Rakesh Chaurasia, nephew and student of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, left the audience breathless with his mastery of the flute on Saturday, Day 7 of the Saptak Music Festival at LD Arts College, Ahmedabad. He was accompanied by young Yeshwant Vaishnav on the tabla. Clad in a blue kurta with gold embroidery, the flautist played Raag Jog.
After the main Raag, Pandit Chaurasia happily asked the audience what they would like to hear and there were a number of requests called out by the appreciative crowd. The flautist prudently chose to go with a request from Saptak co-founder Vidushi Manju Mehta.
The first performance of the evening was by Manjusha Patil, accompanied by Prashant Pandav on the tabla and Suyog Kundalkar on harmonium. The 51-year-old vocalist from the Gwalior Gharana, who holds a Master’s degree in music from Kolhapur University and was the winner of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in 2010, performed a very lively version of Raag Bhoopali, followed by Johar Maibaap, an Abhanga in Marathi composed by Keshavrao Patil, which she has popularised widely since bringing it into her repertoire.
The last, much anticipated, performance of the evening was by a trio of tabla players from different gharanas who were playing together for the first time. Saptak has always been big on percussion concerts, since its founder, the late Nandan Mehta, was a tabla maestro himself.
Participating in this grand experiment were Pandit Yogesh Samsi, from the Punjab Gharana, Ustad Akram Khan, from the Ajrada Gharana, and Pandit Sanju Sahai, from the Benares Gharana, accompanied by Ustad Sabir Khan on the tabla and Tanmay Deochake on the harmonium.
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