Shiraz Ali Khan - Lead Musician (Sarode):
A budding talent of the present generation, Shiraz is making a sincere attempt to carry on the lineage of the prestigious Maihar Gharana. With towering background as the great grandson of legendary Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan, grandson of Late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and son of Late Dhyanesh Khan, Shiraz is determined and rooted to break his way through the music circuit as a humble sarode player.
Shiraz’s training on sarode began as a young child of five, his father being his first guru. This training saw an abrupt end due to the untimely death of his father. His training then continued with his grandfather, Late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, his uncle Ustad Aashish Khan and his aunt Smt Ameena Perera. At the tender age of 8, he also started his tabla taalim under the guidance of Pandit Shankar Ghosh but eventually decided to continue with the sarode.
Shiraz's first solo sarode recital in public was at the age of fifteen, in the year 2000, at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata. He performed at the Baba Alauddin Khan Sangeet Samaroh in Maihar, Madhya Pradesh in February, 2003; and twice in the Allauddin Khan Sammelan in Kolkata to commemorate his great grandfather, and at the 58th Annual Session of Dover Lane Music Conference 2010.
As a teenager, he started experimenting with introducing influences to classical compositions which explains the birth of a fusion band, Indian Blue, in 2002. Being the lead player for his band gives him the freedom to orchestrate compositions that create a new genre. He is instrumental in taking his band beyond the comforts of their home city.
Dishari Chakraborty (Santoor):
Dishari is one of the founding members of Indian Blue and an upcoming santoor soloist who is equally trained in western classical music. He successfully brews a concoction of melodies and rhythm with his soothing tunes. His santoor recitals sparkle with intense melodiousness and rich delineations, bringing out the depth and the true spirit of every raag. Judicious balance of the dhrupad gayaki and the veenkari elements reveal his unswerving focus on musical form and beauty.
Dishari’s first lessons on the basics of music came from his mother; Ananya Chakraborty. He started learning santoor under the guidance of late Prof Dhyanesh Khan. Later, it was his guru’s elder brother Ustad Aashish Khan and sister Smt. Ameena Perera, who took great take care of his taleem. Such was his promise that he was granted a Scholarship by the Government of India at the age of 10.
His first broadcast was a solo performance at the age of 12 as a guest artist in All India Radio, Kolkata.
He has been honored with the following awards:
- International Award from Norway (OSLO)
- Critics’ acknowledgments as the first youngest Indian classical artist, and an honor of an international award in the year 1993.
- An UNO Platinum Coin in the celebration of 50 years, held in Korea.
Arindam Bhattacharya (Classical and Regional Vocals):
Son of Pt. Swaraj Bhattacharya, a leading tabla maestro and the torch bearer of Lucknow Gharana (School of Music), Arindam is an Indian Classical musician trained in the Hindustani music tradition. He predominantly belongs to the Kirana gharana and is influenced by the Patiala gharana.
Shri Ranjan Mukherjee, disciple of the eminent classical vocalist Pandit Manas Chakraborty, has trained Arindam. His dedication to the field of music saw him earn the National Scholarship by Ministry of Education, Govt. of India.
Arindam has performed in several music festivals and programmes.
Among the many awards that he has received, the ones that are worth mentioning are:
- Gold Medal from R.B.U
- Sangitacharya Girijashankar Chakraborty Prize by R.B.U
- Nirod Baron Memorial Prize by R.B.U
- Acharya Uday Bhusan Bhattacharya Smrity Puraskar by R.B.U
- Bijon Ghosh Dostidar Gold Medal by R.B.U
- Divisional Railway Manager’s Award for coordinating the musical programmes as a Coordinator, Divisional Cultural Association.
Debjeet Ghosh ( English Vocals):
Debjeet started learning Rabindra Sangeet as a child from his father Sri Swapan Kumar Ghosh and received formal training from Dakshinee School of music. He also learned from Pt. Sumanta Sarkar. He received Abhigyan Patra from Dakshinee, Kolkata. He is self-taught on acoustic rock and classics.
He has derived influences from RHCP, John Mayer, Mr. Big, The Beatles, Doobie Brothers, Pandit Jasraj, Eastern classical, funk, and alternative music.
Debjeet has won solo singing competitions in school and college. He has also sung for movies under music director Gautam Ghose and Pt. Tejendra Narayan. His live performances include his performances at All India Radio FM Rainbow. He has appeared for shows like Take a Break live under Tara Muzik. Besides singing, Debjeet can also play the acoustic guitar.
Santanu Borah (Rhythm Guitar):
Santanu is a guitarist by profession and he mainly plays the acoustic and the electric guitar. His initial training started in 1996 on the electric guitar with his guru, Krishna Dulal Baruah, manoeuvring his music career.
He is presently mentored by Guru Amit Dutta and Krishna Dulal Baruah. Santanu can play some of the Assamese folk instruments like the Tokari, Bor Taal, Doba, Negera, Khuti Taal and Pepa.
Santanu is influenced by Indian classical and Indian traditional folk music. Inspired by eminent musicians like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John Petrucci, he plays fusion music along with rock, jazz and blues.
He had received the second prize in All-Assam guitar recital competition organised by Rudra Baruah Sangeet Academy on Puronigudam, Nagaon, Assam. He has also participated in a reality TV series called Idea Rocks.
Ronodeep Bose (Electric Guitar):
A founding member of Indian Blue, a guitarist and composer, Ronodeep is an avid music lover. His passion for music saw him pick up his first set of strings at the age of 14. His brilliant strumming got him his first stage performance at the age of 15. He is a young and carefree guitarist, armed with a boyish grin and a devil-may-care attitude.
When on his Spanish Guitar, he commands a great deal of attention which clearly explains his focus on carving out a career in music. John Petrucci, John Mayer, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Steve Moore, Amit Dutta and Sumit Ramachandran are his inspirations and influences.
He plays mostly Indian Classical Music, Classic Rocks and Blues with notable performances at Kolkata, Sikkim, Guwahati, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi. He has composed and played music in a student film commercial.
Avijit Sarkar (Drums):
A skillful performer who believes in originality, Avijit started exhibiting his love for music with an acoustic guitar. However, his love for music moved from melody to rhythm and Avijit took to drumming at the age of 20 and never looked back since.
Drumming was a naïve art for Avijit till a formal pedagogy from Gaurav Chatterjee. A skilled percussionist, Avijit is at ease with playing the tabla, djembe, conga, thumba, roto and Indian percussions like the thomok, khanjari and dubki. He has drummed his way across various cities for popular bands. He is presently working with Roland Pro as a demonstrator for percussion.
Ranjan De (Tabla/Dholak):
A disciple of Ustad Sabir Khan, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Pandit Tanmoy Bose. Ranjan started learning the table at the age of 17. His first performance was at the age of 20. He has represented India in England (Luton Carnival, Canary Wharf Regeneration festival) along with other percussionists in May 2009.
Ranjan took part as a Bangla dhol player in the US tour of Masters of Percussion, with Ustad Zakir Hussian Khan. This was a prestigious performance for him as he played with some notable musicians like Ustad Taufiq Quereshi, Pandit Kumaresh, Pandit Ganesh, Pandit Sridhar Parthasarathy, Sri Navin Sharma, Ustad Sabir Khan (sarangi) and Motilal dhakis of Sri Gokul Chandra Das. On the same tour, he played in 18 concerts across the United States of America.
Some of them are the Herbst Theatre of San Francisco Jazz festival, Rose Theatre of Jazz, Lincoln Centre in New York, Farguson Hall, Rialto Theatre of Atlanta, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Concert Hall in Amherst MA, Barklee Performance Centre in Boston, Spaulding Auditorium in Dartmouth and Bailey Hall in Ethaca.
Presently, he is working with the Bangla dhol in a new style and in different forms. Ranjan performs with the musical band called Indian Blue, lead by Shiraz Ali Khan, who is the grandson of Legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Shovon Mukherjee (Bass Guitar):
Shovon is a self-taught, prolific young bass player.He has taken informal training on music from virtuoso guitar player Amit Datta, famed fusion bass player Mainak Nag Chowdhury and renowned Classical guitarist Biplab Singh. He is also trained on his Double Bass and Cello training from Abraham Mazumdar (Conductor) and Anubroto Ghatak (Concert Master) of the L'Atelier de Musique Chamber Orchestra.
He learned the Afro-Cuban/ Brazilian music from interactive sessions and extensive playing with Conguero and Latin Percussion maestro Monojit Datta. Regular musical interaction and creative exploration with contemporary musicians like Aditya Shankar (Guitar), Nilanjan Ghosh (Tabla) and Srinjay Banerjee (Guitar) has been a great source of knowledge and learning for Shovon.
Shovon has performed and toured both nationally and internationally with highly acclaimed musicians in a diverse array of jazz, rock and fusion ensembles.
He has also performed as a part of Abraham Mazumdar’s L’Atelier de Musique chamber music orchestra. He has recently played at the 2011 Java Jazz Fest with Latin-jazz outfit, Los Amigos.
His repertoire consists of styles ranging from Indian Classical, Western Classical, Blues, Funk, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Motown, R&B, Reggae, Pop, Rock, Metal, Hip-Hop, Modern Jazz, Swing, Latin Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Bebop, Avant Garde and Various forms of World Folk, Dance, Electronica, Experimental. His primary influences are Jaco Pastorious, John Coltrane, John McLaughlin, John Patitucci and Victor Wooten.
He is presently a Representative at the Indian Music Conference, Goa and also conducts concerts in collaboration with Mohammed Dordoh (Percussionist, U.K.), Tadao Ishihama (Japanese Sitar Exponent), Sebastian Haidutschek (Assorted Percussions, Austria) and Arif Khan (Tabla).
Some of his notable performances are in the following venues:
- 2011 Jakarta International Jazz Fest (JAVA JAZZ '11), Indonesia, along with the world's greatest musicians like Santana, George Benson, George Duke, Dennis Chambers, Roy Hargrove, Joey DeFrancesco, Steve Smith, Eric Marienthal, Corinne Bailey Rae, Zap Mama and many more.
- The India Festival in Den Haag, The Netherlands at The Royal Opera House, a concert organized by the Dutch Royal family.
- The French Consul-General of India with L'Atelier de Musique (Chamber Music Orchestra).
- Live T.V. recordings with Ustad Raza Ali Khan, the grandson of Late Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.