Events at the festival:
One of the most outstanding, world acclaimed figures in India’s music, Debashish Bhattacharya, is a great virtuoso of Indian guitar. He is highly regarded as an artist, for his genuine passion for music-making, excellent technique, as well as spirituals aspects of his art. The artist’s most recent, splendid record has been just released.
It has the meaningful title Hawaii To Calcuta with the subtitle A Tribute to Tau Moe – as it is dedicated to the artist who made Hawaii guitar popular in India.
Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya was born in Calcuta in 1963. Thanks to his parents he began his musical education at an early age, before he could read and write, performing for the public at the age of 4. In his youth he took lessons from the masters of the classical Indian guitar – the legendary Brij Bhushan Kabra, known as the father of Indian classical guitar, and Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty – a guru for many contemporary musicians from Hindustan.
Debashish Bhattacharya soon became known as an artist remarkable for his unique style of playing, based on experiments with the sound of such Indian instruments as: veena, sitar, sarod or sarangi. He created a new school of guitar playing: Kolkata Gharana. In the spirit of his experiments, Debashish designed and patented three guitar models: Chaturangui, Gandharvi and Anandi. The instruments differ much from the originals – Hawaii and classical guitars. The artist changed the position of melody strings, added special resonating springs, and modified the tuning methods.
Thanks to his perseverance and determination he has already trained over a thousand pupils. He authored fifteen solo albums and received numerous awards (including the President of India Gold Medal, 1984; BBC Planet Award, 2005; nomination for Grammy Award, 2009). In 2016 he was granted the prestigious Songlines Music Awards: Asia & South Pacific. Participating in many Indian and international projects, he collaborated with such greats as Zakir Hussain and John McLaughlin (e.g. in the project Remember Shakti), U. Srinivas and Bob Brozman (the fantastic record: Mahima).