Debashish Bhattacharya
Debashish Bhattacharya

Debashish Bhattacharya

About Debashish Bhattacharya

Born in 1963 to musically inclined parents, Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya was a prodigy of Indian music, taking up the guitar in its newest incarnations as an Indian classical instrument. Playing for All India Radio by age four, Bhattacharya developed his personal style over the next 20 years or so, studying under the father of Indian classical guitar, Brij Bhushan Kabra, as well as vocalist Ajoy Chakrabarty and Ali Akbar Khan. He was given the President of India award in 1984 at the age of 21. From there, he went on to work developing the Hawaiian slide guitar into a more Indian instrument, adding chikaris and sympathetic strings, and eventually coming out with a 24-string instrument based on the old Hawaiian six-string. This is universally regarded as the highest form of the slide guitar's development anywhere, making Bhattacharya one of the masters of the instrument, especially when considering his amazing abilities in playing Indian forms on it. Since gaining renown, he's worked on a number of guitar tours and multicultural projects, most notably with John McLaughlin's Shakti and a number of projects with slide guitar master Bob Brozman. In 2003 Bhattacharya released Mahima with Brozman, fusing Hawaiian and Indian music, which raised his global profile exponentially. Between 2004 and 2009 he was prolific, releasing no less than ten albums including the widely celebrated Love's Dawn, Til Death Do Us Part, Calcutta Slide Guitar: Vol. 3, Raga Pahadi Jhinjhoti with Swapan Chaudhuri, and Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide-Guitar Oddyssey (which earned him both a Grammy nomination and a BBC Award. He toured and taught at various universities between 2010-2012. Bhattacharya resumed recording in 2013 with the solo Madeira: If Music Could Intoxicate, and Beyond the Ragasphere on Riverboat; the latter was recorded with friends including drummer Jeff Sipe, guitarists Jerry Douglas and John McLaughlin and keyboardist Raja Narayan Dev. Two years later, Riverboat issued his Slide Guitar Ragas from Dusk til Dawn, followed in 2017 by an ensemble recording entitled Hawaii to Calcutta: A Tribute to Tau Moe. ~ Adam Greenberg

    Calcutta, India
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