Knowing Sitar master Kakali Bandyopadhyay

India is seeing a huge development in its music. Musicians are taking to the concept of ‘fusion’ very well. They are experimenting with sounds as never before. In this fast changing world, there are a few anchors too, which tie us to the sound of tradition.

Though Indian Classical music is not today’s ‘pop’ sound, it has its niche and well respected position in the culture. Legendary players like Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustaad Zakir Hussain are known worldwide, but some select people are also making their name in the Indian Classical circles, bearing the torch of the new generation and taking a rich legacy of music and history ahead.

Sitar master Kakali Bandyopadhyay — who studied with legendary Indian music figures Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan — is one of those stalwarts. Bandyopadhyay is an artist affiliate at Emory University, and has been teaching sitar and Hindustani music in metro Atlanta area for the past 18 years. In addition to being a master performer on the sitar, Bandyopadhyay is a scientist with a Ph.D in biotechnology, working in healthcare as a biotechnologist consultant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bandypadhya talks about listening to Classical music in today’s times: “ to listen to the music with an open and relaxed mind, get immersed in the melody and rhythm without looking for harmony. This will allow the new listener to get familiarized and appreciate the beauty of this music form and the rest will follow.”

Even though she has a career as biotechnologist, Bandyopadhyay stays busy teaching, lecturing and performing on sitar throughout the United States, India and Canada, often presented by universities.

(Quotes from ‘Atlanta’s source for Arts, News and Reviews.)

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