Musical Performance: An Evening of Hindustani Classical Music with Pandit Samar Saha and Shrimati Madhumita Saha

Fri, October 1, 2010 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

Pandit Samar Saha, tabla
Shrimati Madhumita Saha, vocals

with guests

Vibhav Garg, tabla
Andrew Shantz, harmonium

The Hindustani classical tradition stems from ancient Vedic (oldest form of Hinduism) roots in the Indus Valley and has been cultivated over the millennia by the many peoples that have passed through and remained in Northern India, and has been fundamentally influenced by Middle Eastern and Persian culture during the centuries of Islamic rule under the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.

Tonight's concert features a wide spectrum of the classical and light classical styles that have developed throughout the history of this music including Khayal, Ghazal, Thumri, Bhajan and Dadra, and ending with Tabla Solo.

Listen to Pt. Samar Saha perform tabla solo.
Listen to Pt. Samar Saha and Smt. Madhumita Saha.

* * * * *

Tickets: $20, available at the door or online here (a surcharge applies; use printout as your ticket).

$15 student tickets available (with valid I.D.) at the door only.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

About the Artists

Long established as one of India’s preeminent tabla players Pandit Samar Saha continues to be an influential soloist, sought after accompanist, beloved guru and distinguished exponent of the Benares tradition of tabla. Trained first under his father Sri Sudhansu Bhusan Saha and brother Sri Tarak Saha, Mr. Saha began formal talim briefly under Sri Satchidananda Goswami before devoting himself to studies under Sri Krishna Kumar Ganguly (Natubabu) until his guruji’s passing. A dynamic and insightful soloist, Mr. Saha draws on a deep and diverse repertoire of compositions to fuel his improvisation. His performances are both unpredictable and uplifting. In 2005 Mr. Saha released Follower, an album of tabla solo on the Bihaan Music label.
While he is highly valued by soloists for his subtle yet propulsive accompaniment, he is never at a loss for fireworks when the moment is right. The late music critic Prakash Wadhera of The Hindu wrote: “Effortless and unobtrusive, Samar seems to have attained the very perfection in the art of rhythmic accompaniment.”

Mr. Saha has had the honor of accompanying the late Ud. Ali Akbar Khan Saheb and Ud. Bismillah Khan Saheb on several occasions. He also frequently accompanies Pdt. Hariprasad Chaurasia and is regularly found onstage or in the recording studio with the senior most artists of our time including Pdt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ud. Rashid Khan, the late Pdt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pdts. Rajan and Sajan Misra, Bgm. Parveen Sultana, Ud. Amjad Ali Khan, Ud. Shujaat Khan and Smt. Girija Devi. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe both under his own name and as a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy –where he has taught since its inception. He performed with Ud. Rais Khan at London’s Royal Albert Hall and was a part of the festivities held at Carnegie Hall in New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of India’s Independence. A short list of other major cities where Mr. Saha has performed includes Chicago, Toronto, Dallas, Montreal and Detroit. In India he has been a fixture of the major festivals and concert halls for many years, including North India’s flagship classical festival Dover Lane -where he has been onstage every year since 1989- and the Indo-Occidental Symbiosis at Kolkata’s prestigious Kala Mandir. For further information, performance media and a partial discography, please visit:

Born in a music loving family of Kalyani, West Bengal, Smt. Madhumita Saha was exposed to music early in life. Initiated into Hindustani Classical music by Smt. Ira Roy, her latent talent was subsequently recognized by the faculty at the Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), in Kolkata where she matriculated in 1989 as a General Class student under the guidance of Pandit Arun Bhaduri. Madhumitaji’s voice and musical mind have always been versatile and dynamic. As a student she loved to gauge the heights and depths of a wide range of musical idioms - in keeping with the restlessness of her generation of musical colleagues. Enticed by the lilting beauty of Ghazal, Thumri and Dadra, she came under the tutelage of Smt. Shipra Bose at SRA. At the same time, the magnetic combination of literature and melody of Nazrulgeeti compelled her to learn this popular idiom of light classical music from her native Bengal region. Very soon she mastered the subtle nuance of this style under the tutelage of Shri Biman Mukherjee.

Madhumitaji is presently a faculty member of Sangeet Piyasi – an organization founded by her husband Pandit Samar Saha- where she teaches both local and international students. An All India Radio artist, Madhumitaji has given classical as well as light classical recitals throughout Northern India. She regularly lends her voice to Bengali television productions as well, always to an enthusiastic response from viewers. Over the years, Madhumitaji has toured widely including appearances in North America. Her debut recording was Pratham Prem followed by Chena Achenar Majhe and an album of Bengali songs, Morning Dew, released in 2008.

Originally from Madhura, India in Uttar Pradesh, Vibhav Garg has been a student of Pt. Samar Saha for the past four years. He currently lives in Chicago.

Andrew Shantz is a pianist, vocalist and composer with a background in Jazz and an appetite for musical exploration. Since graduating from William Paterson University in 2003 with a B.M. in Jazz Studies he has continued to develop his musical skill and vocabulary and in 2008 began studies of Hindustani classical music in Kolkata with Pt. Samar Saha and Smt. Madhumita Saha. Following this first trip Andrew debuted his group Colors of Tarab at Alwan for the Arts in a concert featuring traditional pieces and original compositions combining elements of Indian and Arabic music and Jazz improvisation. He is currently preparing to record and album of original music for release in 2011.

Last updated: 2010-09-14 01:00:39

Pandit Samar Saha
Pandit Samar Saha
Shrimati Madhumita Saha
Shrimati Madhumita Saha

Alwan for the Arts

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(between Broad St. and Broadway)
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(646) 732-3261

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