North Indian Ragas on Saxophone and Esraj

Saturday, December 1, 2018
7:00 –9:00 pm
Tuition : $20.00


Originally from Toronto, Canada, but based in Kolkata for the past 10 years, Jonathan Kay is leading the younger generation towards a truly original and creative approach to improvisation and global music through his tenor and soprano saxophones, bora esraj (rare Indian 21-stringed bowed instrument), bansuri (Indian bamboo flute) and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Under the guidance of his Guru, Pandit Shantanu Bhattacharyya, Jonathan has emerged as the first artist to traditionally render the full form of North Indian Raga music on his tenor and soprano saxophones, and has been recognized as an important innovator to the tradition by many of India’s maestros. This includes the research and development of the first non-tempered saxophone, the Shrutiphone, designed to more perfectly express the subtle shruti’s (mirco-tonal inflections) of the Ragas. The Shrutiphone was premiered on the professional Raga music stage in 2013 when he was accompanied by one of India’s greatest living tabla maestros, Pandit Sub-hankar Banerjee in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 2016, his solo performance at Kolkata’s Ramakrisha Mission, Gol Park, was also a historic event as it was the first time the Hindusthani saxophone was featured on such a prestigious stage in India. Jonathan moved to Santiniketan, West Bengal, in 2016 to focus on talim from his esraj Guru, Sri Abir Singh Khangura, a disciple of Pandit Ranadhir Roy. Learning in the tantrakari style for the past 6 years and developing the boro esraj into a solo instrument, Jonathan has performed on extensively in India and North America. During Jonathan’s time in India he has been blessed to learn from and collaborate with many of India’s greatest maestros including Ajoy Chakraborty, Rashid Khan, Dhruba Ghosh, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Bickram Ghosh, Tanmoy Bose, Subhankar Banerjee, Tejendra Majumdar, Ronu Majumdar, Subhen Chatterjee, Subhajyoti Guha, Sougata Roy Chowdhury, Prattyush Banerjee and Ranajit Sengupta.

Nilan Chaudhuri has spent his life steeped in the tradition of Inidan Classical Music. The third son of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Nilan he has accompanied some of India’s most celebrated Indian classical musicians worldwide. He has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall, The Fillmore, Yoshis, Fox Theater, and the Montery Pop Festival. Currently Nilan lives in the Bay Area where he continues to study under his father, while training his students and maintaining a busy performance schedule.