Smt. Lakshmi Shankar is one of India’s most renowned vocalists whose unique background encompasses both the Carnatic and Hindustani traditions. As a young girl she fell under the spell of dance and, encouraged by her forward-thinking mother, she studied Bharatanatyam dancing under the tutelage of guru Kandappa. She married the scriptwriter Rajendra Shankar, an elder brother of Ravi Shankar, and joined Uday Shankar’s artistic circle during the early 1940s. Ill-health forced her to give up dancing but, for us, this had the joyful effect of catalyzing her singing career. She received vocal training from Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan of the Patiala Gharana. She continued studies under musicologist and singer B. R. Deodhar and Pandit Ravi Shankar. Her recordings of khayal, thumri, and bhajans have received acclaim in Europe, the U.S., and India. Critics, in East and West alike, are unstinting in their praise of this fine artist.
Around 1946 to 1947, she worked on the historic adaptation of Pandit Nehru’s Discovery of India, a work that prompted Nehru to say, “The ballet’s better than my book.” In the 1960s she recorded an album called “The Voice of Lakshmi Shankar” for World Pacific.
Since then she has recorded widely in varying capacities and styles including Tamil folk songs, Hindu devotional songs of all sorts, film work, and for television documentaries. She is an active concert artist, performing in major music festivals on three continents and beyond. Her voice can be heard on the Academy Award-winning film “Gandhi”. Her work appears on many labels including EMI India and RCA.
Kedar Naphade is a promising young exponent of the art of harmonium solo and accompaniment. Kedar received preliminary training in Hindustani Classical music from his grandfather, Shri Dadasaheb Naphade and from Shri Arvind Gajendragadkar. For over 15 years, he has been a leading disciple of Pt. Tulsidas Borkar, and has also had the privilege of training from Smt. Padmavati Shaligram-Gokhale, a veteran singer of the Atrauli-Jaipur gharana. Kedar has performed harmonium solo and has accompanied vocalists at numerous concerts in India, Europe and in the U.S. including prestigious festivals and venues such as the Alladiya Khan Smruti Samaroha, Dadar Matunga Cultural Center in Mumbai, The Lincoln Center in New York, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. etc. He has also been featured on National Public Radio in the US. He has shared the stage with luminaries such as his guru Smt. Padmavati Shaligram-Gokhale, Pt. Jasraj, Smt. Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Smt. Prabha Atre, Smt. Laxmi Shankar, Pt. Phiroz Dastur etc. Kedar recently released his first solo album “Suvaadini – Voice of the Harmonium” available at www.underscorerecords.com. Kedar continues to train from Pt. Tulsidas Borkar and maintains an active concert schedule in the U.S.
Abhinay Padhye is an accomplished tabla artist. He has accompanied many noted artists and has given solo performances. He started learning from Shri Narayan Ambikar and then under Sri. Nana Mulye and Pt. Bhai Gaitonde in Mumbai. He is currently studying tabla under Pandit Swapan Chaudhary at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California. He also has been teaching tabla to a number of aspiring students in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a Computer Network Engineer by profession.
Venue: MOHAI McEachern Auditorium. Date: Saturday Oct 13. Time: 8:30 PM