Rasa Festival 2020 is proud to showcase a diverse lineup of musical and multidisciplinary performances by artists based in the US, India, Canada and Pakistan.

Monit Pal and Rohen Bose – Kolkata, India – will present music on the sarod and tabla/percussion.

Event date: Saturday, October 24,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Monit Paul is a sarod player of Senia Bangas Gharana. He had stepped his first step into the world of music at the age of 6 under the guidance of Pt Kalyan Mukherjee of Senia Maihar Gharana , a senior student of Ustad Bahadur Khan sahib. He achieved the CCRT junior scholarship at the mere age of 10 when he was in class 5. Gradually he got natured and nurtured up with the heavenly tune with perfection. He had quailed himself in various competitions all over Bengal . He had also played in Doordarshan (Kolkata ) and in AIR. He had also completed successfully 6th year course from TRAILOKYA SANGIT PARISAD and earned gold medel in the practical section.
Now he is taking talim under the active guidance of Pt. DEBOJYOTI BOSE of Senia Bangas Gharana. He equate himself quite well with the new gharana style of intricate laysa style enhanced tansargam and ekhara. He is now performing within and outside states in various concerts. He has also performed abroad in Poland Warsaw Palace of Culture and represent India in Indian Consolate at Shanghai (CHINA) on 15th of august 2018. He had also assisted him guru at MALHAR festival at KHULNA BANGLADESH. Recently a solo recital of him was published by CHAITYA TORCHBEARER SERIES “THE MORNING MELODY”. Other than a soloist he also mada a promising note in contemporary music . He participated successfully in MUSIC OF INDIA composed by PT DEBOJYOTI BOSE. He also made a promising note in the field of theatre music , he handled the live music playing in the famous epic show of URUBHANHGAM directed by SRI MANISH MITRA with ease and perfection.

Rohen Bose inherited the musical trait by birth. Born in the family of legends, his fate brought him under magnanimous pillars of music. His father Pandit Debojyoti Bose; a hallmark of Sarod himself from Senia Bangash Gharana is also a brilliant composer, lyricist and a knowledgeable tabla player. He started his training under his father at a very initial stage of his life. His musical acumen had grown to its par when he started tutelage under his elder uncle Pt. Kumar Bose, the torchbearer of Banaras Gharana and one of the finest and most creative tabla maestros of all time. Pt. Bose has trained him to become his deserved legatee.


Manasi Joshi-Singh – Austin, TX – will present Hindustani vocal music.

Event date: Sunday, October 18,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Manasi is an Indian Classical vocalist, well-versed with many other genres, such as film/light, ghazal, devotional, and western music. She is a disciple of renowned Classical Vocalists, Pandit Vikas Kashalkar and Vidushi Arati Ankalikar. She has a Masters’ degree in Music and is a registered Music teacher/examiner for Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and Sarbabharatiya Sangeet-O-Sanskriti Parishad. She performs via various cultural platforms and accompanies her Gurus on their concert tours. She has recorded a Raag composition for her Guru, Pt. Kashalkar’s CD, Omkaar Aadinaad. Manasi recently became an IndianRaga Fellow.

She teaches music in Austin and has been associated with Shiksha Cultural School at Radha Madhav Dham. Having published a book about the pioneering Classical violinist and vocalist, Guru, Pt. Gajananbuwa Joshi, titled “Bowing the Vocal Chords”, she also collaborates with local Austin music organizations and artists. She co-founded the Indian Music Society of Central Illinois. She also pursues various fine arts – graphic art, painting, sketching, poetry and writing. Having learnt Bharatnatyam for 7 years, she appreciates the art immensely. When not in art mode, Manasi is into IT Project Management in Austin.

Deepak Paramashivan and Bharadhwaj Raman – Bangalore, India – present a duet of Hindustani sarangi and Karnatak veena.

Event date: Sunday, October 25,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Dr. Deepak Paramashivan had his training in Karnatak classical vocal and theatre music from his father R Paramashivan, and learnt the Mysore style of Veena from D Balakrishna. He received B high grade in Veena from the All India Radio. He learnt the Hindustani Sarangi from Mr. Faiyaz Khan, and underwent advanced training under maestros Pandit Ramnarayan, Grammy winner late Pandit Dhruba Ghosh. He continues to learn from the world renowned Sitar and Tabla maestro Pandit Nayan Ghosh and broaden his repertoire under the guidance of Shri Prasad Khaparde of Rampur Sahaswan gharana.

He has toured Europe, USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea both as a soloist and collaborating with Ustad Aashish Khan, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee,  Pandit Yogesh Samsi, Abbos Kosimov and Pandit Birju Maharaj. He has played the Sarangi for A R Rehman’s Roli seaboard and for the Hollywood music director Rick Boston’s upcoming movie Messiaen. An active composer, Deepak released his first Indo-jazz fusion album titled the ‘Jazz Sutra’ in June 2019 in Canada. Deepak has given guest lectures and conducted master class on composition and music theories of the world at Berklee college of music and New England conservatory.

Deepak has a PhD in energy and climate engineering, with a gold medal, from the Indian Institute of Science. While working as a climate scientist in Canada, he received his second doctorate in Music from the university of Alberta.

Grandson of Veena Maestro and multifaceted genius ‘Padma Bhushan’ Dr.S.Balachander, Baradwaj Raman grew up listening to his grandfather’s soulful music steeped in classicism. Initially a student of Smt. Padmavathi Ananthagopalan, Baradwaj is currently training under senior leading Vocalist ‘Sangeetha Kalanidhi’ Sri. Sanjay Subrahmanyan and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri T.V.Gopalakrishnan.

Baradwaj has performed in leading sabhas across India such as Music Academy for their HCL series, Narada Gana Sabha, Indian Fine Arts Society, Bharat Kalachar, Mudra Fine Arts, RR Sabha, Fifty Fifty Club, Chennai Fine Arts, Aanmajothi, Maduradhwani, among others in Chennai; Shanmukananda Sabha and Chembur Fine Arts in Mumbai; Sri Ranga Academy of Fine Arts in Thuraiyur; Andhra Music Academy in Visakapatnam.
Baradwaj as a performing artiste, has developed a unique style of Veena playing that takes audience down nostalgia lane, bringing back memories of the classicists of a bygone era with the intensity of his music. Particularly noteworthy is his ability to play long phrases modulating the string on the same fret – a hallmark of the SB style that one seldom comes across.

Baradwaj, also a certified sound engineer from ‘Waves Academy’, has been collaborating with many English and Tamil Theatre groups in their live theatrical productions such as ‘The Madras Players’, ‘Crea Shakti’, ‘Thespian En’ and ‘SB Creations’. Bharathi Yaar?- a highly acclaimed production of SB Creations has music and sound designed by Baradwaj in which he has also set to tune some of the Mahakavi’s immortal verses. Baradwaj has collaborated with actress and dancer Shobana in her dance productions.
Baradwaj has been collaborating with leading artistes of other genres like Denis Stern a Russian Guitarist, Vedanth Baradwaj – musician and music composer/director and Keyboard player Ananth Kumar among others to create a unique blend of Indian and western music for an eclectic audience.

Baradwaj has performed in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London, Kala Sangam in Bradford, SIFAS in Singapore and conducted workshops in Scotland, Singapore and Melbourne. He has performed and conducted workshops in IIT Madras for their students and faculty. Along with Kalaimamani Isaikkavi Ramanan, Baradwaj has done more than 50 special programmes such as ‘Isaikkaviyum Iniya Veenaiyum’ and ‘Adhisaya Raagam, Aanandha Raagam’ all over Tamil Nadu.
Baradwaj is breaking barriers with his new innovative Veena design called ‘Sarasvitar’ that is portable, detachable, extremely light weight, and still maintains amplitude and tonal quality of the instrument.
Baradwaj has been awarded the Nadha Kala Vipanchee and Tamizh Yazh Isai Selvan awards.

Poly Varghese – Chennai, India – performs Hindustani music on Mohan veena juxtaposed by a reading of his poetry by Deepa Ramachandan – Melbourne, Australia – which has been translated from Malayalam to English.

Event date: Sunday, October 18,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Poly Varghese was initially trained at Kerala Kalamandalam, Kerala’s paramount center for training in classical arts. He specialized in Mridangam, the main component of percussion in southern classical music. He pursued his quest for music at ViswaBharati University, Santiniketan in the north eastern state of India, West Bengal with unique opportunity and access to learn various instruments, stringed as well as percussion. His growing interest in RabindraSangeet and love for Hindustani probed him to specialize in playing Hindustani music on electric guitar.

A chance meeting with PanditViswa Mohan Bhatt made him fall head over heels in adoration with Mohan Veena. Once he got introduced to the maestro and his creation, Poly dedicated all resources to learn and practice the magic called Mohan Veena! Guidance and tutelage of Pandit Bhatt has provided Poly clarity in perspective and practice. This emerging musician has a number of concerts to his credit both in India, including  Gulf, Euorpe and almost 43 countries he travelled.

He is also  keen interested in Drupad music, one of the ancient music forms of Indian culture, and he  learned Dhrupad from great maestros of this era, Gundacha brothers (pt Remakath and Uma kanth).

He has played for “SugamanaRagangal” telecast on Doordarshan, Chennai.  His recent performances include those at Arab cultural centreSharjah, as part of Arab India cultural exchange organized by the Government of Sharjah, at Adishakthi Ashram (headed by renowned theatre exponent VeenapaniChawla), in Pondicherry and at the Centre for Experiencing Socio-Cultural Interaction in Madurai.  Poly travelled in Europe playing at Vienna and Gras in Austria, performed with popular gipsy musicians and acclaimed guitarist Andreas Glasner. In August this year, Poly Varghese has been invited by India International Center New Delhi (IIC Delhi) for prestigious Monsoon Music festival. During this trip he performed in the “Mehfil “at drupad musician SubendhuGosh’s residencein Delhi south campus.

While perfecting and pursuing the depths of music with Mohan Veena he has developed his own inimitable style of improvisation.He has started composing and playing his creations. Poly’s unique experiences and experiments in creating music has propelled him to develop the 40 stringed three-neck guitar which he has named “Poly string guitar” (BahuThantriveena).

His long term interest in traditions and disciplines of music and theatre finds expressionsin varied forms. Having travelled with Baul singers of West Bengal, he is familiar with their music and loves to render high-pitched Baul songs. He is trained in kabeer songs under pt Heera singh Borliya. He is also trained in RabindraSangeet.

He is known as one and only   link of great Maihar Gharana in south India

With acclaimed talent in acting poly is involved in experimental theatre for several years. He has worked with theater exponents Krishnamurthy,BadalSircar and Nasser in India.He has acted in plays of different languages and has played note worthy roles in Tamil films.

Poly has composed music for films and theatre alike. In 2005 he won the Jeevan Atlas Award for Best Music Director of the year for Malayalam film “kootilekku” (Towards Home). He was fortunate to do apprenticeship with famous south Indian music director G.Devarajan.

Poly Varghese is also  a well known  poet in  Malayalam. He  has been noted as one of the surrealistic poet . His poems are translated to English, Tamil. Bengali, Hindi ,Some the poems are   discussed in British poetry radio too .

Born in Kerala, besides his mother tongue Malayalam, Poly has sufficiently good working knowledge of English, Tamil, Hindi and Bengali and Oriya.

The experimental band “Mughal-e-Funk” – Lahore, Pakistan – will perform their original composition “Akbar” juxtaposed with a digital art video.

Event date: Saturday, October 10,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Absurdity and the oblivion of power struggle retrospectively through the lens of The Great Mughal King – Akbar.

The name of this Mughal king reminds us of secular Society. He was the first Muslim king born on the Indus soil. His father forced him not to marry Anarkali, whose identity still remains a myth.

On one hand, Akbar was considered a liberal king, but on the other, he is considered to be a conservative king as well. In this video, we have tried to capture his essence and the connection between us.

Lahore as a city represents an authentic character in the video because this city has the architectural traces of the Mughals. There are some patterns and drawings which revolve timelessly pointing towards the decorative curl of wars in his time.

An army of fish symbolizes peace and fertility. The globe symbolizes power, which everyone in the story craves for themselves. However, in the end, Akbar hands it over to his son, Salim. The whole story is an imaginative journey that places us in Akbar’s story.

To find the joy and tension of both the contemporary and Mughal eras, the other characters were taken from different miniature Mughal paintings. These distort their identities and merge them with the present time through moving images to create a new canvas – in order to submerge reality and to turn it into a fictionally irrational story. 

For us, the four characters of the band “Mughal E Funk” in the video are the artists who have time traveled and witnessed the greatness of the Mughals through teleportation by their instruments.

Dr. Amie Maciszewski – Dallas, TX – will play the sitar with tabla accompaniment by Paarth Kuntawala.

Event date: Saturday, October 17,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Dr. Amie Maciszewski of Dallas, TX will play the sitar with tabla accompaniment by Paarth Kuntawala.

Amie is an internationally acclaimed sitarist, teaching artist, and ethnomusicologist who has spent her adult life studying, performing, teaching, and promoting the music of South Asia.

Her decade of training includes:

  • BMus Gold Medalist/MMus Merit Scholar, Santiniketan, W. Bengal
  • An immersion apprenticeship under the late Pandit Suresh Misra
  • A Ph.D. with Fulbright award – University of Texas – Austin
  • A Killam Post-doctoral Fellowship in ethnomusicology – University of Alberta, Canada
  • A mentorship with Grammy-nominated sarode Maestro Aashish Khan – periodic since 1991- and the late Hindustani vocal diva Padmavibhushan Girija Devi 1996-2017

Amie has performed in concerts and taught in residencies, workshops, and on several university faculties throughout North America, India, Pakistan, Europe, and Japan.

She co-directed and directed the University of Alberta Indian Music Ensemble. Amie has been a juried artist on the Texas Arts Commission Touring Roster, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. She’s an impaneled Artist of the India World Cultural Forum and multiple grant recipient from the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture and City of Austin Cultural Arts Division.

Amie served as Visiting Musician-Researcher at ITC-Sangeet Research Academy – Kolkata, and New Mexico Arts Division Artist-in-Residence.

From 2013-14 Amie toured with Oscar-winning screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere as a soundtrack composer and performer for Enacte Arts’ production of Carriere’s Mahabharata. 

She was awarded the Gandharva Puraskar in 2014 by the Hindustan Art & Music Society – Burdwan, India – for her contributions to Indian music abroad.

In 2016, upon invitation from the US Consulate – Lahore, Pakistan, she completed a cultural diplomacy performance and outreach tour, during which the Lahore/Mozang Rotary Club felicitated her for “using music as a tool for peace across borders.”

In 2018, with a team supported by a grant from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, she conducted faculty training workshops for Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkwa, and sitar performance/music instruction at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) in Karachi.

Her 2019 South Asia tour included performances and workshops at Fatima Jinnah Women’s University – Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Aashish Khan School of World Music – Kolkata, India, and Sanatkada Institute – Lucknow, India.

Passionate about women’s rights and the rights of all human beings, she has done extensive field research, published numerous scholarly articles, and produced-directed three noted ethnographic films on socially marginalized musicians. 

An active touring performer, she founded and directs the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble, an acclaimed collective of local, national, and international musicians who blend South Asian classical, folk, and devotional music with jazz and other world musics. The ensemble has three CDs to their credit.

Currently based in Dallas, TX, Amie offers lessons in sitar, Hindustani voice, and Raag Sangeet through her Sangeet Millennium Music Academy. 

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Shirshendu Mukherjee & Ravi Naimpally – Canada – will present a vocal music piece, accompanied by tabla.

Event date: Sunday, October 25,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

Shirshendu Mukherjee is a Hindustani singer who trained in the Patiala style with Pandit Ajoy Chakravarty. He also trained at the prestigious ITC Sangeet Research Academy and has a Master of Arts degree from Rabindra Bharati University. He has performed all over India at many prestigious festivals including the Belur Math Ramakrishna Mission, The Doverlane Music Conference, NCPA Mumbai, India Habitat Centre, Kala Prakash and many more. Shirshendu was associated with the C.V. Raman Centre for Physics and Music as a researcher exploring the connections between physics and music. For the past two decades Shirshendu ran his own music school in Kolkata, where he was teaching children and young adults the nuances of Hindustani music. He has recently relocated to Toronto, where he is the co-director with Ravi Naimpally of the Riyaz Institute of Hindustani Music, a school committed to teaching Hindustani music and culture.


Ravi Naimpally comes from a family of music lovers. His father Somashekhar was a concert organizer in Kanpur, India, after moving to Canada in the 1970s he became one of the founding members of Raga Mala, Canada.  Ravi Naimpally started his journey into rhythm with his uncle Pandit Nikhil Ghosh in Mumbai, with whom he was fortunate to learn from for five years. He has also received further training and insight into this drumming tradition from Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Pandit Sushil Kumar Jain and Pandit Sadanand Naimpali.

Ravi has accompanied many Hindustani artists such as Laxmi Shanker, Dhruba Ghosh, Buddadev Das Gupta, Aarti Ankalikar, Partha Bose and many more. He holds a masters degree in ethnomusicology from York University. Ravi is a recipient of the Grant Desi Achievers Award and many grants from The Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. He is on the faculty of music at York University and Humber College.


Event date: Saturday, October 10,2020  USA: 11 am EST / India: 8:30 pm IST

A graduate of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad, Somdatta is a Bharatnatyam dancer who trained since the age of four.

Darpana Academy was founded by Smt Mrinalini Sarabhai and is now being spearheaded by Maliika Sarabhai.

Somdatta performed for the Doordarshan and several other projects and choreographies in Ahmedabad. She has also judged various competitions in Ahmedabad and received awards.

Somdatta believes in continual learning which enlightens the path of our future generations. She learned Ballet and Modern Dance under the guidance of Jody Gazenbeek-Person, Jill Molinero, Jennifer Gladney, Rebecca Bradowski, and Lester Holmes at the MCCC – New Jersey.

She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a concentration in Dance at Riders University, USA. Currently Somdatta is also studying dance science and modern dance at Riders University.

​Along with a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from Ahmedabad, India, she has continued her musical productions and has had three curated performances at Princeton University.

These well-received performances have primarily been sponsored by the Department of Music and the Department of South Asian Studies.

In recent years, she has collaborated with artists like Grammy Nominee Flutist Ron Korb, Jazz and Blues pianist Eli Yamin, Anil Veeraraj, and her vocal guru Dr. Trineice Robinson.

She has performed extensively around Europe and in cities like London, Budapest, and Berlin. She also has three released Rabindra Sangeet albums and one Bengali single on her belt.

Somdatta’s work continues in the field of performing arts through expanded collaborations and choreographies brought together for social causes.