World-renowned master of the Hindustani slide guitar
You've probably never seen or heard instruments like these. The Hindustani slide guitar is the creation of Debashish Bhattacharya whose creation pairs his first love – a Hawaiian lap steel guitar, a gift from his father when he was only 3 – and the sounds of India. In fact, he’s made three of them: a 24-string, hollow-neck chaturangui, the 14-string gandharvi and the anandi, a four-string slide ukulele.
Debashish Bhattacharya has been officially recognised as a Pandit (master musician) since the age of 40 (he’s now 53) and acknowledged as one of the world’s greatest slide guitarists. He has since started his own school, Bhattacharya's School of Universal Music, and festival, India International Guitar Festival.
Bhattacharya’s music incorporates a good deal of North Indian (Hindustani) classical music, but you can also hear the blues pouring out from his stunning instruments. Bhattacharya's guitars are infinitely subtle vehicles employing microtonal scales and intricate patterns alternating brief, lightly touched notes and long, sustained slides.
Since his renown, Debashish Bhattacharya has worked on a number of guitar tours and multicultural projects. His most popular albums are Mahima with Bob Brozman, and Calcutta Slide-Guitar, Vol. 3, both albums ranked in the top 10 of the Billboard World Music Charts. In 2009 he was nominated for a Grammy award for his album Calcutta Chronicles.
When visiting Roskilde Festival, Debashish Bhattacharya plays in a duo set-up with fellow musician Gurdain Singh Rayatt on tabla. Sitting cross-legged on stage this duo will take you to another place with their beautiful sounds.