Shashwati Mandal upholds the finest aspects of the Gwalior gharana, the oldest surviving style of khayal singing. She was born into a family of successful musicians - her grandfather Balabhau Umdekar 'Kundalguru' was a Scindias court musician in pre-Independence times.
She studied under the demanding tutelage of her mother Kamal Mandal before receiving a scholarship to learn from Balasaheb Poonchwale, and has also delved into the Gwalior gharana’s ancestry by studying Dhrupad with the Gundecha Brothers.
Her style is rooted in the Gwalior gayaki, but is also influenced by detailed study of other traditions including ghazal, thumri, Carnatic pallavi, and the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana (“one has to know the rules to break them”). She is considered to be one of the finest exponents of tappa - a semi-classical style derived from Punjabi camel-riders with fast, distinctively angular melodies and lyrics which typically depict the emotional outbursts of a lover.
"The musical form came to be known as tappa as it followed the gait of the camel. The camel riders had high-pitched, flexible voices. The tappas they sang were marked by a fusillade of short and quick melodic taan patterns that moved obliquely, in conjunction with a 16-beat rhythmic cycle creating a unique flavour."
Darbar believes in the power of Indian classical music to stir, thrill, and inspire. Explore our YouTube channel, or subscribe to the Darbar Concert Hall to watch extended festival performances, talk and documentaries in pristine HD and UHD quality.
Manjusha Kulkarni-Patil was born into the Maharashtra village of Sangli, famous for producing superb musicians. She...read more
Indrani Mukherjee is a vocalist from Kolkata, who performs khayal in the Kirana-Rampur style and thumri in Purab Ang....read more
Pandit Vinayak Torvi is a renowned khayal vocalist from Karnataka who blends the Kirana, Gwalior, and Agra gharanas....read more
Shubha Mudgal’s voice is at once primal and contemporary. Her markedly individual style of khayal (a dominant form of...read more
Download our app and watch on the go
New exclusive releases every month
Watch anytime, anywhere
Free for 3 days. Cancel anytime.
Keep up to date with the latest news, events, music and musings across our social channels
For hundreds more clips and shorts, vist our YT page here
Be the first to hear before events go on sale. Get the latest news and articles from Darbar