A Record 800 People From Across the Country Attend LearnQuest Music Festival

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WESTON, MA-A record 800 people from across the United States attended the 13th Annual Music Festival at Regis College in Weston, MA, last weekend.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see that people came from California, Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and neighboring states,” said Ravi Arora, conference chair. “People are starting to pay attention to LearnQuest Festival.”

Mr. Arora said what is attracting the audience is the LearnQuest’s unique format that combines Hindustani, Carnatic and fusion music as well educational component.

Inauguration of the music festival (photo: Rahul Joshi Photography)

LearnQuest Music Conference was held March 30-April 1 at the Regis College auditorium. One of star artists this year was Bombay Jayashri. Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty was also scheduled to perform, but had to return to India because of a family health emergency.

“Unfortunately, Kaushiki Chakraborty could not make to the concert, but she was replaced by a local artist from New Jersey who was pleasantly received by the audience,” said Pradeep Shukla, founder and president of LearnQuest Academy. “It was an unprecedented year for LearnQuest. We made progress on all counts. The event was completely sold out on both Friday and Saturday.”

Ms. Chakraborty was replaced by Mitali Bhawmik, a New Jersey-based artiste of Hindustani Classical vocal music. Bhawmik performed as a playback singer in Mira Nair’s acclaimed film “The Namesake” under the direction of Nitin Shawney. She has four CD albums of pure classical and semi-classical music (Thumri, Dadra, Kajri, Hori etc.) to her credit.

Other artists who performed included T V Sankaranarayanan, K. J. Dileep (Violin), V. S. Raghavan (Mridangam), Rohan Prabhudesai (Harmonium), Ojas Adhiya (Tabla), Purbayan Chatterjee (Hindustani Sitar), Shashank Subramanyam (Carnatic Flute), Parupalli S Phalgun (Mridangam), Anubrata Chatterjee (Tabla), Samarth Nagarkar (Hindustani Vocal), Amit Kavthekar (Tabla), Pavithra Chari (Vocal), Anindo Bose, H. N. Bhaskar (Violin), Patri Satish Kumar (Mridangam), B S Purushothaman (Kanjira), Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (Hindustani Sarod), Subhankar Banerjee (Tabla), Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunathan (Carnatic Vocal), Trivandrum Sampath (violin), Debapriya Adhikary (Vocal), Samanwaya Sarkar (Sitar), Subrata Bhattacharya (Tabla), Guitar Prasanna (Carnatic Instrumental), Delhi Sairam (Mridangam), Nitin Mitta (Tabla), Ramchandra Joshi (Harmonium), Rachna Bodas (Hindustani Vocal), Sikkil Gurucharan (Carnatic Vocal), V Sanjeev (Violin), R. Sankaranaryanan (Mridangam), Pandit Satish Vyas (Hindustani Santoor), Ojas Adhiya (Tabla),  Rakesh Chaurasia (Flute), and Zakir Hussain (Tabla).

Waltham, MA-based LearnQuest Academy of Music is a non-profit institution that provides formal instruction in Indian classical and light music and organizes its annual flagship music conferences.

Music Conference volunteers (Photo: Rahul Joshi)

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