Distinguished Musicians from India Perform on October 24

Posted on 10/14/2016 4:29:39 PM

Nagaraj Rao Havaldar will present a lecture on “The Raaga (melodic) system, The Time Theory of Raaga and the Seasonal Raagas” on Monday, October 24, from 2:30 to 3:20 p.m. in Cogswell Hall, Room 126. Following this, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. he will present a vocal performance assisted by Kedarnath Havaldar on Tabla (percussion) and Sameer Havaldar on Harmonium (Indian keyboard instrument). This session will also take place in Cogswell Hall, Room 126.

Nagaraj Rao HavaldarBoth sessions are free and open to IUP and the community. Attendance vouchers will be provided for students attending for class credit.

The lecture and performance are sponsored by the IUP Music Department, the IUP College of Fine Arts, and the Indiana Indian community, and coordinated by Prashanth Bharadwaj.

For any questions, please contact Linda Jennings at ljenning@iup.edu or 724-357-2649.

Pandit (Pt.) Nagaraj Rao Havaldar is a leading artiste of the Kirana Gharana. Havaldar is a disciple of Pt. Madhava Gudi, himself a prime disciple of Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. He is also a disciple of Pt. Panchakshari Swami Mattigatti, a senior disciple of Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur, from whom he has imbibed the niceties of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. Havaldar brings to his performances the subtle understanding of a scholar and the finesse of an aesthete.

A gold medalist in MA (history and archeology), he holds a doctorate in music from Karnataka University, his doctorate thesis being “The History of Classical Music in Karnataka.” He holds with distinction Sangeetha Ratna, a degree in Hindustani Classical Music from Karnataka University. He has worked at the Music Archives, Hubli, All India Radio, Bangalore, as a program executive (1988–91). He was also the chairman of Textbook Committee for Hindustani Music, for the Directorate of Textbooks, Karnataka. His column, “Anuraaga,” based on the life of musicians, has caught the imagination of readers. He has been contributing articles to various leading Kannada papers and weekly magazines. Hampi University has published a book titled Badalaaguttiruva Kaalaghattadalli Shastreeya Sangeeta (“Indian Classical Music in Changing Times”) written by Havaldar.

During his study for Sangeetha Ratna, a six-year degree course in Hindustani classical music from Karnataka University, Dharwad, Karnataka, he studied under Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur (the head of the Department of Music). At the university, luminaries like Pt. Panchakshari Swami Mattigatti, Pt. Basavaraj Rajaguru, Pt. Sangameshwar Gurav, and B. D. Pathak were his faculty members. While his style reflects his extensive training from Kirana masters, he is equally at ease with the Jaipur-Atrauli specialties such as Basanti Kedar, Kaunsi Kanada, Jai Jai Malhar, Shivmat Bhairav, Kabir Bhairav, Marwa ThaatBhibas, Nat Malhar, and many more. Gifted with a powerful voice that easily traverses three octaves, his music has a powerful emotional and intellectual appeal. His renditions of bhajans in various languages create a spiritually uplifting ambience.

Havaldar has performed all over in India, at festivals such as the Hampi Utsav (Karnataka), Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh (Benaras), Salt Lake Music Festival (Kolkata), Swar Zankar (Pune), etc. He has toured the U.S. and the U.K. extensively and performed at the Chhandayan All Night Music Festival (New York and Toronto), Dhrishti Foundation Tribute Concert (Chicago), Arsha Vidya Gurukulam (Pennsylvania), and Chinmaya Mission (Chicago), amongst others. Havaldar is frequently invited by corporations and universities to give lecture-demonstrations on Indian classical music appreciation, and stress management through music. He has given lecture-demonstrations at multinational companies such as Alcatel-Lucent (New Jersey), IBM (New York), Wipro (Bangalore) etc. and at universities such as Yale University, University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, University of Buffalo, University of Milwaukee, Bradley University, and Valparaiso University. He was a visiting faculty at Elmhurst College in Chicago during fall 2011, teaching Indian classical music to American music-major students. His regular visits to the U.S. since 2001 have won him many fans, students, and admirers.

Havaldar is the founder and president of Sunaada Art Foundation, an organization that aims to promote and preserve Indian classical music for the future generations by archiving rare recordings, organizing concerts, and promoting senior, but lesser known artistes in Hindustani music, especially from Karnataka. Havaldar has been a pioneer in popularizing the Kannada Khayal by adapting Vachanas, literary works of Haridasa, and suitable contemporary poetry in Kannada to the traditional khayal form.

His last visit to the U.S. was August–December 2011 as a visiting professor of Hindustani Classical Music at Elmhurst College Chicago, and his performances at the World Music Festival in Chicago and Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav at Pune have caught the global attention. His music can be heard on YouTube.

Kedarnath Havaldar is fortunate to be born into a family of musicians. His father, Naga Raj Rao Havaldar, is a renowned Hindustani classical vocalist. An eminent vocalist, he has enthralled the audiences and scholars through his soulful performance and lecture demonstrations in India and abroad. Kedar’s mother, Sudhamayi, is a trained musician and a graduate from the College of Fine Arts in Mysore. His elder brother, Omkarnath, is an accomplished vocalist, having already established a nichė in the field of classical music.

Kedar’s journey in music began with vocal training from his father at a very young age. But, young Kedar was fascinated by the possibilities of Layakaari, rhythm, and the Tabla. As it is said, “SwaramaathaLayapithaa” (Melody is the mother and Rhythm is the father). After pursuing his vocal training for five years, his initial training in Tabla began under Pt. Rajgopal Kallurkar, a renowned maestro of the Faroukhabaad Gharana. Kallurkar’s affectionate training for the next 12 years helped Kedar blossom as a competent soloist and an accompanist. Kedar's quest for knowledge drove him to Pt. M. Nagesh, another dedicated teacher, and a disciple of Pt. Puttaraj Gawai. Panditji’s vast experience and interaction with many senior musicians has been handed over to young Kedar with much forethought and care. Kedar is also a recipient of Kishora Prathibha Puraskaa, a state award for Tabla.

Presently, Kedar is learning from the internationally renowned Tabla maestro Pt. Samir Chatterjee. He went to Kolkata for a true Gurukul experience, in the year 2009, and continued his Taaleem from Samirji in the Chhandayan Centre for Indian Music, Manhattan, New York, for the next two years and he continues to learn his Guru. He has completed his post-graduation in Tabla with a Gold Medal (Master of Arts) at KSGH University, Mysore. Kedar’s constant interaction with his Guruji and the visiting musicians of the Chhandayan Center has fine-tuned his musical thoughts.

Kedar is extremely privileged to receive a special taaleem of vocal accompaniment under great Maestros like Pt. Madhava Gudi, Pt. Panchaksahri Swami Mattigatti. Presently, he trains with his father, Pt. Dr. Nagaraj Rao Havaldar, and Pt. Indudhar Nirody. Constant interaction with these maestros has made Kedar a sought-after accompanist. Academically, Kedar has active with the Azim Premji Foundtion teaching “Indian Rhythms in the course Introduction to Indian Classical music” and now currently teaching a course independently on “Global Rhythms –A World Phenomenon.”

Sameer Havaldar hails from a family of musicians. His first guru was Pt. Prabhudeva Salimath in Talikoti. Sameer’s father, Seshacahala, is a retired professor of history, used to sing Kannada light music, and is also an approved Kannada cricket commentator. Sameer’s uncle, Nagaraj Rao Havaldar, is a noted Hindustani classical vocalist and a scholar. Sameer’s college education and advanced music study has been with his cousins, Omkarnath and Kedarnath Havaldar, in Bangalore. Sameer holds a master’s degree in mass communication and journalism. He is an accomplished singer, too. Sameer is continuing his vocal and harmonium learning under his uncle, Nagaraj Rao Havaldar, and Pt. Panchaksharaiah Hiremath respectively.