Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri

Pt. Chaudhuri is a phenomenon in the arena of Indian Classical Music. Musicians honor him as one of the most highly respected tabla players, worthy of highest regard all over the world. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award from the Government of India, and the American Academy of Artists Award, both of which are bestowed only to those artists who have attained the highest level of artistry. He has received the Excellence in Performing Arts Award from the Global Indian Congress in San Francisco, and has been nominated to the esteemed International Percussive Arts Society's Hall of Fame. He bases his style on the intensive training he received from his Guru, the late Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas of Calcutta, an eminent exponent of the Lucknow Gharana. As a soloist and accompanist Swapan-ji has traveled throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia accompanying Maestros such as Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, the late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Dr. Balmurli Krishna, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Dr. L. Subramanium, and Pandit V.G. Jog as well as other eminent artists. In addition, he has produced numerous recordings, including his own tabla solos and videotapes, and has appeared extensively on television and radio. Two of his records, Legacy (1997) and Passing on the Tradition (1998), were nominated for Grammy awards, on which Swapan-ji collaborated with Asha Bhosle and Ali Akbar Khan. Swapan-ji’s music reaches beyond the scope of classical music to include performances and recordings with musicians such as Stevie Wonder, L. Shankar, Mark O’Connor, John Handy, Larry Coryell, John Santos, the reputed Persian musicians Alizade and Kayhan Kalhor, the African drum master, Malenga, and the renowned guitarists, Vlatko Stefanovski and Miroslav Tadic. Pt. Chaudhuri has held the position of Director of Percussion at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California and in Basel, Switzerland, where students from all over the world receive intensive training in tabla. He is also the Department Chairperson for the World Music Department at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, California. His commitment to promote and preserve this traditional art form has been the inspiration behind the founding of “Rupak”.