India – the land of culture, music and love! That is very much true as far as I know. But, what about the rest of the country? How much do this generation (as of 2017) love and embrace the Indian culture and its threads? I can assure you that, not many! There are a few cultural activities which will vanish if the generation carrying it dies off. I would like to put a question across the entire nation – how many of us will actually go and learn some of the India’s cultural aspect? We love taking selfies with the tickets of Coldplay (no offense!) but, what about a concert of Ustad Zakir Hussain or Amaan-Ayaan Ali Khan or even Anoushka Shankar (I know a couple of people who will google her name..)
It does break my heart though. But I do feel a warm smile on my face, when I see some foreigners embracing our culture and music so well, that I bow to them with humility. And I feel proud, that they have taken up our tradition in themselves and felt no hesitation in spreading it across the world! So, here are a few maestros to whom I bow my head who embraced the Indian Music:
Steve Gorn is a Flutist and a saxophone player. But the part where he plays Indian classical music on his bamboo flute is the best part. His flute was also featured in 2011 Grammy Winning Recording; Miho – “Journey to the mountain”.
2. Saskia Rao de Hass:
She is a marvelous Indian Cello player and she has honored our culture very much. The lady was is born in Netherlands who now resides in New Delhi and is married to the sitarist Subhenra Rao. If you haven’t been to one of her concerts, it’s time that you do now.
3. Chong Chiu Sen:
He is a Malaysian born Chinese vocalist and he is trained under a very influential Carnatic musician D.K Pattamal. Chong is also adopted by the same guru as god- grandson and received his new name as Sai Madhana Mohan Kumar. Now that’s a definite blessing for a life time.
4. Jon Higgins:
Jon. B. Higgins was an American musician, who is still very much famous for his skills in the Carnatic Vocal music. If you want to know more about his rendering, listen to ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu’ on YouTube.
5. Shankar Tucker:
He is not unknown to anyone in India or in any other part of the world. He plays Clarinets and several other Indian instruments like kanjira, tabla, Piano, bass and many other percussion instruments. On YouTube he has gained a massive following and he has shared the stage proudly with Ustad Zakir Hussain and even Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. His music generally is a fusion to some of the most renowned songs.
6. Ken Zuckerman:
Ken is a sarod maestro who is born in New Jersey, United States. He is very well known for his improvisations while he plays the mesmerizing stringed instrument. Recently, he also invented a device which is called ‘Shanti’. The device plays an acoustic Tanpura automatically, giving the pure sound of the acoustics while performing or even practicing.
7. Setsuo Miyashita:
Setsuo Miyashita is a 100 stringed koto Santoor maestro and he is from a small place called Gifu, Japan. He is quite famously known as a healing musician. Haven’t heard his beauty yet? I think you should.
8. Gianni Ricchizzi:
If I am genuinely impressed by any musician in the world, then it is going to be Gianni. He is the Italian born Indian musician who has keenly learnt veena, Sitar, Surbahar and Tanpura. He is has a house in Italy which is called ‘Saraswati House’ and he conducts seminars their and shares his experience with grand Indian maestros as well. He is a scholar in Indian Music from the Benaras Indu University. He is one of those few people in the world who play Vichitra veena.
9. Tanya Wells:
I recently stumbled upon her video and she just blew my mind away. She sings Ghazals with perfect diction and without losing a beat. Tanya Wells sings with so much of dedication that even our neighboring brothers in Pakistan have felt the warmth of her voice. She has a ginormous following on social platforms.
10. Svetlana Tulasi
Daughter of a Hyderabadi Business Father and a Russian mother; Svetlana Tulasi is a proud Kathak dancer and resides in Moscow. She learnt Kathak from another prominent Russian lady Ekaterina Seliverstova who was a disciple of one of the most well known Kathak dancer of India, Smt. Urmila Nagar. She kept her Indian roots alive in the loving memory of her father. Her only dream is to keep the Indian culture alive within the Indians and choose their roots over the much hyped western music in them.