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Bansuri wizard thrills

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Come August and it is time for the 'Krishnarao Shankar Pandit Samaroh', organised by the 'Khayal Trust' every year. The event, which has become an inalienable feature of the cultural calendar of the metropolis, was held at the 'Karnataka Sangha' for over fifteen years. However, this year it has been shifted to Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre, since the Sangha is going in for a redevelopment. The event  was sponsored by Life Insurance Corporation of India and Brooke Bond Tajmahal Tea. The festival saw a packed house with artistes performing to the best of their abilities.

Shalmalee Joshi who belongs to the Jaipur/Attrauli gharana began with the raga 'Lalita Gauri'. The raga is an intriguing combination of  the morning melody 'Lalit' and the evening melody 'Gauri'. Shalmalee has a thin voice which is a limitation in a way. Yet she overcame it by unleashing a flurry of super-fast 'taans'. She also sang a brief but enjoyable composition in the seasonal raga 'Nat Malhar, with both Tejovrush Joshi and Abhishek Kathe lending superb support on the tabla.

Pravin Godkhindi, the 'bansuri' player from Bangalore turned out to be a prized discovery with his sterling performance. He played the 'Puriya Kalyan' and 'Megh' ragas. His notes had a rounded tone and a wonderful flow. He is capable of pyrotechnics but he was extremely cautious and proportionate about it. He concentrated on melody which was indeed refreshing. The 'Khamaj thumri' which he played had an irresistible lilt about it. Amit Kavahekar, the US-based table maestro in the making, lent him tabla support which was as dazzling as it was delightful.

The veteran singer Arun Kashalkar combined the tempo of the 'Gwalior khyal' with the 'gayaki' of Agra gharana. He sang 'khyals' in 'Bihag' and 'Chandrakauns' with authority and sincerity. His initial 'nomtom' (accelerated strumming) lent grandeur to the raga presentation. He is adept at conceiving 'sargam' patterns extempore and executes them with an ease that pleases the ear. Praveen Karkare on the tabla was superb and the vocal accompaniment by Vishal Moghe was brilliant.

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