Aashish Khan is a distinguished sarode artist from India. He comes from a family of notable musicians in the realm of Indian classical music; he is the grandson of Ustad Allauddin Khan (was born in Shibpur, Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh), son of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and nephew of Annapurna Devi. Khan was initiated to North Indian classical music by his grandfather and he continued his training under the guidance of his father and aunt. Apart from a successful career in music as a performer and composer, Khan is also an adjunct professor of Indian classical music at the California Institute of the Arts, and the University of California at Santa Cruz, United States. Ashish Khan is a founding member of the Indo-American musical group, ‘Shanti’, with tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain in 1969, and later with the fusion band ‘The Third Eye’. He has performed extensively in both India and abroad, with numerous distinguished artists which include John Barham, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, and many others. Khan is a recipient of the Fellowship of the Illinois Arts Council, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and a Grammy nomination. He also became the first ever Indian classical maestro to become a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 2007.
Abhijit Banerjee is a renowned tabla artist from India. He began his training under the guidance of Tushar Kanti Bose and later from Manik Pal and is currently a disciples of Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh. Banerjee is the founder of Tarang and a member of the raga jazz group, Arohi Ensemble. Apart from playing the tabla, he also trained as a vocalist and a violinist. Banerjee has accompanied numerous top ranking musicians of Indian classical music, which includes Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Begum Parween Sultana, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, and Dr. Balamurali Krishna, to name a few. He is the recipient of many awards and has extensively toured in India and abroad. Banerjee is also the founder of Dhwani Academy of Percussion in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore and Kolkata.
Abir Hossain was born into a musical family of Burdwan, West Bengal. His father Gulam Emam was his first mentor in music. At the age of 12 he came under the tutelage of sarod maestro Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta. He continues to receive taalim from his Guru, being well on his way to becoming a torch bearer of the Seni-Shajahanpur Gharana. Abir won the National Scholarship of the Government of India in 1997 and the gold medal at the 'Sangeet Prabhakar' examination. He has performed in concerts across India. Currently he is a musician-scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy.
Aditi Mangaldas is a leading classical dancer and choreographer from India, an exponent of Kathak. She trained under the guidance of Kumudini Lakhia and Pandit Birju Maharaj. Unlike most popular Indian classical performers, Mangaldas does not hail from a family of musicians. Instead, as she explained, her desire to dance was born out of an atmosphere of freedom ¬– an ambience where ideas and imaginations were encouraged to flow. Apart from classical disciplines, Mangaldas’s is also known to work with contemporary styles. Her performances are marked by its artistry, technique, eloquence and energy. Mangaldas has toured in India and abroad, and her performances – solo and group ensembles – have received critical acclaim at prestigious shows around the world. She is presently the choreographer and principal dancer of The Drishtikon Dance Foundation.
The son of renowned sitar player Ustad Saeed Khan of Kirana gharana, Adnan started his initial sitar taalim under his grandfather, Late Zafar Ahmed Khan. He has been learning the intricacies of the instrument from his father and is now learning the gayaki ang from his uncle Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan. The talented young Adnan has performed in programmes throughout India including the music festival of Harballav in Jalandhar, and the Kal ke Kalakar in Mumbai. He has become a Junior Scholar at ITC SRA under Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan from December 2009.
Ajay Joglekar is a noted harmonium artist from India. He received guidance from Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and is currently training under Pandit Tulsidas Borkar. Joglekar has toured in India and overseas. He has accompanied many renowned musicians and dancers including Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, Pandit Jasraj, Vidushi Kishori Amonkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Ustad Rashid Khan, Ustad Ghulam Ali, Ustad Zakir Hussain, and Pandit Birju Maharaj. He is also an established music composer and arranger.
Ajinkya Joshi began his training at the age of seven from Shantilal Shah, a senior disciple of tabla maestro Suresh Talwalkar. His parents encouraged him to play the tabla professionally and at sixteen years of age, he moved to Mumbai and underwent intensive training for more than ten years from Suresh Talwalkar. His awards include the National Scholarship for young artistes by the Government of India and the Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Award in 1999.
Ajoy Chakrabarty is a renowned vocalist from India. He began his training under the guidance of his father, Ajit Chakrabarty, who shaped his early style in North Indian vocal music. Chakrabarty later continued his training under many notable musicians such as Pandit Kanai Das Bairagi, Ustad Munawar Ali Khan (son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan) and Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh, to name a few. Because of his extensive training, he is not only a doyen of the Patiala-Kasur style, but can also portray the key features of other major classical gharanas. Chakrabarty has been with ITC-Sangeet Research Academy since its inception, joining in 1978 as its first scholar. He later became one of the youngest gurus of the Academy – a post he still holds today – and is also a member of its Expert Committee. Chakrabarty’s list of awards and honours is monumental. He was awarded with the Padma Shri, the first musician to have received a Gold Medal from ITC-Sangeet Research Academy and the Kumar Gandharva Award for the ‘Best Musician of India under 45’, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Banga Bibhushan, and Alva’s Virasat Award, amongst many others.
Alarmel Valli is an Indian classical dancer and choreographer. She is an exponent of her personal style and the Pandanallur style Indian classical dance form of Bharatnatyam.