Pandit Kumar Bose is one of the modern world’s most exciting tabla players. He trained under legendary Benares maestro Pandit Kishan Maharaj, and embodies his guru’s blend of discipline and flamboyance. He rose to prominence as one of Pandit Ravi Shankar’s accompanists, and has performed with almost all of today’s leading Hindustani instrumentalists as well as working in dance and film.
His style is notoriously powerful, utilising the full range of the Benares gharana’s open-hand striking techniques. Particular awe is reserved for his control of the bayan (bass tabla) - he believes that “it acts like water, balances the angst with reposeful mood...Bayan’s meend plays a major role in scripting the language of love and peace.” His playing blends aggression with a lyrical approach - during a documentary a student asked him quickfire questions including ‘rhythm or melody’, and he instantly chose melody.
Bose also incorporates global ideas (“intriguing rhythmic patterns from all over the world – Arabian, Mexican and the like”), and few alive can hold a candle to his all-around rhythmic command. Outside of music he is an avid player of carrom (Indian chess) - his guru once gifted him a gold carrom set, saying “he is equally addicted to the game and the tabla”.
"As an accompanist it is my moral duty to give top priority to the main artiste. Playing solo is a different game...then I am a royal Bengal tiger!"
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