“Rakesh and Friends" (RAF) is a young group of extremely talented musicians comprising the versatile Rakesh Chaurasia (Flute),dynamic Gino Banks (Drums), powerful Satyajit Talwalkar(Tabla), electrifying Sheldon D’Silva (Bass Guitar), soulful Sanjoy Das aka Bapi (Guitar) and sparkling Sangeet Haldipur (Keyboard/ Vocalist & Composer).
RAF effectively blends Indian Classical Music with World Music . Rakesh who has undoubtedly made his mark as one of the finest young flute virtuosos brought about the initiative of extending the boundaries of his musical realm. He combined his understanding of diverse Indian musical gharana styles with world music styles through imaginative experiments.
The young brigade, led by ace flautist Rakesh has helped in giving wings to his artistic expressions.
RAF will present 8 to 9 compositions for 1hour 45minutes without intermission.
Rakesh Chaurasia, nephew of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia,has carved a niche for himself as an accomplished flautist in the world of music and is amongst the most promising musicians of the second generation. Incorporating the tradition of his renowned uncle and infusing his personal style , he has evolved a style which while maintaining the purity of the flute manages to capture the attention of the young listeners too. His dexterous blowing technique coupled with his training of ‘swar, taal & laya exudes adeptly in his emotions through the hollow space of bamboo. Rakesh has already globe trotted many times enthralling house packed audience at classical and fusion concerts in countries like Japan, Australia, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa and USA. Rakesh has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. He received the Indian Music Academy Award, presented by the Honourable President Of India, Dr..A.P.J Abdul Kalam in 2007, the Aditya Birla Kalakiran Puraskar in 2008, the Guru Shishya Award in 2011, IWAP-Pandit Jasraj Sangeet Ratna Award in 2013 and the Pannalal Ghosh Puraskar 2013.
Gino Banks has proved himself as one of the best drummers of India. He has made his own place among the masters. Being a part of many bands, he has broken all the boundaries of drum beats and exploded his versatility in Fusion-Rock-Jazz genres the best. He toured Australia and China with his father’s indo-jazz fusion band SANGAM playing percussion (roland octopad and shakers) when he was just 9 years old. Gino is a versatile player, this trait leads him to performing with artists and bands of all types of genres, artists like his father Louiz Banks India 's legendary jazz pianist and composer, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Hariharan; to various fusion groups and rock bands.
Inspired by renowned bass guitarists Jaco Pastorius, John Patitucci, Gary Willis, Victor Wooten right until Sting’s tasteful Bass playing, Sheldon D’silva hopes to change the way bass players are generally seen in the background and bring to the forefront the actual importance and the real sound of the Bass guitar. Inspite of having explored every genre of music right from pop and rock to jazz, funk and fusion, Sheldon still doesn’t believe in sticking to one and wants to continue to explore various avenues and delve deeper into this mystical and creative world of music.Sheldon D’silva gained invaluable experience playing his Six String Bass Guitar with adept musicians like Louiz Banks, Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Shaan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, U Srinivas, Selva Ganesh, Colonial Cousins and many more.
Satyajit Talwalkar is the son of tabla legend Suresh Talwalkar and PadmaTalwalkar, two of the best-known practitioners of Indian classical music. Right from a very young age, Satyajit received immaculate attention and training from his parents in various aspects of Indian classical music. But his interest in percussion was nurtured by his father, one of the most revered teacher and practitioner of the art of tabla playing. In following his father’s footsteps, Satyajit has become a masterful accompanist to instrumental and vocal music. But he is also recognized as a solo artist, and is at ease in performing as a member of Taal vadya kacheri (ensemble of Indian percussionists) and his duets with Western drum ensemble have received critical acclaim.
Sanjoy Das, also known as Bapi, would like to describe himself as a "new- age guitar player", and has worked on over 50 recordings as a sessions' artist. Besides composing tunes, he's also worked as a music arranger, and performed live with such well-known musicians as Hariharan, Jagjit Singh, Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt , Kavita Krishnamoorthy, Farhad Darya, and Rashid Khan among others. Among percussionists, he's played with Bickram Ghosh, Sivamani, Greg Ellis and Pete Locket. Back home most of his work includes composing for Bollywood soundtracks and ad jingles.
Sangeet Haldipur is one of the finest keyboard players ,singer and young music composers of India. Was one of the members of the Channel V mixed popstar band “AASMA”. He has learnt various genres of music like jazz, Indian classical & western classical of India. He has programmed music for various prominent Hindi as well as Marathi movies. In his few years of music direction he has composed hit songs from film Murder 2, Blood Money, Aatma, Fruit & Nut, Bird Idol and Hum Hai Raahi Car Ke. Sangeet Haldipur is a son of the India’s number one violinist and famous composer Amar Haldipur. Sangeet Haldipur also has done albums and live concerts across the globe with legends