Sandeep Das on His Grammy Win: India Needs to Recognise Its Heritage
Das, who has been nominated the three times before at the Grammys is considered one of the leading Tabla players in the world today.
Photo courtesy: sandeepdas.com
Sandeep Das has joined the league of a few ‘extraordinary’ Indians after winning the prestigious Grammy Awards. On Sunday night, the famous tabla player won Best World Music Album with Yo-Yo Ma at the 59th Grammy Awards. Ma’s project titled The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble is a fusion of Indian classical and world music. Talking exclusively to News18.com after his big win, the artist said, "It's a proud moment for me to represent my culture on such a big platform. I am feeling proud and grateful to my roots. The entire feeling of winning is great."
Das, who has been nominated the three times before at the Grammys is considered one of the leading Tabla players in the world today. In a professional career spanning over 25 years, he has composed and played alongside the legendary Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble, String quartets and Orchestra's such as The New York Philharmonic, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and The Boston Symphony Orchestra to name a few.
Born and brought up in India, Das started playing at the age of 16. He learned the intricacies of the instrument from Kishan Maharaj in Banaras and made his debut with Pandit Ravi Shankar. In 1990, he moved to Delhi and played with every big name in the Indian Classical circuit including Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pt.Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Dr L Subramaniam but ultimately found recognition in USA where he moved in the 1990s.
Talking about his move abroad, Das said, "It's unfortunate that while people in the west are growing fond of our culture we are busy mimicking their below average numbers. We have a rich heritage and we should be proud of it and by virtue of our culture and heritage we are a rich civilisation."
He further added, "Youngsters in India are happy playing keys in a band and perform in clubs for no money. They should understand that the key to success is ultimately your knowledge about the art. Music has to be of good quality if you need recognition in the long run."
Citing his own example Das said, "I found my path in fusion. Good collaboration at a good level is a must and I found it with all the artists I've worked with. It's a nice feeling when the work you enjoy gets recognition. While I have been featured in New York Times and Washington Post, it still feels good when media from back home take note of one’s achievements."
Das sees his win as a gateway for youngsters to take cue and focus on India’s rich musical heritage. "Indians are working hard and getting their dues with time. I hope we give the required respect to the classical artistes as well."
"Media should also encourage good work and it will automatically become popular." said Das. The elated musician mentioned he would be travelling to Boston to celebrate his win with friends and family soon.
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