Indian slide guitars have up to 24 strings; several aren’t even touched by the player—they’re moved by soundwaves alone. Debashish Bhattacharya is a master improviser on these rare instruments. KZSC is proud to host him on this week’s Used Records show, Wednesday September 30th between 9 am and noon.
The Grammy-nominated Bhattacharya was the principal student of Brij Bhushan Khabra, the father of Indian classical guitar. Bhattacharya invented nineteen entirely new guitars to help him expand this tradition. He eventually developed a new system of playing–and teaching–Indian classical guitar centered on three of those designs. He plays a trinity of instruments, the Chaturangui, Gandharvi and Anandi, held in his lap; improvising with a small steel bar, metal picks, a celluloid thumb pick, and occasionally a small stone.
Bhattacharya eagerly pursues opportunities to expand this emerging tradition, regularly playing with masters of other musical systems. Earlier this year, he improvised with Malian kora master Ballaké Sissoko at the Fes Festival of Sacred Music, a stunning and mesmerizing performance, according the Morocco Wold News and Wall Street International Magazine.
Bhattacharya is in Santa Cruz for a concert on Friday October 2nd, at the Pacific Cultural Center. Tickets are being sold via brownpapertickets.com. Proceeds from this concert will help produce the 2nd International Guitar Festival in Kolkata, India.