Melodies for Art – About Musicians

Debjani Guha:
Debjani started learning Hawaiian guitar when she was 6 years old. Her mother wanted the daughter to play some musical instrument, though Debjani didn’t like the music and the teacher at her tender age. By age 9 she started picking up more familiar tunes on a tiny 1-octave toy. She got a keyboard from her parents. A year later, Debjani started learning keyboards from Late Amar Nath Laha – her guru/teacher. She struggled hitting the right note with her tender fingers on piano and her family couldn’t afford one. She kept learning music and keyboard but later at her life music took a backseat while Debjani graduated to become an IT professional. She keeps practicing music and humbly remembers her guru taught her -that music instrument bounds no language nor genre; just keep play anything and every style that one possibly can. Debjani’s inspirations have been Yanni, RD Burman, Robert Miles. She would love to run fingers like Ming Freeman someday. Looking back Debjani cherishes the teaching and memory of her first teacher who tuned her to the songs of Tagore that she plays when she is alone at home.

John Napier:
John began his performing life as a virtuoso boy singer, before taking up the cello and studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. After graduating and winning that institution’s Medal for Excellence, he became principal cellist of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra. He subsequently moved to Sydney to explore a wider range of music making, eventually taking training in North Indian music with late Pandit Ashok Roy, and working frequently with Sumathi Krishnan. He has performed around Australia, India, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Fiji. He completed a doctorate on accompaniment in North Indian music in 2001, and teaches music history and performance at the University of New South Wales. In 2013 his study of Jogi musicians in Rajasthan, They Sing the Wedding of God, was published, and he is currently working on a study of the music of the Kodava (Coorgs). His most recent major musical works have been as a composer and performer for the Taikoz-Lingalayam production Chi Udaka and the advocacy band Asylum. He appears courtesy of UNSW Australia.

Venkhatesh Sritharan:
Venkhatesh was born into a family blessed with music. His mother Sangeetha Vidwan Varalakshmi Sritharan, a well-known Veena artist in Sri Lanka and Australia. Venkhatesh began to learn flute at the tender age of five under the tutelage of Sri Suthanthiraraj. While continuing to be his student, Venkhatesh was fortunate to have the opportunity to refine his skills under flute maestro Ramani Thiagarajan in Chennai. Venkhatesh also completed his Arangetram – Graduation; along with his sister Saumya Sritharan on Veena. As a promising artiste Venkhatesh has learnt tabla, piano, veena as well as classical vocal and has performed for dance ballets, Arangetrams and has accompanied various light performances. He has just completed his Bachelor of Medical Science degree and hope to balance his career with music.

Abhijit Dan:
Abhijit is a young talented tabla player who started his journey at an early age of 5 years. Tabla, the instrument craved his attention and plunged him into the music world. Abhijit started his first tabla lessons from Shri Harihar Das of Lukhnow Gharana under Prachin Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. Since 1994 Abhijit began his Tabla training from Tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Choudhury of Lukhnow Gharana. Abhijit is a regular Radio and Television artist in India. Besides a tabla player he has also been a good composer and arranger and has launched several albums in India and also performed with good numbers of great musicians from all over the world. Presently he lives in Sydney and is known as one of the best tabla players in Australia.

Sadiq is a self-taught musician and singer and started singing and playing guitar during his school days in community and religious functions. Today he is one of the most sought-after guitarists in Sydney. Sadiq’s entire education in music is by the virtue of playing with other musicians and singers, backed up with his perseverance. Professionally, he did his medicine in Pakistan and currently works as an allied health professional in Sydney.



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