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North Indian Classical Duet with Amit Kavthekar and Vinay Desai

Sat, Mar 16 @ 7:30 pm

Revised lineup: Santoor maestro Vinay Desai replaces Suhail Khan

First time at the PCA – discover the ancient music that inspired some of John Coltrane’s best work and was made famous by Ravi Shankar at the Monterey Pop and Woodstock festivals. One of the world’s great musical traditions, North Indian or Hindustani music features meditative modal explorations, unusual rhythmic cycles (e.g., 7, 10, 12, and 16 beats), and exciting melodic and rhythmic improvisation freed from conventional western harmony. Presenting will be two of the Northeast’s top Indian classical musicians, Amit Kavthekar on tabla and Vinay Desai on Santoor.

Tabla is the most popular percussion instrument of north Indian music, both as a solo and accompanying instrument. Amit Kavthekar learned the art of tabla from legendary maestro Ustad Alla Rakha, who accompanied Ravi Shankar at both festivals. Amit performs nationally and inspires dozens of students at the New England School of Music.

Santoor is an ancient percussive string instrument with several relatives across the world, including the western hammer-dulcimer. Relatively new to the Indian classical music scene, the santoor has firmly established a prominent stage presence for itself due to the singular contributions of Vinay Desai’s guru, the late legendary master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.

Vinay Desai began his santoor studies under Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s senior disciples Takahiro Arai and Dhananjay Daithankar. He later moved to the USA to learn from Kunal Gunjal. To expand his knowledge in music, Vinay has learnt from various maestros such as the late Pandit Ramesh Mishraji, Parthasarathi Chatterjee, Jay Gandhiji, Suryaksha Deshpandejii, and sits with maestros who come through the Shanti Mandir ashram for performances to expand his knowledge. Vinay also studied directly with Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.

Vinay’s music is influenced by his stay in Ashrams and ancient practices of meditation and yoga. His music is interwoven with the general feeling of peace and stillness interspersed with lively, powerful and rhythmic phrases.

Sample recording of Vinay Desai in Rupak taal, a 7-beat rhythmic cycle divided 3-2-2 

Seating and tickets

The PCA features cafe-style table seating, with a BYO policy. Patrons are encouraged to bring food and drinks for enjoyment during the concert (we suggest avoiding hot spicy items out of consideration for other attendees and musicians).

Tickets: $17 (Members: $15 advance purchase)

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