Maestro Aloke Dasgupta is among the most outstanding and original sitar players in the North Indian classical style. With his mature style and compositions all his own and traditional music what he learn from great maestros, he draws the memory back nostalgically to the past greats of sitar, while at the same time revealing an awareness of contemporary, international movements, such as Jazz, new-age and world music.
After studying with his late uncle Binoy Dasgupta starting at the age of eleven, he became a student of Pundit Jogesh Bannerjee, Professor Shiba Prasad Chakraborty, Smt.Kalyani Roy and finally the renowned master Late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Erudite and articulate, with a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from San Diego State University, Aloke made his debut in 1981 at the New York Folk Festival, where he was introduced by composer-performer David Amram. Since then, Maestro Dasgupta has enjoyed a steady journey of success all over the world wide concerts in Tokyo (Tama Tokyo Conservatory), Berlin ( Indian consulate), Amsterdam, Brussels (Pale The Bozar), New York ( Lincoln Center, Alice Tully), Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl). He has toured with India’s greatest violin player Pundit V.G.Jog. Aloke has also played for Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne, Gwen Stefani and Cheap Trick for their top-rated show Sgt. Pepper Live, engineered by Beatles’ producer Geoff Emerick. Aloke Teamed up with Linda J. Macy (Johnson) and played for a sitar concerto “Looking Eastward”.
Maestro Aloke Dasgupta has played on NBC, CBS, PBS, Indian Doordarshan Chanel (Subah Savere) television and his performances have been broadcasted live in major cities in the U.S. and in India. Recently, Aloke has performed in ESPN’s “Sideline” (First time played “Take me out to the ball game in Sitar), Disney’s “The Zach and Cody Show- Suite Life on Deck”, and his music has been featured in the award-winning movie “Outsourced” as well as “Ocean of Pearl’ and “The Letters” life story of Mother Teresa. His theme music for “Bollywood Theme Park” is well accepted.
“The human ear can only hear sounds within a certain range. Beyond that range the universe is full of music that the ear cannot hear. For an Indian musician, one of those goals is to hear that universal song.”
– Maestro Aloke Dasgupta
In 1995, Aloke was presented with the prestigious SOPAN award in Calcutta, instituted by leading intellectuals of Bengal, for creative excellence in music. Recently he has been awarded “Gandhava Award (A celestial Musician) from India. Today, Aloke is a much sought after performer world-wide and, along with his wife, classical vocalist Sanjukta Dasgupta, runs the Raga Ranjani School of Music in Los Angeles area. Aloke has won the hearts of critics and discerning audiences worldwide. Indeed if there is one thing that remains strongly etched in the memory after Aloke’s performance, it is the soft touch, the subtle sweetness of his notes, that are reminiscent of the haunting mystical sequences of the late master, Nikhil Banerjee. In fact, Aloke believes that Nikhil Banerjee was a mystic who attained spiritual perfection, through the practice of music, nada-vidya, and Aloke aspires to the same goal. It is this, more than anything else, that makes a performance by Aloke Dasgupta especially noteworthy and imparts a lingering introspection underneath the good humored playful banter of his life and work. Aloke Dasgupta is among the most remarkable and innovative sitar players in the North Indian Classical style. Though grounded in the malhar gharana of Allauddin Khan, Aloke has rapidly assimilated phrasing and tonality from other gharanas, to pioneer a versatile originality, which has carved for him an inventive and vibrant niche. He has composed several Indian-American jazz selections for the album Usha, Blue Raga and has published a CD of short raga-based pieces, titled “Caress of the Sitar”, Duet with pundit V. G Jog (Ecstasy of String) and with Indian Oboe like reed instrument Shehnai (An Integral), solo sitar CD from Germany (Dai Umerang Des Sitar), Raga Suite etc.
Aloke Dasgupta on Radio Venice
Radio Venice S04.E06 – October 16, 2016