Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri & Ustad Aashish Khan Perform at REDCAT, 4/3

Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri & Ustad Aashish Khan Perform at REDCAT, 4/3

Saturday, April 3 | 8:30pm
REDCAT | Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater
631 W Second Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets: $20 [Students $16]
213-237-2800 or

REDCAT presents an evening of Hindustani classical music featuring Sarod master Ustad Aashish Khan and celebrated tabla exponent Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri on April 3, 2010 in the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater. Curtain for the performance is 8:30 pm.

Led by celebrated tabla exponent Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, the 12-piece CalArts Tabla Ensemble launches this riveting exploration of North Indian music with an original composition by the pandit. The piece, set to a 16-beat cycle (tintal), develops from one sound, one bol-Na, into a kaleidoscope of phrases and approaches drawn from the vast repertoire of music for Hindustani tabla, folk to classical, traditional to contemporary.

The ensemble's performance is followed by a set of exquisite classical duos by Chaudhuri and sarod master Ustad Aashish Khan during which the artists announce raag and taal, the melodic and rhythmic foundations of Indian musical forms, from the stage.


Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri is a phenomenon in the arena of Indian classical music. Musicians honor him as one of the most highly respected tabla players. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award from the Government of India, and the American Academy of Artists Award, both of which are reserved for those artists who have attained the highest level of artistry. He has received the Excellence in Performing Arts Award from the Global Indian Congress in San Francisco, and has been nominated to the esteemed International Percussive Arts Society's Hall of Fame.

Swapan started learning tabla at the age of five. He bases his style on the intensive training he received from his guru, the late Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas of Calcutta, the eminent exponent of the Lucknow Gharana. He holds a Master's degree in music and has been conferred honors for his distinguished contributions in the field of tabla by various academic and musical institutions. He also holds a Degree in Economics from Jadhavpur University, Calcutta.

As a soloist and accompanist Swapan has traveled throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia accompanying maestros such as Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, the late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Dr. Balmurli Krishna, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Dr. L. Subramaniam, and Pandit V.G. Jog as well as other eminent artists. In addition, he has produced numerous recordings, including his own Tabla solos and videotapes, and has appeared extensively on television and radio. Two records, Legacy (1997) and Passing on the Tradition (1998), on which Swapan collaborated with Asha Bhosle and Ali Akbar Khan, were nominated for Grammy awards.

Swapan's music reaches beyond the scope of Indian music to include performances and recordings with musicians such as Stevie Wonder, L. Shankar, Mark O'Connor, John Handy, Larry Coryell, John Santos, the reputed Persian musicians Alizade and Kayhan Kalhor, the African drum master, Malenga, and the renowned guitarists, Vlatko Stefanovski and Miroslav Tadic. He has participated in many International Music Festivals such as Bath, Perth, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, San Francisco, Kuala Lampur, Stuttgart and Berlin. He has composed for several percussion ensembles that have received tremendous appreciation from Western as well as Indian audiences. He is associated with various American and European universities as a visiting professor.

Swapan Chaudhuri has held the position as Director of Percussion at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California and in Basel, Switzerland, where students from all over the world receive intensive training in tabla. He is also the Department Chairperson for the World Music Department at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Swapan maintains a rigorous touring and recording schedule throughout the year.

Aashish Khan is considered among the top handful of India's greatest living sarod players. He was initiated into North Indian classical music at the age of five by his grandfather, the legendary Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan, exponent of the "Senia Beenkar" and "Senia Rababiya" Gharana. His talim (training) continued under the guidance of his father Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and his aunt, Smt. Annapurna Devi, presently the leading exponents of the "Senia Gharana," in the Beenkar and Rababiya anga of the Druvapada style. Aashish gave his first public performance at the age of 13, with his grandfather, on the All Indian Radio National Program, New Delhi, and in the same year, performed with his father and his grandfather at the Tansen Music Conference, Calcutta.

Besides his virtuosity as a traditional sarodist, Aashish was a pioneer in the establishment of world music genera, as founder of the Indo-American musical group Shanti in 1969/70 and later, the fusion group, The Third Eye; he was the first to compose a Sarod Concerto in "raga" form. In 1989, Aashish was appointed to the prestigious post of the Composer and Conductor for the National Orchestra (Vadya Vrinda) of All India Radio, New Delhi, succeeding such musical stalwarts as Pandit Ravi Shankar and Pandit Pannalal Ghosh.

With Pandit Rave Shankar, he has worked on many musical products for both film and stage, including Satyajit Ray's Apur Sangsar, Parash Pathar and Sir Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi. ?He has also worked with Maurice Jarre on John Houston's film The Man Who Would be King, David Lean's A Passage to India, and composed the music for Tapan Sinha's films, Joturgriha and Aadmi Aurat.

Aashish has collaborated with such diverse western musicians as John Barham, George Harrison, Ringo Star, Eric Clapton, Charles Lloyd, John Handy, Alice Coltrane, Emil Richards, Dallas Smith, Don Pope, Jorge Strunz, Ardeshir Farah, and the Philadelphia String Quartet.?His recordings include: The Wonder Wall, Young Master of the Sarod, California Concert, Sarod and Piano Jugalbandi, Shanti, Live at the Royal FestivAl Hall London, Homage, Inner Voyage, Monsoon Ragas, The Sound of Mughal Court, and the latest, Jugalbandi Sarod & Sarangi Duet, with Ustad Sultan Khan.

Aashish Khan is a respected guru and teacher. While pursuing a busy career as a concert artist and composer, he teaches students throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Africa, as well as India, and is on the faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.

Opened by CalArts in 2003, REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) introduces diverse audiences, students and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT is the newest partner in an international network of adventurous art and performance centers, which together are playing a vital role in the evolution of contemporary culture. REDCAT is a center for experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse. For more information, visit


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