Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
Padmabhushan and Grammy awardee Vishwa Mohan Bhatt the creator of Mohan Veena is a soulful composer and a very expressive, versatile and great slide player. He has mesmerized the world with the pristine, delicate, yet fiery sound of Mohan Veena, which produces the music of the plucked-stringed Indian classical instruments like the sitar, sarod, and veena.
Developed from a hybrid slide guitar, the Mohan Veena is a highly modified concord archtop, which Bhatt plays lap-style. It has nineteen strings; three melody strings and four three-drone strings coming out of the peg heads, and twelve sympathetic strings connected to tuners mounted to a piece of wood added to the side of the neck. The Mohan Veena is under tremendous tension; the total strings pull is in excess of 500 pounds. Due to this high tension, the tone turns incredible with the sympathetic ringing out and strengthening of each note played. By giving this instrument an evolutionary design and shape, and by his sheer artistry, Vishwa Mohan has incorporated two distinct styles of instrumental music from the masters, his Guru, Ravi Shankar (sitar) and Ali Akbar Khan (sarod).
Vishwa Mohan is also a highly regarded crossover artist based on his numerous fusion and pan-cultural collaborations with Western musicians such as Taj Mahal, Béla Fleck, Jie-Bing Chen, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer and Ry Cooder. His album, A Meeting by the River, with Ry Cooder is hailed as a landmark of East-West classical fusion music.
Pandit Subhen Chatterjee
Subhen Chatterjee’s tabla playing is based on the Lucknow Gharana, which he learned from maestro Pandit Swapan Chowdhury. He is a much sought after tabla accompanist who has performed and recorded with some of the best legendary musicians of our time. Not restricting himself to one single Gharana, Subhen went on to learn the intricacies and beauty of other Gharanas that he introduced into his style making his style of playing so unique and distinctive.
He has performed with music maestro’s Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Smt. Girija Devi, Pt. Jasraj, Smt. Sobha Gurtu, Pt. V. G. Jog, Pt. Rajan-Sajan Misra, Ustad Rashid Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, and Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. On the world music stage with Paul Horn (flautist) and David Crosby (of Crosby, Still, Nash and Young). His album Artistry was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002, where he performed with Manilal Nag on sitar and Ramesh Mishra on sarangi. Subhen’s recent collaboration with renowned percussionist, Sivamani, has enabled him to form another unique fusion band called FRIENDS OF DRUMS (F. O. D), his album BANDISH FUSION was nominated for JPF Music Awards in 2006.