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Dhrupad Days 2015 press release


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The Dhrupad Music Institute of America is pleased to present the third annual Dhrupad Days Dhrupad Days. consists of performances by world renowned artists, Padmashri Gundecha Brothers, Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, a Carnatic violin performance by Shri Raman Iyer, offering an opportunity to experience another venerable tradition based in raga-music, and a lecture and short performance by Dr. Payton MacDonald.

In an exciting twist, for the highlighted performance, “Sound in Unison…. not in Fusion”, Padmashri Gundecha Brothers will be accompanied by Shri Igino Giovanni and Smt. Virginia Nicoli playing Dhrupad on the saxophone and silver flute.

And, a final offering of Dhrupad Days is a Gurudwara kirtan performance and workshop.

The most precious offering of Dhrupad Days, is its intensive three day workshop, taught by Padmashri Gundecha Brothers. Dhrupad is an ancient and very fine musical art. It places extreme emphasis on pitch, and the movement between different pitches. Dagarvani Dhrupad emphasizes aesthetics, and Padmashri Gundecha Brothers emphasize this further by striving to perfect voice technique and sound. All this combined, there is a wealth of information to be gained by anyone interested in or practicing raga music, whether they are a beginner or practicing musician, and whether they are vocalists, instrumentalists or percussionists.

The workshop also relates meditation, the mind and sound.

All are welcome. The three day intensive workshop requires advanced sign up. Attendees have come from all over the country, and from abroad, in previous years.

Dhrupad Days runs from May 13-17, and is offered in partnership with Cornish College of the Arts.

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Testimonials you can use to let others know what attendees from previous years thought about the events and workshops

Dhrupad Days 2014

Parmjeet Singh
These are some of the best days of my life. Had a great first day of ‘Dhrpad Days’ workshop at Cornish College of the Arts. Truly honored and thankful to Pandit Ramakant Gundecha Ji for all the time, effort and patience.
He is a phenomenal teacher.
My heartiest thanks to Dhrupad Music Institute of America and of course Vibhavaree Gargeya for organizing this.
“You are all teachers somewhere” Says Ramakant ji. I am constantly learning from you, responding with different techniques to your different difficulties.

Dr. Balakrishna Haridas
To me, learning from Pandijti’s was a truly memorable experience.  Every note, microtone, and subtle meend, shruti, and gamaks presented and taught by Ramakantji for the raags we learnt was mesmerizing and gave us a new appreciation for dhrupad alap.  The highlights for me were the exposition on differences between Madhmad Sarang and Megh, the importance and beauty of the andolan on the gandhar in Bihag, and a beautiful presentation of the subtle differences between Marwa, Sohini and Puriya.  As my son, Ishwar who also attended the workshop said, we got bored during  the breaks and were constantly waiting to get back into the workshop to learn more from Panditji.  Needless to say, we hope to continue to learn from the Gundechas in the coming years.

Neha Admal
I had no exposure to music and Dhrupad workshop was the best introduction to music that I could have asked for. I enjoyed it a lot. After coming back from workshop, I kept listening to several Dhrupad videos on youtube, listening to them, energizes me. My gratitude and wishes to Gundecha brothers for making this happen in Seattle and thanks to Vibhavaree for introducing me to Dhrupad. I’m looking forward to participate in any practice sessions in Seattle.

After attending this workshop, I no longer wonder why when asked, so many people said that it was listening to the Gundecha Brothers that made them interested in Dhrupad music.  I found that the Brothers are not only wonderful performers but also equally wonderful teachers. Whether through  vocal exercises, exploring ragas, singing alaaps or simply asking questions, I think anyone can find something valuable to take away from the experience.

Dhrupad Days 2013

Dr. K.K.Chawla
Comments on Cornish College Workshop

I could participate in the Dhrupad workshop for only two days out of five. I wish I could have stayed for the full workshop.

I consider Pt. Ramakant Gundecha to be one the few Siddha Purushas in the field of Dhrupad music.

He is really able to perform nada bheda, i.e., explain the nuances and intricacies of Dhrupad. What is most important is that he can do this at the desired level, from that of a lay person to that of a specialist.

I just cite one example. When he was explaining the unsuitability of a keyboard instrument in the Indian classical music, he walked over to a piano located in the room and played the raga Malkauns (this was the raga he was teaching about) and then sang the same to demonstrate the incompatibility between the two.

I am so glad I could attend the workshop even if for two days. There is something special about seeing the master demonstrate his mastery of Dhrupad, unbelievable breath control, in a very intimate setting. Attending a Dhrupad performance by Gundecha Brothers is always very satisfying, but to get a glimpse of his mastery from such close quarters as in the setting of a classroom and his attempt to make the students sing aalap and composition, no matter how rudimentary, is incomparable. His emphasis on details, I mean minute details, sitting posture, etc., was so impressive. All this would have been impossible in any other setting.

Of course, I’d recommend continuation of such efforts in the future.

Last but not least, I wish to commend Ms. Vibhavaree Gargeya for her extraordinary organizational skills. None of this would be possible without her efforts. Thank you so much, Vibhavaree.


Carla Wiechman
Comments on DMIA retreat

The Dhrupad experience was really wonderful for me.  I so needed to be surrounded and immersed in the music. It was helpful in so many ways.  I loved singing with the support of so many other voices, the intensive practice was enlivening for me.  The songs still keep floating around inside of me.

Sreya Krishnamurthy
Comments on DMIA retreat

A big thank you to you for organizing such a wonderful event so perfectly! There wasn’t a moment when I thought anything could have been better. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the time I spent in Seattle. The day long sessions with Ramakant ji were very informative, engaging and of course helped a lot in voice training.

I really do admire the passion, thoughtfulness and meticulousness that went into organizing this event. Looking forward to more such events.

Comments on DMIA retreat from an attendee

DIMA retreat was excellent. Quality of instruction very good and the number of participants was not too big – making it a good learning experience. I also liked that we had access to good food for lunch and there were activities planned for the evening.

Ginger Garner
Comments on Cornish College workshop

The workshop was great! I learned SO much. He gave us a great mix of Hindustani theory and history, and voice culture. His one on one feedback was invaluable as well as in the group dynamic. I feel inspired in my practice and my heart was opened and touched by the generosity and warmth of spirit  showered on us by Ramakant-ji. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to studying again with this amazing master at the nearest opportunity.

Terry Vandiver
Comments on Cornish College workshop and DMIA retreat

Studying with Ramakantji was a joy.  I really appreciated his emphasis on voice culture.

DMIA really did a spectacular job of putting this event together.  Housing , meals, concerts…all great.  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed “What is Dhrupad?”… provocative!

Barbara Beck
Comments on Dhrupad Days

It was fun to be involved in such a unique event. Dhrupad Days was a truly enriching experience for everyone who came who is interested in dhrupad. I’m no rasika but every little bit I can learn deepens my capacity for listening and appreciation of the subtleties.

Thank you for all your efforts in keeping the dhrupad tradition alive and well in Seattle.

Minu Seshasayee and Akshat Bhargava
Short and sweet on DMIA retreat
We fondly cherish this awesome retreat!


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