Sandeep Das

Biography

                    

Sandeep Das is one of the leading Tabla virtuosos in the world today. Having established himself as India’s top Tabla maestro, he has also built a prolific international reputation.He is one of the unique Indian classical musicians who has collaborated and performed with and composed for major symphony orchestras, string quartets, and jazz musicians with regularly featured concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, Royal Albert Hall and the Concertgebouw, to name a few. He has performed at prestigious events such as 150 years celebration of the UNO at the General Assembly Hall in NYC, Opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Shanghai, Opening ceremony of the 1st Asia Expo in Kunming, China, World Economic Forum and for visiting dignitaries like the Queen of England, Queen of Thailand, the Pope and various other visiting country heads.  His collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (SRE) for “Sing Me Home” won the 2017 Grammy Award for the Best World Music album. He has had two previous Grammy nominations in 2005 and 2009.

Das has composed several pieces combining both percussion and melody.  His latest composition  “ King Ashoka” recently premiered at UC Santa Barbara by Yo-Yo Ma and The SRE and also toured in Asia. “Tarang” was chosen as the theme music for “Blind Sight,” a documentary about the first Everest climb by six blind climbers. “Mohini” became theme music for the Japanese TV channel NHK’s 10-episode documentary on the Silk Road.  “Srishti” a percussive rich composition has been performed worldwide.

Das is the founder of HUM (Harmony and Universality through Music). HUM’s mission is two-fold: to  promote global understanding through performance and education and provide learning opportunities and scholarships for specially-abled children with potential in any genre of art to empower them to lead self reliant lives. Since its inception, HUM has grown in size and now supports six specially-abled children through a National Scholarship, the first of its kind in India.

Das had intensively trained for 12 years, starting at the age of 7 in the centuries-old Indian tradition of Guru-Shishya Parampara of living with his Guru—Pandit Kishan Maharaj— and learning and practicing music as a way of life, more than just an art form.  His training and life experiences provide a unique, educational opportunity for students and ensembles to learn from. He has been on faculty for the last five years at the Harvard Education School Summer Institute and has been  an artist in residence at various universities like Dartmouth, Brandeis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Clara, College of the Holy Cross, Juilliard school of Music, Berklee School of Music,  and UC British Columbia.

A Gold Medalist in English Literature from Banaras Hindu University in India and a product of the prestigious St.Xaviers High School ,Patna, he is an artist, performer, composer, and cultural and educational entrepreneur.  He currently resides in Boston, USA.

Testimonial and Press

Yo-Yo Ma : “ Sandeep transcends his instrument- when he plays the Tabla he is a creator of myths, a master communicator and an orchestra, all in one. In my decades of collaboration around the world, he is easily one of the greatest artists I have ever met. Not only is he one of the best artists I have met but he is also once one of the best teachers I have met. I believe there is no one he cannot engage!”

New York Times: “The Breathless duet by the cellist and Sandeep Das was a highlight of the evening. He can turn any performance into a visual spectacle.”

Washington Post: “Tarang” ( Waves ) by Sandeep Das…The Jocular atmosphere evident on the players’ faces…everyone was having a good time!”

The Independent ( U.K.) BBC Proms: “The Indian Tabla player Sandeep Das’ piece became the mainstay of this afternoon Prom!”

Chicago Tribune: “Sandeep Das’ awesome table playing …The sheer timbral variety he achieved on the Tabla contributed to its hypnotic effect!”

Inquirer ( Singapore ) : “The infectious finale, Sandeep Das’ “ Tarang” ended in euphoria. The seemingly never ending applause obliged the ensemble to give three encores.”

Los Angeles Times: “Fabulous Tabla playing by Sandeep Das in a composition of his own”

 

http://www.sandeepdas.com

http://www.humensemble.com

http://www.dastablaschool.com

 

 

Press

http://ddinews.gov.in/Entertainment/Entertainment%20-%20Headlines/Pages/SandeepDaswinsGRAMMYawardincollaborationwithYo-YoMa.aspxDas, who was dressed in red kurta, said the ensemble sent a powerful message of unity and respect for each other’s cultures.

Doordarshan News

Sandeep Das (in kurta) exults with his team after winning the Best World Music Album for Sing Me Home at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Rhythm of tabla born in Bihar | The Telegraphhttps://www.telegraphindia.com/1170214/jsp/frontpage/story_135635.jsp“Sandeep was so impressive that late Pandit Kishan Maharaj tied him a ganda (thread) when he was just 13 (a ganda is tied by a guru when he is convinced that his student has reached a level of excellence),” he said, adding: “Don’t forget Sandeep’s debut was with Pandit Ravi Shankar,”

Rhythm of tabla born in Bihar

Grammys 2017: India's Sandeep Das brings home a Grammy; everything you need to know about him

Grammys 2017: India’s Sandeep Das brings home a Grammy; everything you need to know about himhttp://www.ibtimes.co.in/grammys-2017-indias-sandeep-das-brings-home-grammy-everything-you-need-know-about-award-night-715832We were strangers but having worked together over the past 15, 20 years has enriched our lives tremendously

India’s Sandeep Das brings home a Grammy:IB Times

Classical heritage is dying in India, rues Grammy winner

Classical heritage is dying in India, rues Grammy winnerhttp://www.asianage.com/entertainment/music/140217/classical-heritage-is-dying-in-india-rues-grammy-winner.htmlTabla expert Sandeep Das is victorious but regrets that Indian media pays such little attention to culture and heritage. Tabla wizard Sandeep Das has just done India proud. Along with his group — The Silk Road Ensemble — Das has won the Grammy for Best Global Music at the Grammy awards held at the Staples Centre in LA on Sunday night.

Asian Age

59th Grammy Awards: Indian tabla maestro Sandeep Das wins in best world music category - NewsX

59th Grammy Awards: Indian tabla maestro Sandeep Das wins in best world music category – NewsXhttp://www.newsx.com/entertainment/55757-59th-grammy-awards-indian-tabla-maestro-sandeep-das-wins-in-best-world-music-categoryThis was Das’ third Grammy nomination. He attended the event wearing a traditional kurta, held in Los Angeles on Sunday night and received the award with other members of the ensemble.

Indian tabla maestro Sandeep Das wins in best world music category – NewsX

India’s Own Tabla Maestro Sandeep Das Wins Grammy Award  - The Quint

India’s Own Tabla Maestro Sandeep Das Wins Grammy Award  – The Quinthttps://www.thequint.com/entertainment/2017/02/13/tabla-maestro-sandeep-das-wins-best-global-music-grammy-award-in-la-wants-to-shift-focus-away-from-bollywoodI am very proud of the Grammy because I’m representing India on a global platform. This was my third Grammy nomination, and we did it this time. So, yes, it feels good.

India’s Own Tabla Maestro Sandeep Das Wins Grammy Award  – The Quint

Roll of Honour | The Indian Express

Roll of Honour | The Indian Expresshttp://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/art-and-culture/roll-of-honour-13-4523339/It is sinking in now. But one has to understand that an award is not the judgement of your quality of music; it’s just a form of recognition. I feel happy. Mostly because it’s a result of so much hard work that has been put in all these year

Roll of Honour | Indian Express

In the infectious finale, Sandeep Das’ “ Tarang” ended in euphoria. The seemingly never ending applause obliged the ensemble to give three encores.

The Inquirer|Singapore

Sandeep Das with Yo-Yo Ma

“ Tarang” ( Waves ) by Sandeep Das…The Jocular atmosphere evident on the players’ faces…everyone was having a good time!”

Washington Post | Tarang

Ma's Silk Road group treats Ravinia throng to a multicultural jam session - tribunedigital-chicagotribune

Ma’s Silk Road group treats Ravinia throng to a multicultural jam session – tribunedigital-chicagotribunehttp://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-22/entertainment/ct-live-0823-ma-review-20100822_1_colin-jacobsen-sandeep-das-ravinia“Sandeep Das’ awesome table playing …The sheer timbral variety he achieved on the Tabla contributed to its hypnotic effect!

Chicago Tribune

Prom 40: Silk Road Ensemble / Ma, Royal Albert Hall, Londonhttp://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/prom-40-silk-road-ensemble-ma-royal-albert-hall-london-557098.html?ampThe Indian tabla player Sandeep Das’s Tarang gave four drummers, himself included, the chance to add some genuine interplay in improvisation, accompanied by a string group that then became a mainstay of this afternoon Prom.

BBC Prom

Sandeep Das with Yo-Yo Ma

Sandeep transcends his instrument- when he plays the Tabla he is a creator of myths, a master communicator and an orchestra, all in one. In my decades of collaboration around the world, he is easily one of the greatest artists I have ever met . Not only is he one of the best artists I have met but he is also once one of the best teachers I have met. I believe there is no one he cannot engage!

Yo-Yo Ma

Times of Oman | Song of the Silk Road

Times of Oman | Song of the Silk Roadhttp://www.timesofoman.com/News/Article-29094.aspxRepresenting the fine rhythmic traditions of India, top-flight tabla player and composer, Sandeep Das led the ensemble in Tarang, a piece he created ‘to bring common elements of rhythm from the Silk Road countries together’ in ways he imagined merchants and travellers interacted in days of old.

Times of Oman | Song of the Silk Road

Silk Road Ensemble Celebrates Cultural Harmony

The diverse musicality of the Silk Road Ensemble—some hyper-traditional, some simply hybrid—mirrors the endless variety along the ancient Silk Road itself. Indian tabla player Sandeep Das loves finding common ground with his colleagues. “It’s the joy and the trust that help us do things together that seemingly seem different on the surface, but are definitely inherently one and the same thing,” Das said.

Silk Road Ensemble Celebrates Cultural Harmony

Verrassend samenspel van tabla-speler Sandeep Das ... (Gent) - Het Nieuwsblad

Verrassend samenspel van tabla-speler Sandeep Das … (Gent) – Het NieuwsbladFascinating sounds of instruments that we do not often encounter prevailed here, especially the tabla certain rhythm of the whole performance . We did not know that the combination of a wind instrument ( ney ) , a drum ( tabla ) and three string instruments ( kemencke , qanoen and sarangi ) could be so beautiful It was a unique concert that the bridge to the next edition of Europalia , where Turkey will be central.

Surprising interplay of tabla player Sandeep Das and ney Player Kudsi Ergüner

Sandeep Das: 'Angst voor elkaar vervangen door het plezier van het samenspelen' | MO*

Sandeep Das: ‘Angst voor elkaar vervangen door het plezier van het samenspelen’ | MO*http://www.mo.be/opinie/sandeep-das-angst-voor-elkaar-vervangen-door-het-plezier-van-het-samenspelenMaybe people do not even see it, but I have caused quite a ripple in the water . I have no idea how far it will reach , but it is certainly the intention to continue.

Interview of Sandeep Das in Mondiaal Nieuws

Los Angeles Music Review: THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE (Valley Performing Arts Center)

Los Angeles Music Review: THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE (Valley Performing Arts Center)http://www.stageandcinema.com/2013/10/25/silk-road-ensemble-vpacit was a completely improvised set performed by Sandeep Das and Kayhan Kalhor that validated these players as world-class musicians…..The intersection in this case is Indian (Das) and Persian (Kalhor). So it was not just a playful competition among players but a conversation between two cultures. Kalhor played…

Los Angeles Music Review: THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE

The Silk Road Ensemble: The Santa Barbara Independent

The Silk Road Ensemble: The Santa Barbara Independenthttp://www.independent.com/news/2013/oct/28/silk-road-ensemble/Block’s second solo came after the intermission and after star turns by Kayhan Kalhor and Sandeep Das, who played a lovely and intuitive improvisation. Block took the rather daring challenge of following Kalhor by improvising his own cello accompaniment to Das’s tablas, and it rocked.

The Silk Road Ensemble: The Santa Barbara Independent

Silk Road Ensemble Drones On : San Francisco Classical Voice

Silk Road Ensemble Drones On : San Francisco Classical Voicehttps://www.sfcv.org/reviews/cal-performances/silk-road-ensemble-drones-onOne of the highlights of Sunday’s concert was the entirely improvised duet between Kalhor and Das, named Jugalbandi, which is a term from Indian classical music that refers to a…

Silk Road Ensemble Drones On : San Francisco Classical Voice

Superconductor Classical and Opera: Concert Review: A Globe Girdled in Silk

Superconductor Classical and Opera: Concert Review: A Globe Girdled in Silkhttp://super-conductor.blogspot.in/2013/10/concert-review-globe-girdled-in-silk.htmlTwo encores followed, a thrilling sheng vs. tabla duel between Mr. Das and Mr. Wu and a raucous whole-ensemble blast through “Miserlou,” the old surf guitar favorite by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones. It was a thrilling, kinetic end to this whirlwind journey around the globe.

Concert Review: A Globe Girdled in Silk

Exploratory musicians turn inward - Music - The Boston Globe

Exploratory musicians turning inwards – Music – The Boston Globehttp://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/03/04/trio-debut-exploratory-musicians-turning-inward/HCltD9xLj1uTWtBf58pJIJ/story.htmlThe new ensemble Eviyan has as its core three independent-minded composer-performers: Evan Ziporyn (clarinet), Iva Bittova (vocals, violin), and Gyan Riley (guitar). … The performance also benefited from the presence of two guests, the alert bassist Blake Newman and the tablaist Sandeep Das, whose virtuosic playing injected discreet surges of rhythmic adrenaline…

In trios debut exploratory musicians turn inward

Journey to Boston

First Guru Purnima
First Guru Poornima
A tradition of tribute to the Guru

It all started with a complaint that Sandeep’s father got from Sandeep’s school teacher.            “Sandeep has been disturbing the class…asked to stop tapping the desk with his hands, he starts tapping with his feet. Please take him to a doctor!” On reaching home that day, instead of being taken to a doctor Sandeep was gifted his first set of Tabla and taken to his first guru Shiv Kumar Singh where he spent one year in training.

Being a big fan of Pt. Kishan Maharaj of  the Benaras Gharana, his father K.N.Das, sought and requested the legendary tabla maestro to teach his son.
The Maestro proceeded to test his skills in various ways. At the end He was very happy and said –‘He has tabla in his blood and I will teach him.’

Sandeep learnt tabla under his Guru for 11 years in the Guru-Shishya parampara ( An ancient Indian tradition wherein the disciple goes and lives with his guru ) and went on to become one of his favorite disciples.Sandeep proudly mentions how every thing he learnt was taught to him orally and thus all those years of learning live with him every second of his life and he doesn’t have to flip through any written diary of an sort.

For the first few years, he would travel from Patna to Benaras every Friday evening, stay overnight at his guru’s home and then return on Sunday. He would never spend a single vacation at home. Later his father took a transfer to Varanasi, so that his musical education could continue unhindered.

Under Pt. Kishanji Maharaj, Sandeep not only learnt tabla but also valuable lessons in life.
“When I was 9 or 10 years old, we were practicing in a room and Guru ji got very mad at us. He said why don’t you people clean the room before you sit down to practice and he asked me to clean the room. I had never done it at home so I couldn’t sweep the floor nicely. He took the broom from my hand and taught me how to sweep the floor and mentioned to me that if you sweep the floor nicely you can also be a good tabla player. Words which at that time didn’t make sense to me. How did sweeping the floor relate to tabla but as I grew up I realized that the other things he was teaching us to do, even doing the smallest jobs perfectly, taught us discipline, focus, attention to details and made the toughest jobs seem easy and that would also spill over in our playing.”

Pt. Kishanji Maharaj always discouraged his students from copying him. He would say, “As long as you are a Xerox you’ll never have any value. The moment you start playing, everybody should know which gharana you come from, but you must always have your own personality, your own thoughts imbibed in what you are playing.” Unlike many others, he advised his students to listen to every tabla player, but said, “Even if you like something, don’t try to play like them. Make it your own.It should sound that its Sandeep Das playing and not Sandeep Das copying or mimicking somebody else.”

Debut Concert with Pt. Ravi Shankar
Debut Concert with Pt. Ravi Shankar

Under his Guru’s guidance, Sandeep debuted on stage with legendary Sitar maestro, Pt. Ravi Shankar. He also won the national drumming championship thrice and became the youngest drummer ever to be graded by All-India radio.

In 1991, Sandeep moved to Delhi to continue his career as a professional tabla player. And that is also the year he toured the west for the first time. He performed in the USA and Trinidad and Tobago on his first every tour abroad.

Sandeep was able to establish himself as one of the top tabla players of his country by the mid nineties itself. His initial years were spent playing mostly with famous vocalist Shubha Mudgal, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Ustad Shujaat Khan. Slowly as his name started making the rounds of all the famous music festivals of India and important concert halls he was asked to play concerts by Pt.Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan , Pt.Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Dr. L.Subramaniam, the biggest names of the Indian music scene of India.

One of the biggest turning points in his career came with his meeting the world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma who invited him to play with the Silk Road Ensemble.

Upcoming Concerts

  • January 14 – Sandeep Das & The HUM ensemble , Performing Asia Concert at Asia Society, Houston. click here for info
  • January 15 – Ismaili Jamaatkhaana, Houston
  • January 27 – Masterclass- Providence College, RI & Concert click here for info
  • January 28 – Artists in Residence at University of Santa Clara, California click here for info
  • February 3rd- same as above plus for concert click here for info
  • February 11-13-   Grammy Award Ceremony , L.A.
  • February 25-27-Sandeep Das & The HUM ensemble – Dallas Concert at Montgomery Arts Theatre
  • March 1- Artist in Residence at Harvard University – Class of Kay Sheelamay
  • March 17-24- Harvard Residency
  • March 23- Concert with Yo-Yo Ma and The SRE- Sanders Theatre – 8 PM
  • March 24- Concert with The SRE-    Philips Academy- Cochran Chapel-7:30 PM
  • March 25- Abu Dhabi
  • April 1- Abu Dhabi
  • April 4-  Masterclass- Brandeis
  • April 5-  Artist in Residence at Harvard University – Class of Kay Sheelamay
  • April 10 Cultural Summit, Abu Dhabi
  • April 15- Learn Quest Conference with Rajib Karmakar and Suhail Khan at Regis College Tickets OnSale Now!
  • April 20 – A Far Cry Spring Soiree Click here for Info
  • April 27- YAMA Fiske School Concert
  • April 28- Harvard Arts 25th Anniversary Celebration
  • April 30-May 6 Silk Road Ensemble Residency at Santa Clara University
  • May 9- Primary Source Hebrew College
  • May 12 & 13- Harvard Arts Celebration
  • May 17- Celebrity Series Mattapan Teen Center
  • May 20- Celebrity Series Jugalbandi Church of the Holy Sprit
  • May 21- NY Live Arts
  • May 22-27 A Fary Cry with Vijay Iyer
  • May 30-June 6 Global Musicians Work Shop
  • June 28-30 Aga Khan Museum with The Silk Road Ensemble
  • July 1-5 Das Tabla Camp
  • July 9 Guru Poornima
  • July 12 Tanglewood New Marlborough Music
  • September 5-8 Immersive Music Project
  • October 8 The Canales Project TEDxMidAtlantic
  • October 18-22 Asheville SymphonyOrchestra
  • October 24-27 Butler Univesity Masterclass
  • November 30- October 4 – Holy Cross
  • December 9- Celebrity Series String Fest
  • December 10-25 TBA

 

Gallery

Videos

Hum Ensemble

Sandeep serves as the founder of the HUM ensemble (Harmony and Universality through Music). This is an ensemble of world-class artists whose goal is to promote global understanding through musical performance and education.

HUM proudly has a National Scholarship in association with German Multinational firm Lanxess. This scholarship provides visually impaired children with the opportunity to learn Music. All costs are borne by HUM, whose scholarship outreach has doubled since its founding.

Learn more about Hum at:

Hum

 http://www.humensemble.com

Das Tabla School

Sandeep Das is the founder and director of Das Tabla School. It is the mission of Das Tabla School to offer the best learning experience of North Indian Tabla in the United States. From beginner to advanced, the possibilities for individual learning are limitless.

Click here to learn more: www.DasTablaSchool.com

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