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Tarun Bhattacharya

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Tarun Bhattacharya has been called "a master of one hundred strings." One of the most influential players of the santoor, India's hammered dulcimer-like instrument, Bhattacharya has continued to expand on the instrument's capabilities. In addition to adding an extra string, whose pitch can be varied by finger pressure, Bhattacharya has incorporated meend, an expressive sliding style of ornamentation. Jazz Times described Bhattacharya's playing as "subtle in inflection and supple in phrasing." The first santoor player featured on the influential all-India radio and TV show Raag Rang, Bhattacharya received his earliest musical instruction from his father, Shri Robi Bhattacharya, who played sitar and santoor. Although he started on the tabla, he switched to the santoor at th age eight. After studying with Dulal Roy, Bhattacharya began studies with Rave Shankar, with whom he studied for 13 years. Although he mostly performs and records as a soloist, Bhattacharya has periodically worked with other influential Indian musicians. Together with fellow students of Shankar, V. M. Bhatt (guitar) and Ronu Majumdar (flute), he recorded an album titled The Song of Nature." Bhattacharya recently recorded a duo album, Mental Bliss, with tabla player Bikom Ghosh, based on the theories of higher evolution developed by Sri Aurobindu. ~ Craig Harris

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