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Soul of Sound: Gundecha Brothers

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, 201 Mercer Street Seattle, WA 98109

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In this grand celebration of Indian classical music, Padmashri Gundecha Brothers - Pandits Umakant (vocal), Ramakant (vocal) and Akhilesh Gundecha (pakhawaj) will present a full length Dhrupad music vocal performance.

At their most venturesome, the brothers voices seemed more supple and versatile than any string instrument.

Washington Post

Dhrupad is the oldest and most serene form of Indian classical music. Dhrupad concerts explore ragas in depth, providing elaborate alaps (improvisations) in four different speeds, followed by compositions rendered to the rhythm of the accompanying pakhawaj, and further improvisations in rhythm. Gundecha Brothers perform Dhrupad concerts in the jugalbandi style - singing together, and going back and forth. This provides additional beauty and interest as their voices and ideas merge and separate.

The Gundecha Brothers are the most active performers and world renowned teachers of the ancient Indian musical vocal genre known as Dhrupad on the world musical scene today. They have made numerous international tours visiting more than 25 countries around the globe and have recorded more than three dozen CDs from various national and international music labels. In 2012, Umakant and Ramakant, both vocalists and the elder of the three brothers, received from the government of India the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor of India, for their contribution to Indian classical music. Together with Akhilesh, the youngest brother and a performer on the barrel drum known as pakhawaj, they operate the Dhrupad Sansthan in Bhopal, India, a unique musical academy patterned on the ancient guru-shishya (teacher-disciple) tradition of education, with students from more than 20 countries, as well as from various parts of India, participating.

Born in Ujjain in central India, the brothers were initiated into music by their parents. All three received conventional university educations while also studying music. Umakant and Ramakant learned from the renowned Dhrupad vocalist Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, and also with the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (the distinguished performer of rudra veena) at the Dhrupad Kendra in Bhopal. Akhilesh, the youngest brother, studied the pakhawaj with the prominent percussionists Pandit Shrikant Mishra and Raja Chhatrapati Singh JuDeo, and in addition to his brothers, has accompanied almost all of the major Dhrupad vocalists and instrumentalists of India. All of the brothers appear regularly on local and nation radio and television. Among the signature achievements of the Gundecha Brothers has been their ability to conduct intensive workshops of Indian music abroad. In a brief period of ten days to two weeks, they prepare a small group of students—usually from ten to twenty, with no previous background in Indian music and often with little or no commonality of language—for a short performance of Dhrupad Vocal and percussion (Pakhawaj). They have also sung for many television channels in India and have been broadcasted on British, U.S., German and French, Japan and Australian Radio.

For more detailed information about the Gundecha Brothers and Dhrupad, please visit

Dhrupad Music Institute of America, a sponsor for this event also welcomes you to a dinner with the artists after the concert. Purchase dinner tickets

Please note: As part of the Summer at Cornish program, the Gundecha Brothers will be conducting intensive Dhrupad workshops in the week prior to the concert. For more information, please click here.


Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, 201 Mercer Street Seattle, WA 98109

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