Assam’s new youth icon blazing across UK


Trained by Ustad Zakir Hussain, Rishii brings a fresh new appeal to the tabla

Rishii

The new generation of Assamese musicians have created a nice for themselves all across the globe. Everyday we get to hear names of people who have either made it big in Bollywood or received acclaim for bringing in new idioms to the field. The latest addition to that list is Rishii Chowdhury – a highly talented and promising table player who is presently breezing through the UK concert halls.

When I had first met Rishii a year back along with his equally talented sister Samyami, I had labelled him as ‘Assam’s youth icon’ Watching him work his way up the music ladder today, I am proud to say that I was not off the mark.

A rising star in the domain of Indian classical music, Rishii brings a fresh, energetic and exciting approach to playing the tabla. His roots are in Assam, where his mother, Manjira Chowdhury was an All India Radio Artist. From a very young age, Rishii has been performing on stage with his family immersing himself into Assamese folk and devotional music. His role in the Chowdhury family music ensemble ranged from singing and playing maracas to eventually playing tabla and other Assamese percussion instruments such as nagra and khol.

With his amazingly charming good looks, he brings a magical quality when he appears on stage and audiences get drawn to him. Being born in the UK, Rishii has been blessed with a unique musical upbringing. The fact that his mother could train him to appreciate traditional Assamese music, even though staying so far away from the homeland, is credible in itself.

It is Rishii’s dedication to the art of tabla and pursuit of excellence that has led him to learn from the World’s greatest tabla maestro’s Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. He travels to America and India to learn from these masters. One of Rishii’s most special moments was when he presented a solo to Ustad Zakir Hussain in 2011. In the UK, Rishii is being mentored by sitar maestro Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE and eminent British Sitarist Roopa Panesar.

As well as being deeply rooted in the classical tradition, Rishii has been involved in many stimulating world music projects working with Drum n bass, jazz, Western classical, electronic, reggae and dubstep genres. Rishii is also a member of ‘Tarang’, the UK’s National Ensemble for Indian Music created by Milapfest.

I wish Rishii the very best in the days to come and hope that he is able to attain newer heights. Meanwhile, for music lovers in the city there is another piece of good news. Rishii will be performing in the city during the Guwahati International Music Festival. So don’t forget to catch him live there!!

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Posted on November 16, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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