- Featured: Arijit Mahalanabis
- Release Date: 4/1/2009
Arijit Mahalanabis has studied, performed, and taught music for almost three decades. He is one of a very few number of musicians who regularly perform Dhrupad, Khayal and Thumri. Arijit began his training in Hindustani music in 1980 under the guidance of AIR Delhi vocalist Smt. Shahana Banerjee. In 1981 Arijit and his family moved to the United States, where he received sporadic instruction in music from various teachers. In 1989, Arijit began serious self-motivated study of Hindustani music, and soon fell in with a group of similarly motivated Carnatic musicians in the university town of State College, PA. This group of musicians, who met weekly to practice, listen to and discuss music, guided Arijit to a better understanding and appreciation of Carnatic Music. He in turn was instrumental for the growth and maintenance of this organization (RAAGA) for a number of years. Arijit moved to Seattle, WA in 1999, and since then he has received guidance from Smt. Shantha Benegal, a Dhrupadiya who studied under the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, the late Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan and Pt. Murali Manohar Shukla. He has also received guidance from the musicologist Prof. Ramesh Gangolli, and the vocalist of the Gwalior Gharana, Dr. Sharad Gadre. Most recently, Arijit has benefited also from guidance from Pt. Uday Bhawalkar, one of India's leading Dhrupadiyas. Since his arrival in Seattle, Arijit has made a significant impact on the cultural scene in the area. He helped establish Pratidhwani as a new force for traditional arts in Seattle, and served as President of Ragamala (2006-2007). He co-founded Seattle Center's Utsav South Asian Festival, and established the Gandharva Music Ensemble at Evergreen State College. He has taught courses and given lectures at both Evergreen and University of Washington, and at Penn State University. Arijit has recently started a new institution in Seattle called the Seattle Indian Music Academy (SIMA) dedicated to the teaching of Indian music. SIMA presently operates in Seattle and Olympia.