JULY 8: ASHADI EKADASHI - A FULL DAY OF MUSIC

The following day was a veritable treat for music lovers. We were treated to high quality Indian classical music fare, both in the morning and in the evening, by musicians from the state of Maharashtra as a continuation of the Ashadi Ekadashi celebrations from the previous day. In the morning we had a Carnatic vocal concert by Sri Krishnamurthy, a Music Director, vocalist, flautist, percussionist and a pianist hailing from Mumbai. After this presentation we had further excellent musical treats in store in the afternoon with an instrumental music performance followed by a Ms. Richa Sharma concert.

The Morning Programme

Sri Krishnamurthy is not only a music director of repute but is a rare breed of musician who is not only adept at playing the flute, the piano and percussion but also penning lyrics in Indian languages and Sanskrit. He has toured the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and the gulf countries and has commanded great respect for all his musical works.

Sri Krishnamurthy combines youthful zest, a firm grounding in classical music with progressive expressions to reach out to all music lovers from all parts of the world. Sri Krishnamurthy has released many albums in different genres. His devotional bhajans and flute vocal concerts’ albums have been well received. He also has released many Sai bhajan albums like Sai Prem Avataara, Sai Prem Tarama, Mohan Sai and Sai Amrit.

 
   
Sri Krishnamurthy in Concert

Sri Krishnamurthy sang the vocals while playing the harmonium. He was accompanied by Sri Vinod Sehgal on the flute, Sri Shantanu on the tabla, and Sri Rajesh on the violin.

He sang Swaagatham Krishna (in raag Mohanam), Brochvarevarura (raag Khamas) and a Meera Bhajan Baso Mere and finally Vittala Vere (in raag Janardan Sarum).

Swami made a chain for Sri Krishnamurthy and lovingly put it around his neck. He also manifested a ring for the flute player Sri Vinod Sehgal.

 
A chain for Sri Krishnamurthy
 
A ring for Sri Sehgal

 

 

The Evening Programme

The evening programme was a double header with the first being an instrument medley followed by a vocal concert by the very popular playback singer Ms. Richa Sharma.

The first item was an instrument medley comprising the tihayee (trio) of instruments – the sitar, the sarod and the tabla. Playing on the sarod was Sri Surmani Rajan Vinayak Kulkarni, with Sri Sudhir Phadke on the sitar and Sri Nishikant Barodekar on the tabla.

The Instrument Concert
   

 

Sri Kulkarni received his first music training under his father the Late Pt. Vinayakrao Kulkarni and his uncle the late Pt. Raghunathrao Kulkarni from the age of 2. Initially he trained on the tabla till the age of 17 and had accompanied top musicians all over India.

Attracted to the deep tonal quality of the sarod, at the age of 18, his interests shifted. In 1978, he became the disciple of Pt. Ratnakar Vyas of Mumbai and received formal training in the sarod. In his playing style, he concentrates mainly on the ‘Gayaki Ang’ during the ‘Alap’ and ‘Jod’ but shifts to instrumental style when the tabla picks up. He has had a distinguished career playing for All India Radio and Doordarshan, as well as making music for television serials, ballets, documentary films and advertisements.

 
   
Swami giving a ring to Sri Kulkarni

 

 

The sitarist Sri Sudhir Phadke was born in Pune, Maharashtra in a musical family where his father used to conduct sitar and vocal classes. Sri Phadke thus began his initial lessons with his father.

Later he was accepted as a student by the great sitarist Smt. Annapurna devi (sister of Ust. Ali Akbar Khan and the wife of Pt. Ravishankar), under whom artistes like Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia are still learning.

Sudhir has performed in all the major festivals in the country and has been to the USA, S. Africa, and Dubai fro concerts. He also has several music albums to his credit and regularly performs for All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Sri Sudhir Phadke in full flow
   

The young tabla player, Nishikant Barodekar began imbibing Indian classical Music from his grandmother, the legendary vocalist Smt. Hirabai Barodekar, and under the initial guidance from the veteran musician Ust. Ghulam Rasool Khan, Nishikant began his tabla lessons and after 7 years of training with his guru mastered the intricacies of the Delhigharana style of table and was awarded the national Scholarship for the years 1979 and 1980. Since 1982, Nishikant has been a traditional ‘Ganda-Bandh-Shagird’ of the world renowned tabla maestro Ustad Alla Rakha.

Under the keen tutelage of the Ustad of the Punjab Gharana and an abundant training in the traditional percussion style from the maestro’s eldest son, the genius Sri Zakir Hussain, Nishikant has developed a style that is distinguished for a fine sense of rhythm, versatility and eloquence. Nishikant has performed with artists like Ust. Vilayat Khan, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, John Maclaughlin, L. Shankar, Ust. Sultan Khan and with Ust. Zakir Hussain.

The ease with which Nishikant accompanies veteran as well as young Indian classical instrumentalists, vocalists, South Indian and Western instrumentalists especially fusion Jazz speaks of the discipline and dedication with which this talented young musician has pursued music. Sri Nishikant is also a visiting faculty with the Sai Mirpuri College of Music and his young students have many a time expressed to us their gratitude for the training that he is giving them.

 
   
Sri Nishikant Barodekar

The trio played two ragas - Hemant and Mishra Pahadi. At the end of the concert Swami made a ring for Sri Kulkarni, the sarod player, to his unabashed astonishment and joy.

 

The next was an absorbing vocal concert by Ms. Richa Sharma. Ms. Richa Sharma today is one of the most respected and talented singers in Bollywood (the Indian version of Hollywood in Mumbai) having worked with almost everybody in the music fraternity. And what sets this young singer apart is her full throated classy voice!

Richa Sharma is the youngest of seven children of a temple priest in Faridabad (Haryana). Her father Pandit Daya Shankar Upadhyaya and mother Manorma Devi taught young Richa the art of singing bhajans, particularly Mata Ke Jagran, which slowly and steadily became Richa’s destiny in the initial years of her life. Under the tutelage of Pandit Aaskaran Sharma, Richa went on to get proper training in Indian classical and light music.

Ms Richa Sharma in concert
   


She made her debut in Bollywood with Sawan Kumar’s SALMA PE DIL AA GAYA in 1996 and followed it up by a number of films until the big hit came by in the form of TAAL where she sang for AR Rahman. Thereafter a spate of hits followed one after the other and today Ms. Richa is riding high on the wave of success. The versatile playback singer has also done quite a few albums to showcase her talent.


 

 
Ms Richa Sharma singing
 
Swami makes a Navarathnas Mala for Ms Richa Sharma

 

 

A small town girl who began life singing at God’s home is today one of Bollywood’s biggest success stories. And the wheel has come full circle for after striking it rich she came today to sing again in God’s home in the divine presence of God Himself! And Swami showed His appreciation by manifesting a navarathna mala for her at the end of her concert.

Ms. Richa Sharma was accompanied by Sri Narasiha Kulkarni on the harmonium, Sri Vinod Sehgal on the flute, Rakesh on the tabla and Sri Lala Ram on the dholak. The chorus singers were Mrs. Thanu Pandit, Ms. Jyothi, Sri Rajesh Sharma, Sri Vinu, Sri Yogesh, Sri Ashok and Sri Shishunath.Ms. Richa Sharma sang 4 songs that evening – Dham Dham Mast Kalandar, Meera Kahe, Chap Tilak, and the bhajan Sai Baba Tera Naam.


Sourced:

http://media.radiosai.org/Journals/Vol_04/01AUG06/Prasanthi-Diary.htm

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