Das Gupta plays a 300-year-old dhrupadi rabaab which is part of his vast collection of Afghani musical instruments. He elaborates Kafi, creating a nostalgic mood. The gravelly undertones of the instrument is magical and transports one away to the rugged landscapes of the middle-east. Sukhvinder Singh (jori) provides sombre accompaniment, complementing the earthy sounds of Das Gupta’s rabaab. In this episode, Singh explains the origin of the jori, its difference with the pakhawaj and its evolutionary journey.
Das Gupta does not come from a family of musicians, but he was accepted by Radhika Mohan Maitra as a disciple after he showed great dedication. He has a huge collection of old musical instruments and he maintains their upkeep by raising funds from concerts he plays everywhere. He takes in students to train them in a wide variety of instruments and mostly leads a calm, meditative life.
Sukhvinder Singh (affectionately known as ‘Pinky’) is a singular percussionist, specialising in low-tuned tabla and jori. Hailing from the Punjab, his first musical immersions were in dholak and pakhawaj, playing traditional Sikh devotional music. His style is deeply influenced by the Punjab and Benares gharanas. His career has featured accompaniment slots with Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and other leading Hindustani instrumentalists. He is a charismatic performer and teacher, dedicated to bringing the tabla to audiences around the world.
Somjit Das Gupta (dhrupadi rabaab)
Sukhvinder Singh (tabla)