Ulhas Kashalkar

  • Published By: The Sruti Foundation
  • Issue: 248

Main Feature
Ulhas Kashalkar

After a long drought of genuine "Pandit-s" in Hindustani vocalism, the emergence of Ulhas Kashalkar has begun to restore meaning to the honorific. Ulhas [born: 1955] claims this status by his scholarly approach to music, an original style which is modern as much as it is traditional, and phenomenal strengths as a performer. His career graph exhibits the same saturnine solidity that his music has. He qualified for the broadcasting media at the age of 23, and now occupies the elite "Top" grade on All India Radio and Doordarshan. His discography begins at the age of 32, and now lists over 20 recordings released in India, U.S.A. and Europe. Ulhas serves as a Resident Guru at the prestigious ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, and is a major attraction at leading music events in India. He started performing abroad at the age of 38 and now commands a respectful audience in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.

Ulhas belongs to the new breed of musicians from educated families of white-collar professionals who have broken the stranglehold of heredity over musicianship. His training began at home in Amravati (Vidarbha, Maharashtra) with his father, an Advocate and a competent vocalist. Simultaneously, Ulhas earned his Masters degree in music. Thereafter, he obtained a scholarship from the Government of India to pursue training with eminent guru-s in Mumbai. He spent the first six years studying with vocalist Ram Marathe, and the next six years with violinist and vocalist, Gajananrao Joshi. Marathe was a product of Gwalior and Agra grooming, while Joshi was a produce of Gwalior, Agra as well as Jaipur-Atrauli training. The catholicity and soundness of this grooming, along with his study of other vocalist traditions, shaped Ulhas into one of the few Pandit-s in Hindustani music today.