Aloke Dasgupta entered the world on January 26, 1953 – India’s Republic Day. After studying with the late Binoy Dasgupta starting at the age of eleven, he became the student of Pandeet Jogesh Bannerjee, Professor Shiba Prasad Chakraborty, Smt. Kalyani Roy and finally the renowned master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Erudite and articulated, with a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from San Diego State University, Aloke made his debut in 1981, at the New York Folk Festival, where he was introduced by composer-performer David Amram. Since then, Maestro Dasgupta has enjoyed a steady journey of success all over the world. He has toured with India’s greatest violin virtuoso Pandit V. G. Jog. Having recorded or performed for Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger, and Gwen Stefani (playing in No Doubt's album Tragic Kingdom), to name a few, Aloke has become the go-to sitar man for many notable creative pursuits. In fact, he has continually been chosen to perform for Cheap Trick's "Sgt. Pepper Live!" shows by legendary Beatles sound engineer Geoff Emerick, whose seasoned and precise ear calls for only the best to maintain the musical integrity and spirit of Beatles music. The Maestro played nine times with “Cheap Trick in Hollywood Bowl and 36 shows in Las Vegas.
Maestro Dasgupta has played on NBC and CBS television and his performances have been broadcasted live in major cities of the U.S. and India. Aloke has performed in ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”, Disney’s The Suite Life on Deck, and his music has been featured in the award-winning movie Outsourced as well as Ocean of Pearl.
In 1995, Aloke was presented with the prestigious SOPAN award in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, instituted by leading intellectuals of Bengal, for creative excellence in music. Today, Aloke is a much sought after performer world-wide and, along with his wife, classical vocalist Sanjukta, runs the Raga Ranjani School of Music in Los Angeles area.
Aloke has won the hearts of critics and discerning audiences world-wide. Indeed if there is one thing that remains strongly etched in the memory after Aloke’s performance, it is the soft touch, the subtle sweetness of his notes,that are reminiscent of the haunting mystical sequences of the late master, Nikhil Banerjee. In fact, Aloke believes that Nikhil Banerjee was a mystic who attained spiritual perfection, through the practice of music, naad-vidya, and Aloke aspires to the same goal. It is this, more than anything else, that makes a performance by Aloke Dasgupta especially noteworthy and imparts a lingering introspection underneath the good humored playful banter of his life and work. Aloke Dasgupta is among the most remarkable and innovative sitar players in the North Indian classical style. Though grounded in the Maihar gharana of Baba Allauddin Khan, Aloke has rapidly assimilated phrasing and tonality from other gharanas, to pioneer a versatile originality, which has carved for him as inventive and vibrant niche. Maestro Aloke Dasgupta is best known for his wide range of collaborations with other genres, while keeping the integrity of classical-style sitar intact.
He has composed several Indo-American Jazz selections for the album Usha, and has published several compact discs. To name a few: Caress of the Sitar, a short raag-based piece, An Integral duet with shehnai, sitar solo Raga Suite, and Die Umarmung des Sitar, sitar–violin duet with Pt. V.G. Jog Ecstasy of String, and Christmas songs on Indian instruments Christmas in Calcutta for the benefit of Children’s Hunger Fund.
Maestro Dasgupta is available for private lessons both in person and world-wide through webcam. He is also available for private parties and concerts. His Indian ensemble is also available for both classical Hindustani and fusion/pop music.