Pandit Bickram Ghosh

Category Percussion | Tags Tabla

Born in Kolkata to esteemed tabla artist Pandit Shankar Ghosh and vocalist Sanjukta Ghosh, Bickram started early (“there are photographs of me at two years old, propped up with pillows and banging away on the tabla”). His experimental style incorporates ideas from early sarod training and his mother’s Patiala vocal gharana, and he also draws inspiration from Carnatic percussion through detailed study with mridangam maestro S Sekhar.

He has accompanied Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar, and played with his cousin Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, but often looks outside classical music too. Having grown up in a house full of global drums, fusion was a natural step. Collaborators have included George Harrison, Sufi musicians, and the Mezcal Jazz Unit, and his new-age Rhythmscape group continues into its second decade.

He has also scored over 25 films, with his soundtrack for Jal earning him an Oscar nomination. Outside of music he completed a Masters degree in English Literature, and has acted as a brand ambassador for the Indian Election Commission, promoting democratic engagement in West Bengal.

"My father directed a very interesting all-drum orchestra that’s been around since 1976. All the drums for this band, maybe 50 or 60 different kinds, used to be in our house and as a kid I played around with anything and everything. That experience gave me a wider perspective"

—Also see Living Traditions: 21 articles for 21st-century Indian classical music, our new series exploring how music with ancient roots continues to innovate in a fast-paced, interconnected modern world. Expand your appreciation!

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Founded in 2006, Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust (Darbar) believes in the power of Indian classical arts to stir, thrill and inspire. Through digital connectivity, shared experiences and enrichment we ensure that one of the finest art forms reaches the widest possible audience.

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