Arun Luthra is a New York based saxophonist, composer, and arranger. As a performer he has shared the stage and recorded with many of the greatest jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and pop artists in the world, including Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Kenny Garrett, Dennis Irwin, Joe Chambers, Charli Persip, Bobby Porcelli, Portinho, Zé Renato, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Frankie Valli, Bobby Short, Lew Soloff, Bernard Purdie, and Ray Vega. Luthra has also performed and/or studied with such notable Hindustani and Karnatic music masters as Pt. Trichy Sankaran, Pt. Samir Chatterjee, Krishnan Lalgudi & Vijayalakshmi Lalgudi, Pt. Karaikudi Subramaniam, Steve Gorn, Kiran Ahluwalia, Zila Khan, and the iconic 1970’s Indian cross-over star Asha Puthli.
Bodek Janke is considered one of the most exceptional young musicians of the jazz and World Music scene, as evidenced by his award as Jazz Musician of the Year (Germany 2008). Polish born Janke has been called a “cultural commuter playing between Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland and the USA.” With his playing Janke has created a distinctive new style, merging drum set with a wild variety of instruments. He plays world music with a jazz attitude and folk music with contemporary verve.
Christiano Tiozzo is prolific composer, conductor and performer of Western classical music. He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and studied tabla with Samir Chatterjee for several years.
Daniel Weiss has performed Indian Classical Music in India and the US with Ramesh Mishra, Mandira Lahiri, Subra Guha, Anoushka Shankar, Joyas Biswas and Steve Gorn. He has also performed/composed and/or recorded with David Binney, Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Miguel Zenon, Kenny Werner, Ritchie Beirach, Ben Monder, Uri Caine, Village Vanguard Orchestra, Ravi Coltrane and many others. He has toured Europe and North America extensively with many different innovative projects and has also played in South America and Asia. Dan also contributes articles dealing with Indian rhythm and its applicability to western contexts, has published a book entitled “Tintal Drumset Transcriptions,” gives clinics all over the US as well as Canada and Europe, and enjoys a loyal base of students in the New York area.
Dave Sharma is an internationally renowned percussionist and producer, and a member of NYC’s Sub Swara crew. Dave has worked with an extremely diverse list of artists, including international tours with Moby, Sub Swara, Delhi 2 Dublin and DJ Rekha; recording sessions with Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Dayne, and jazz pioneer Guillermo Brown; and performances with Cheap Trick, Zila Khan (daughter of Ud. Vilayat Khan) and many, many others. He was a lead percussionist on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Bombay Dreams”. As an educator, Dave has taught with the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall and the Mark Morris Dance Company, and has lectured at NYU, Columbia University, and Dartmouth University.
Debu Nayak has performed with renowned artists like Pt. Vinayak Torvi, Pt. Ramesh Mishra, Ustad Fahimuddin Dagar, Habib Wali Mohammad, Asif Ali Khan, Shahanaz Begum, Gaurav Mazumdar, Partha Bose, Mitali Banerjee-Bhawmik, Tulika Ghosh and many others. Recently, he was featured in a collaborative effort of Indian Classical Music and Jazz called PROBE, which has also performed at the Smithsonian Institution. Debu performed at the Kennedy Center with Gaurav Majumdar on Sitar. Director of the Washington DC Chapter of Chhandayan, Inc., Debu is a computer engineer by profession and employed by the United States Department of Education.
Dave Binney is Acclaimed as a considerable and highly individual compositional talent, saxophonist Dave Binney is one of the most prolific young jazz musicians on the scene today. Winning praise from critics and colleagues alike, Dave was recently singled out by Jazz Times as one of a handful of “young players who have created an alternative jazz scene. All of whom are playing adventurous, original music.”
Dibyarka Chatterjee regularly performs with many eminent Indian musicians and collaborates with companies and groups of non-Indian traditons, such as the Dance Theater of Harlem, Battery Dance Company, Junoon led by Salman Ahmad, Gary Lucas, Najma Akhtar, and Douglas Cuomo, etc. He has composed music for, and performed in, two off-Broadway theatrical productions. He has also performed in many prestigious venues such as the Indian Consulate, Lincoln Center and the Asia Society in New York City, Place des Arts (Montreal), the Google Amphitheater (Palo Alto), etc. Since 2006 Dibyarka has been an integral part of Chhandayan, as a faculty as well as an able administrator in a few important areas. He oversees many activities and functions including publicity, web mastering, store management, concert arrangement and event management. His many contributions to the organization are invaluable, especially for events such as the Chhandayan All-Night Concert.
Emiliano Andres Valerio has played and recorded with many Salsa and Latin jazz groups including his own group. He has acted and performed in numerous regional theater productions. From 1997 to 2000, Emiliano played percussion, guitar and keyboards, and was the musical director for the Broadway show “Tap Dogs”, touring the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He plays Latin percussion, specifically Cuban percussion. Congas, timbales, and bongos are his specialty, although he also plays djembe, cajon, frame drums and tabla, of course.
Eric Phinney has performed with the Berkshire Opera Orchestra, St. Cecilia Orchestra, New World Symphony, New Music Consort, Ethos Percussion Group, Pulse Percussion Ensemble, Music from China and the contemporary group, EKKO. With Pulse and the New Music Consort, he has performed at music festivals in Moscow, Tokyo and Osaka. Mr. Phinney holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. In additional to Hindustani studies, he is a student of West African drumming with Robert Levin and recently started gyil studies with Valerie Naranjo. He has recorded with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.
Frank Colon, a world renowned Latin percussionist; also specialist in some of the most difficult African, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican percussion instruments. His talents have been recognized and applauded by artists such as Wayne Shorter, Airto Moreira, Harry Belafonte, George Clinton, Julito Collazo, Olatunji, Mickey Hart, and Milton Nascimento, among many others.
Gabriel Halberg, In Hindustani classical performances Gabe has been featured as both a soloist and an accompanist, and over the last several years has participated in various world music ensembles. He is a founding member of the group 35th Parallel, performing a style of music they call “MediterrAsian jazz”. Gabe is dedicated to spreading knowledge of the tabla and Hindustani classical music throughout New England. He teaches regular classes in Burlington, VT and Hampton Falls, NH and gives performances throughout the region.
Karsh Kale is an Indian producer, composer and musician. Kale is a prolific artist, willing to lend a hand, drum, and considerable brio to a wide range of musicians from Herbie Hancock to DJ Spooky. He has collaborated with renowned artists from such entities such as the Madras Cinematic Orchestra and also composes for film scores. Kale often creates a unique and pyrotechnical blend of Indian percussion with techno music and drum & bass.
K. V. Mahabala performs regularly at concerts such as those hosted by the Lotus School of Music, East-West School of Dance and the Knitting Factory. K.V. Mahabala has developed a deeply spiritual approach that reflects in his music.
Kumar Das has performed internationally from his native Bangladesh to Japan and throughout the US. He has multiple National Artist’s Gold Medal Awards in Classical Tabla music and has also taken his musicianship to Branson, Missouri, to play with Bluegrass greats, as well as to studio work with Hip Hop stars and avant-garde composers, and with contemporary Jazz musicians in prestigious clubs and Jazz festivals with his jazz group, Sudar. He was also a featured percussionist in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Broadway production of “Bombay Dreams.”
Michael Liptzy is Department chair, Percussion, of Queens College, New York.
Robert Benford Lepley is the founder of The Grand Piano Studio & Studio Musicians for Any Recording, and is the composer of the beautiful choral CD “Ancient Tower”. He has been teaching and playing the piano professionally for over forty years. As a music educator, Mr. Lepley’s unique concept of teaching students to improvise while they are learning to read music enables even his youngest students to experience the joy of making music quickly as well as to learn to read music proficiently. Whether teaching young beginners, advanced students, or helping seasoned professionals, Mr. Lepley is patient and gentle, and is loved and appreciated by his students.
Shainlendra Misra is a Master in percussion Music, a disciple of Shri Arjun Rai, Pt. Anand Gopal Bandopadhyay and a Gandabandh Shishya of Pt. Sameer Chatterjee. He represents both Banaras and Farrukhabad Gharanas. He also received the able guidance of Late Pt. Shyamal Bose. An ‘A’ grade artist from AIR (All India Radio) he has played in various national and international conferences and concerts with renowned artists like late Pt. V.G.Jog, Pt. Rajan-Sajan Mishra, Pt. Shrikant Bakre, Vidushi N. Rajam, Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, Pt. Nityanand Haldipur,Late Pt. Vishnu Prasanna and many more. Shailendra had a leaning towards Tabla playing from his childhood. He started his ‘Taleem’ in tabla at the tender age of 7 under the guidance of Shri Arjun Rai. Seated behind his drums, he seems to have entered a world of his own. His whole being seems to participate in the various aspects of rhythm, keeping the beat, reciting the Bols and indicating the pattern with immaculate ease. He plays passages effortlessly with unbelievable clarity, incredible tone modulation and a subtle charm typical to his style.
Shane Shanahan’s set of diverse skills and his studies of drumming traditions from around the world attracted Yo-Yo Ma when he was forming the Silk Road Ensemble, and Shane’s playing can be heard on the award-winning ensemble’s top-selling recordings. He is also a member of notable innovative groups, such as drum master Glen Velez’ Handance Ensemble and cellist Maya Beiser’s Provenance project. In addition to performing or recording extensively with many artists such as Philip Glass, Alison Krause, Shahram and Hafez Nazeri, Howard Levy and Steve Gorn, Shane has also worked extensively on Broadway, helping to create and playing the percussion book for Tony Kushner’s “Caroline, or Change,” performing Oprah Winfrey’s “The Color Purple,” and playing percussion for “Shrek The Musical,” a book orchestrated specifically for Shane’s unique musical voice. He has also taught at the Amherst Early Music Festival and at Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artist series.
Sunny Jain is recognized as a lead voice in an emerging movement of South Asian-American jazz musicians who bring together America’s greatest original art form and the ancient sounds of their cultural heritage. Steeped in the jazz tradition since the age of 12, Jain’s 5 CD releases (As Is, Mango Festival, Avaaz, Chaal Baby, Taboo) have received international acclaim for their “groundbreaking synthesis” (Coda Magazine). His latest release, Taboo (BJUR 2010), Jain “stakes out singular turf in this 21st Century world of cross-pollinating musical traditions” (Signal to Noise). Jain draws inspiration from the musical sensibilities of modern India, as well as its ancient classical forms. His Punjabi roots and appreciation for Bollywood classics are audible in his work and Indian dance rhythms find resonance with the syncopated jazz canon. His influences go further from drum & bass to progressive rock, to Brazilian and West African rhythms.
Susie Ibarra resides in New York and has performed as a soloist and collaborator in various configurations. Known for her innovative style Ibarra creates cultural dialogue through her music. She is a Yamaha, Vic Firth and Paiste Artist and has recorded over 40 records as a leader and co-leader. Ibarra composes and performs regularly with her collaborative projects with composer/percussionist Roberto Rodriguez in their eco-electronica duo Electric Kulintang, chidrens world music with Mundo Niños, Susie Ibarra Quartet with featured soloists Bridget Kibbey, Jennifer Choi and Kathleen Supove and Ibarra, as well as various interdisciplinary art collaborations with poet Yusef Komunyakaa and visual artist Makoto Fujimura.
Other notable students of Chhandayan include: Abhimanyo Janamanchi, Abraar Karan, Aditya Koolwal, Agam Kumar, Allen Roda, Alok Chatterjee, Amod Dandavate, Anand Patole, Anand Prasad, Aniket Thakur, Aniruddha Chatterjee, Anjali Reddy, Ankira Rai, Anuj Mehta, Arjan Singh, Arjun Bhatt, Arjun Mukherjee, Arun Das, Aslam Khan, Avaneesh Limaye, Balwant Dixit, Bharathi Venkatraman, Biata Barinbaum, Bill Buchen, Biru Sarkar, Debanjan Saha, Debasish Mitra, Debasish Roy, Dipak Sarkar, Diya Sengupta, Indraniel (Rio) Roye, Edward Feldman, Eric Belacastro, Eun Hee Park, Faisal Arsala, Francis Cleetus, Gabriel Halberg, Gowri (Annie) Singh, Harley Meyer, Harshat Kumar, Jacob Street, James Baker, James Muschler, John Wizoreck, Jordan Perlson, Jorge Ramiro, Joseph Thomas, Justin Ahyon, Kailash Durai, Karthik Banerjee, Kathy Fleming, Keane Bhatt, Krishna Pal, Kush Patel, Kushal Chari, Kyle Rowland, Laila Farishta, Leticia Rebeiro, Mangesh Hattikudur, Mathew Cox, Meera Raichoora, Megh Shah, Michael Magilligan, Michelle Bowman, Mir Ali, Mokshay Madiman, Nahid Sultana, Narmeen Qureshi, Navin Singh, Niraj Singh, Nirmal A. Patel, Pamela Wynschannon, Paresh Sinha, Philip Pernice, Polly Nelson, Pradip Mazumdar, Pratik Devasthale, Ravi Sood, Rick Donato, Rupak Mehta, Rushi Thanawala, Rutvij Pandya, Rajesh Bhandari, Richie Paray, Raouf Sarawari, Rich Rayburg, Robert McCowen, Sam Levin, Sameer K. Punjal, Samir Dey, Sanand Kodali, Sanjeev Midha, Stephen Celluci, Sashijet Basa, Sathyan Brenner, Shaila Cuddapah, Shankar Basa, Shailesh Bhujbal, Shana Mathur, Shibnath Chakraborty, Shourya Majumdar, Shrish Ashwat, Sian Pottok, Siddhartha Misra, Sourish Bhattacharya, Spiro Sinigos, Srinivas Narain, Shubhendu Goswami, Soble Sadiq, Sonia Sola, Sudip Nandi, Sunil Arora, Sunil Parulkar, Sunila Kale, Tapas Banerjee, Tapas Dey, Taritbaran Majumdar, Tejas Kelkar, Trevor Cohen, Usha Agate, V. Babu, Vijay Shah, Vikrant Kelkar, Vishnu Gosai, Yael Naim, Yash Bhalerao, Yash Rane, Zinnia and many more.
These students of Chhandayan bring us a lot of pride and satisfaction in our mission to propagate the learning and appreciation of Indian music. They are breaking new musical ground all the time and positively affecting an entire new generation of musicians, whose influence, in turn, will be far and wide, thus fulfilling Chhandayan mission.