Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar
In an age when maestros of the older generation express fear of the decadence of Indian musical traditions Ulhas Kashalkar’s voice and music stands like the Colossus at it were an eternal reminder of the strength of this great art. Ulhas Kashalkar was born in a family of musicians. His father Shri N.D. Kashalkar a musician in his own right initiated him into vocal music. In time he was accepted as a disciple by such great masters of the art as Pandit Ram Marathe and Pandit Gajananbua Joshi. Thus he received training of the highest order in three distinct prominent gharanas-Gwalior Agra and Jaipur.
With a blessed and the gifted ability to blend the three gayakees with authenticity and aesthetic excellence he soon emerged to be one of the most formidable vocalists of the country. While his music remains well within the confines of tradition the listener revels in a experience of listening to a seemingly new gayakee.
Ulhas ji is one of the most sought after artistes both in India and in several other countries. He has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the world like the town hall (Kolkata) theatre de la ville (Paris) the Lincoin Center (New York) The National Gallery of Australia (Canberra) the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and The South bank centre (London) to name a few the number of record companies that have released his cassettes and CDs world over is a reiteration of his popularity Ulhas ji is the recipient of several awards such as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Jadubhatta Puraskar and Swar Ratna Award and has been conferred with titles such as Raag Rishi.
For over a decade now he has been with the ITC Sangeet Research Academy Kolkata as a guru producing numerous students of high caliber.
A torchbearer of India’s pristine musical tradition Ulhas Kashalkar continues to enthrall and take his audiences on an ecstatic journey through his music.
Raag Malati Basant
This is a rare raga in contemporary concert circles. Typical to the Agra Gharana this raga finds mention in several old texts and is believed to have preceded the raga Basant we hear today. One finds traces of Puriya Sohni and Lalit in its exposition.
While the Vilambit khayal is a traditional composition the drut bandish was composed by Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan (Pran Piya) of the Agra gharana. Pt. Gajanan Bua Joshi received this from his and in turn handed it down by tradition to Ulhas Ji. The notes employed are S r G m M D and N.
Raag Shuddha Nat
This traditional raga is believed to be a confluence of raga Shuddha Kalyan and the Nat ang. Like most Nat varieties this is an early evening melody. All seven notes (Shuddha) are employed. Although opinions on its structure vary minutely among musicians the structure in this rendition was handed down to Ulhas ji by his guru Pt. Gajanan bua Joshi who received it from Ustad Bhurji Khan (son of the erstwhile Ustad Alladiya Khan doyen of the Jaipur Gharana). While the vilambit khayal is a traditional composition the drut bandish was composed by Pt. Gajanan bua Joshi.
1. Raag Malati Basant
Vilambit Teentaal – Taan Talwaar
Madhyalaya Teentaal – Samajh Mann Moorakh
2. Raag Shuddha Nat
Vilambit Teentaal – Aankh Na Mori Laagi
Madhyalaya Teentaal – Jaa Re Kagwaa
Harmonium: Pt. Purushottam Walawalkar
Tabla: Shri Yogesh Samsi
Tanpura: Shri Omkar Dadarkar and Shir Hrishikesh Gangurde