The new voice of Indian classical music is pure, devout, rich and smooth like a choir – culminating in an unbridled explosion of traditional raagas riding on silky contemporary notes.
Vocalist Anandi Bhattacharya is a classical yet a modern singer of a musical dynasty learning melody and rhythm from infancy.
With a lineage of nine generations of Indian traditional musicians from Kolkata, Anandi’s father Debashish Bhattacharya is world-renowned for his new interpretation of Raaga music innovated on Hindustani acoustic slide guitar. Known for greater musical range, physical dexterity, and emotional depth, he is a possessed musical mind and a great collaborator.
Her uncle Subhasis Bhattacharjee is a leader of his generation of Indian percussionists. With meticulously tuned hand drums, he plays intricate rhythms on multiple tracks..
Anandi is also joined by multifaceted Carola Ortiz, who plays sonorous clarinet adding jazz, rock, pop, world, and experimental to the ensemble.
On their recent tour to America, the famous quartet have made a musical explosion. They come to Eastern Canada to present music lovers a feast of classical Indian music served on a variety of accompaniments.
At the age of 22, Anandi has been credited for keeping alive the puritan form of classical music while rendering them contemporary styles.
“Indian music is preserved over 200 years and is very well passed on to generations. I am very conscious of keeping the Indian music in its pristine form while innovating in my delivery to modern-day listeners,” she told to India Journal in an exclusive interview.
Music for her is always “evolving” holding the puritan and modern facets at the same time and thus striking a balance for new listeners who may have a receding attention span. “Thus I carry the responsibility to keep them in cue in a beautiful way,” she said.
“I keep it concise and modern while our ensemble brings elements of jazz, pop, world and rock. With beautiful renditions from Bengali and Rajasthani folklores, we create a potpourri of music – keeping our listeners interested,” she explained.
Aptly titled, The Voice of Modern India, she hopes to engage the audience with 5 or 6 songs starting with chanting a prayer of thanks Jay Ganesh to elephant deity Ganesh.
The musical evening will serve a whole range of emotions and expressions in songs from her debut international album “Joys Abound” floating above a tabla storm on In Between Us, or rapping out the syllables on Maya’s Dream evoking childhood nostalgia. There is also a song about Rajasthani monsoon depicting a pluviophile’s dance, a rendition of Nobel Laureate Tagore’s Amaro Purano, and other folklores like De de na and Tere Ishq piya..Jane na doongi.
Anandi believes her father’s journey as a musician has helped her immensely to grow as an artist.
While travelling with him all over the world, she learnt the discipline and the devotion, evolving as a singer with the ability to take cheers and criticism with equal ease.
The entire journey also made her a compassionate and kind soul – ready to rescind the luxuries of life to offer somebody less privileged a soft bed or a meal.
“As Indians we lack empathy and we are not motivated to do good while our government is failing in its social duties and all of these manifests in the disparities we see in our society. In India we don’t have a whistle blower – giving voice to people,” she expressed in a candid conversation.
As a singer or any profession which permeates power we have a responsibility, she said, adding “I will happily do it. People need to get off their high horses and offer to the poor, the marginalized and the underprivileged.”
Anandi says her family is happy to live on humble income while helping raise 25 families in India. Their music school is giving scholarships to keep the dreams of budding singers and musicians alive.
A golden voice and a kind soul, Anandi Bhattacharya makes a refreshing debut in Brampton (Nov 01), St Katherines (Nov 02), Kingston (Nov 07) and Markham (Nov 09).
Accompanied with legendary guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya, tabla maestro Subhasis Bhattacharjee and clarinetist Carola Ortiz, Anandi Bhattacharya performs at Flato Markham Theatre on Nov 09 at 8 pm.
For special discounted tickets, please call 905-305-7469 or visit www.markhamtheatre.ca