Music kindles love and infuses hope. It has countless voices and instruments. It elevates, inspires, strengthens, and invigorates… Music melts the hardest hearts… If at all there is anything in this world which can change the heart of a man in a very quick time, that is music and dance.
— Swami Sivananda, Bliss Divine
Join us for an uplifting and inspirational experience of classical Indian music and dance, as renowned masters come together to share with us their musical gifts and messages. This is a rare opportunity to listen to and watch masters of classical Indian music and dance, who have practiced all their life and obtained perfection, each on their own instrument.
Come be inspired by the unique sounds and rhythms of Indian music and experience music as a doorway to the harmony, love, and hope in our hearts.
Rachna Bodas is an accomplished Hindustani Classical Vocalist endowed with a vibrant voice. Rachna was born in a family where music was always around. She displayed a keen interest in music as a child and was encouraged by her father Shri Ravi Shankar Shukla, an accomplished tabla player in Kanpur.
Her musical journey started under the guidance of the late Pt. Kashinath Shankar Bodas in 1992. She was introduced to the basics of gayaki and soulful bhajans from him. Later she learned the depth of Khyal Gayaki and art of performing from eminent vocalist Dr. Veena Sahasrabuddhe.
Rachna holds an academic degree in Music and English. Besides performing, Rachna also has a zeal to teach aspiring students interested in music.
Vishal Nagar truly is one of the most gifted Tabla musicians of his generation. Rhythmic creativity and a strong emotional connection with his music contribute to Vishal’s admiration as a performer among dancers, vocalists, and instrumentalists alike. Also a dynamic soloist, he has been one of the youngest Indian musicians to perform at the WOMAD music festival, World Rhythm Festival, and Bumbershoot to mention a few. Son of the renowned Kathak danseuse and vocalist Vidushi Urmila Nagar, Vishal was trained under his mother, the late Ustad Latif Khan, and Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan. A vibrant performer, Vishal is also a highly sought after and dedicated educator based out of New Delhi and San Francisco Bay Area who continues to perform and teach in India, the US, and abroad while serving as an ambassador of Tabla.
Niharika Mohanty, resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a leading Odissi dancer in the West as a prominent disciple of legendary Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra. Niharika was raised in Canada, but she took to Odissi dance at the tender age of five. Today, Niharika continues refining her dance under the two torch-bearers of Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s style – Guru Ratikant and Guru Sujata Mohapatra. Niharika also holds an MA in Dance and has received several grants and awards for training, performance, and choreography. Niharika has been honored in 2019 as a Mosaic Silicon Valley Fellow for commitment to artistic excellence and strengthening community through multicultural arts. She relishes working on cross-cultural collaborative projects.
Suhail Yusuf, a musician and academic, grew up in New Delhi. Continuing the family tradition, Suhail draws from a rich musical heritage as an eighth-generation sarangi player.
At the age of seven, Suhail started learning to play the sarangi under the tutelage of his Uncle and his Grandfather, in the ‘Guru-Shishya Parampara’ (the Traditional Indian Schooling method of imparting of knowledge from the Guru “teacher” to the Shishya “student’). Suhail gave his first live performance at the age of 11 and has extensively toured across South Asia, East Asia, the Middle-East, North and South Africa, Europe, the U.K., and the U.S.A.
Suhail is a multifaceted instrumentalist and vocalist and is also a composer and singer/songwriter. His versatility extends to varied genres of music, from Hindustani Classical Music to contemporary Rock Fusion, Jazz Fusion, World Music, Folk Music, and Experimental Music. The British Council, New Delhi, appointed Suhail Cultural Ambassador from India to the U.K. in 2013-2014. Suhail was awarded the M.A. in Music from Wesleyan University (USA) in 2018 and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology in this Music Department.
Dr. Pavan, Ph.D., based in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, is a Tabla player and teacher. He initially trained in Tabla under Sri G. Laxmiah and has studied with several masters over the years. He presently trains with Sri Rajendra Nakod and Ustad Shabbir Nisar, the illustrious son and disciple of the Tabla legend Ustad Shaik Dawood Khan. He has performed for Katha Dance Theater, Pangea World Theater, and Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM) in several productions and concerts. Pavan also appears on recordings of world/fusion music with many Minnesota based artists. Pavan co-composed and performed with Nirmala Rajasekar, Minnesota based Veena artist, the score for Pangea World Theater’s production “Partitions” in 2002, and the score for “5 Weeks” in 2017 with Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan, his wife, who is a Hindustani vocalist, teacher and composer.
Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan is a Hindustani classical vocalist, composer, teacher and scholar. Growing up in an environment of music and theater, she developed a deep interest in composing music to verses in Hindi and Urdu. The versatility in Pooja’s repertoire is evident in her ability to sing Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, Bhajan, Sufiana Kalam and folk genres such as the Hori, Chaiti & Kajri besides the Khayal. Pooja was trained in Hindustani music by Pandit Surendra Goswami, Professor Ajit Singh Paintal and continues her advanced training in Khayal with her brother Professor Shailendra Goswami. She has also been trained in semi-classical music by the eminent vocalist Vidushi Shanti Hiranand. Pooja received a Ph.D. in Indian Classical Music from the University of Delhi.
Vocal Concert | Puja Goswami and A Pavan
Oddissi Dance Performance | Niharika Mohanty
Sarangi concert | Suhail Yusuf Khan and Vishal Nagar
Vocal Concert | Rachna Bodas and Vishal Nagar