at harvardsangeet@gmail.com

Tickets for the event will be available online at www.lokvani.com/GS08 and www.maayboli.com/tickets

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Hemang Mehta

Aparna Gaurav

Hemant Pendse

Parag Hegde


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