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Snehashish Mozumder Brings Indian Classical Mandolin to U.S. Audiences

By Martin Stillion
August 21, 2008 - 8:15 am

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Snehasish Mozumder

Snehasish Mozumder

Snehasish Mozumder is unique among his generation of recognized North Indian classical musicians in the Hindustani tradition: He's the only one who plays a mandolin-family instrument.

The 5-string, solidbody electric mandolin is now established in the Carnatic music of southern India—thanks to Maestro U. Srinivas and his many pupils. In contrast, Snehashish Mozumder stands alone as a mandolinist, both because he specializes in the northern Hindustani style and because he uses more conventional acoustic or acoustic/electric 8-string mandolas and octave mandolins.

His talent comes from the sublime human voice he produces from of his instrument—be it an Indian melody, a haunting Celtic rendering or something completely different. He improvises on North Indian classical ragas shaped around harmonious melodies. His bassy, North Indian vocal phrasings elevate his music beyond global boundaries.

Snehasish comes from a family that maintains its musical traditions and lineage, and for nearly 40 years he has studied or collaborated with many of the leading figures in North Indian classical music. Western audiences may recognize him as the mandolin soloist in Ravi Shankar's Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall Concert for George Harrison in 2002, where he shared the stage with musicians such as Tom Petty and Eric Clapton. With several recordings to his credit, Snehasish enthusiastically shares his talent and innovations with diverse artists and audiences all over the world and is regularly on tour in Europe and the United States.

Snehashish is currently on tour in the United States as part of a five-person ensemble, giving concerts to benefit Sankara Nethralaya, a charity hospital in Chennai, India. Venues in August and September are as follows:

August 23, 2008 - Houston
August 24, 2008 - Dallas/Ft. Worth
August 30, 2008 - Atlanta
August 31, 2008 - St. Louis
September 13, 2008 - Boston
September 14, 2008 - Bridgewater, N.J.
September 20, 2008 - Washington, D.C.
September 21, 2008 - Baltimore
September 27, 2008 - Seattle
September 28, 2008 - San Francisco

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