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Debashish Bhattacharya

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Born in 1963 to musically inclined parents, 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 here, 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 his 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. ~ Adam Greenberg

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1963 in Calcutta, India

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s