A House-full IAA Audience Enjoys Kaushiki Chakraborty Classical Concert

By Radhika Day and Jyoti Kulkarni

HOUSTON: Houstonians enjoyed a very special treat for Mother’s Day. On Saturday May 13th, IAA-Houston, Houston’s leading arts organization for three decades, presented acclaimed Indian classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty at the Wortham Center.

One of the finest classical vocalists of the modern era, who has been hailed as the” torchbearer of the Patiala tradition, Kaushiki’s ability to capture emotions and express them though her fluid vocal style mesmerized the audience.

Kaushiki enthralled the audience with her scintillating performance, powerful stage presence and humility. She was accompanied on stage at the sold-out show by Ustad Murad Ali Khan of the Moradabad gharana on sarangi, Sandip Gosh of Farukhabad gharana on tabla, and Tanmay Deochake of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya on harmonium. Each of these accompanists  being highly accomplished artistes, the interludes they provided during the performance were very liked and enjoyed by the listeners. Divya Rath and Krisha Rath provided the taanpura accompaniment.

With her beautiful and evocative voice, Kaushiki opened with a Khayal followed by Drut Bandish in Raag Rageshri. Kaushiki effortlessly rendered vigorous, complicated and rhythmic taans with intricate patterns with razor sharp clarity, which charecterises this Gayaki (musical style).

Especially electrifying was Kaushiki’s rendition of the saragam (musical phrases), its aakar, and boltans, which the audience enjoyed immensely.

In the second half of the concert, Kaushiki beautifully emoted the longing of a lover in the rainy season (it had been raining in Houston) as she sang the Kajri — “Sawan ke ritu aaye sajaniya, pritam nahi aaye”, followed by “Barasan laage badariya zum zum ke”. Kaushiki also sang “Aaji dev mahadev he dayani”, a devotional bhajan in praise of Lord Shiva.

Kaushiki, whose voice simply glides through all the three octaves, concluded the evening with the famous signature thumri. “Yaad piya ki aaye.” This thumri has been sung by many legendary artistes and Kaushiki’s rendition, in her open throated voice, was a sublime musical experience, which you wished would never end.

IAA is a 501 (C)(3) non profit organization bringing the best of Indian arts and entertainment to Houston through it’s annual season. IAA’s goal is to promote and preserve Indian performing arts.

The next not-to-be missed event is “Dil Se”, a multi-media tribute to AR Rahman by Milind Oak and Niche Productions from Pune on June 02 at the Stafford Center.

For tickets and information contact IAA at 832.315.6586 or by email at info@iaahouston.org