Music has the power to soothe the soul and ignite the imagination. It can transport us to another world and create magic. One such magician is Shri Santosh Gajanan Kulkarni, whose tabla playing has the ability to bring the world to a standstill. The way his fingers move across the tabla is nothing short of mesmerizing.
Santosh Gajanan Kulkarni has authored his second book in the Parampara Series of books, which he dedicates to his father, Gajanan Kulkarni, who is still teaching tabla at the Narayan Tabla Institute and discovering new talent at the age of 80.
Book launch at Indian Cultural Center, Doha Qatar
Shri Santosh Gajanan Kulkarni is a distinguished tabla virtuoso, born in Bailhongal, Karnataka on December 3, 1973. Music runs in his blood, as he is the grandson of the late Shri Annaji Kulkarni, an eminent tabla player, and the son of Pandit Gajanan Kulkarni, also a famous tabla player. Shri Santosh Kulkarni began his tabla training at the tender age of four under the guidance of his father. Despite his young age, he was determined to learn and play the instrument.
At the age of eight, Shri Santosh Kulkarni was trained by Pandit Basavraj Bendigeri, and he gave his first solo stage performance at the Sangeet Kalakar Sangh in Belagavi. Since then, he has continued to hone his skills and has become a master of his craft.
In a conversation with AAB, Santosh shared his vision behind writing this series. He explained that his primary objective is to create awareness about the lesser-known Kaydas, Paltas, and Tihaees from the Delhi Gharana. Along with this, he aims to give back to the Tabla community by sharing his knowledge in an organized, sequential, and documented book format. Lastly, he hopes to leave a legacy for his thousands of students worldwide and the entire community of music lovers who have enjoyed his art.
Santosh’s passion for Tabla began at a very young age. He was exposed to the Sur of the Taal and the Tri Taal from the day he was born. As a child, he played with Tabla like any other toy and learned the instrument without even realizing it. His father, Sri. Gajanan, known as Bandopant Kulkarni, was his first Guru, and later he learned from Pt. Basavaraj Bendigeri and Pt. Padma Shree Suresh Talwalkar. Santosh believes in being a lifelong student of Tabla and continues to learn from everyone he meets.
Santosh recognizes the promising talent in the Gulf, just like in India, and believes that parents are eager to see their children excel in something beyond academics. He compares India to a factory where talent is groomed, and then the talented artists go all over the world and spread the sound of music. As a promoter of music from a factory in Belagavi, Santosh is here to spread the joy of music through Tabla, his passion instrument. This book is one of the tools he uses to promote the same.
Throughout his career, he has had the honor of accompanying music legends such as Padmashri M. Venkatesh Kumar, Pt. Kaivalya Kumar Gurav, Pt. Ganapati Bhat, Pt. Sanjay Deshpande, Pt. Anup Jalota, Dr. Vivek Khadilkar, Pt. Sudhir Pote, Pt. Vaidya, Pt. Prakash Sangeeth, Dr. Sudhanshu Kulkarni, and many others. He is also a founder of a musical academy in Belagavi, where he trains students in the Gurukul System alongside his father.
Reflecting on his time in Qatar, he fondly recalls the day when he was performing in Belagavi and caught the attention of Mr. Aravind Patil, who invited him to conduct workshops in Doha.
Now, after 12 years of training music aspirants at the Skills Development Centre in Doha, he expresses his gratitude to Mr. P.N. Babu Rajanji, the Managing Director of the Centre, and the entire SDC team for their unwavering support throughout his musical journey in Qatar.
As you read this book, it is our hope that it brings you joy as a reader, provides valuable information for Tabla enthusiasts, aids in your practice as a Tabla student, and inspires those who are not yet involved in music to join the world of music.