Dr. Balwant Joshi Memorial Concert

Shashwati Mandal (Hindustani Vocal)
Mausam (Harmonium)
Dhananjay Kunte (Tabla)

Sunday May 19 2019, 5:00 PM

Dr V Premanand Theater & Concert Hall
Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN


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About the Artists

Shashwati Mandal

Shashwati was born in Gwalior in a family of musicians. Her maternal grandfather Pt. Balabhau Umdekar 'Kundalguru' was a darbar-gayak (court musician) at the royal court of Gwalior, and a singer of the Gwalior gharana.  Shashwati started her early classical training under the guidance of her mother, Smt. Kamal Mandal, at a very young age. From 1987-1992, she received a Department of Culture (Govt of India) scholarship to study under the veteran Gwalior gharana singer Pt. Balasaheb Poonchhwale.[3] Balasaheb instilled into her the finer nuisances of Gwalior gayaki, and also trained her into the art of Tappa singing, the vibrant semi-classical genre. She continued her training with her gurus, Balasaheb Poonchhwale and Kamal Mandal until their deaths in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

She also studied briefly under Purnima Chaudhuri for Thumri, Gundecha Brothers for Dhrupad, and Sarbat Hussain for Ghazal singing. In 2009-2010, she received Sanskriti Foundation's Mani Mann Fellowship to study under Madhup Mudgal of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi. In addition, she is heavily influenced by the gayaki of Kumar Gandharva, and the repertoire of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana.
Shashwati has integrated these eclectic musical leanings into her gayaki (musical style). She has received praise for her full-throated resonant voice, and clarity of taans and murkis.[ She is widely regarded as one the foremost exponents of Tappa singing.

As a child prodigy Shashwati started giving public performance at the young age of seven. She has performed extensively in India and abroad. Some of her major performances include Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav in Pune, Maharashtra in 2006, Darbar festival in United Kingdom in 2008, Saptak Annual Festival of Music in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in 2010, Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Samaroh in New Delhi in 2010, Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan in Jalandhar, Punjab in 2012, and ITC Sangeet Sammelan in Kolkata, West Bengal in 2014.  Abroad, she has performed at Darbar Festival UK, Chandayan Overnight Festival New York, Oriental Music Festival Estonia, and Singapore Fine Arts Festival, Singapore.

Shashwati has been nominated to the 'Word Songlines Music Awards' 2009, by Songlines magazine in the category of Best New Comer and Best Artist.  This nomination was for the album 'Tappa Journey' released by Sense World Music in UK.  The magazine also her 'Top Of The World' five star review.

She is currently an 'A' grade artist at All India Radio and is an empanelled artist at Indian Council for Cultural Relations.  Shashwati also served as a staff artist in All India Radio, Bhopal and an Assistant Professor of Music in Mumbai University, Mumbai. Shashwati also conducted workshops with her late Guru Balasaheb Poonchwale and later individually at various venues in India and abroad.


Mausam is a born rasika of music and plays both harmonium and tabla with great feeling. He has accompanied several notable musicians such as Pt Vidyadhar Vyas, Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan, Smt Neela Bhagwat, Smt Sunanda Patnaik and, Smt Shashwati Mandal. After twelve years in Seattle he moved back to India and is currently a faculty member in Computer Science at IIT Delhi. Mausam also studied vocal music from late Dr. Sharad Gadre of Gwalior gharana.

Dhananjay Kunte

Dhananjay Kunte is an accomplished tabla artist in the Chicago area. He received intense training in tabla for more than three decades from Pt. Pandurang Mukhade of Farukhabad gharana. He is currently pursuing his advanced training under the legendary tabla maestro Pt. Anindo Chatterjee. Dhananjay holds a Master’s Degree in tabla. He is a highly sought after tabla accompanist and has accompanied renowned artists including Dr. Vikas Kashalkar, Pt. Shrikant Deshpande, Pt. Appasaheb Jalgaonkar, Pt. Nagrajrao Havaldar, Smt. Arati Ankalikar, Pt. Upendra Bhat, Shri Abhay Sopori, Pt. Nathrao Neralkar, Shri. Parthasarathi Chatterjee, Shri. Gaurav Majumdar, Shri. Hindole Chattopadhyaya, Shri. Pankaj Mishra, Smt. Saraswati Ranganathan, etc. Apart from classical music, Dhananjay also accompanies other genres of music including light music, devotional music and kirtans. He also regularly works with western musicians and experiments in world fusion music called Surabhi Ensemble.  He also has performed at the prestigious World Music Festival in Chicago on several occasions. Dhananjay is actively involved in teaching tabla and runs his school - Pratibha School of Music.

About the Venue:
Normandale Community College is located at : 9700 France Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55431

To get to Normandale Community College, follow the directions provided here


IMSOM's Spring 2019 Concert Series has been is made possible by the UHG “Dollars for Doers” Grant, matching grants from Honeywell & US Bank, a generous donation from the Dr. Dash Foundation, late Dr V Premanand & family, Sandhya Joshi & Gopal Sadagopal, and the generosity of IMSOM’s members and donors. All concerts are co-sponsored by KFAI Radio (90.3 FM Mpls/106.7 FM St. Paul).

For further information contact:

Ameeta Kelekar
Siddharth Iyengar


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