- by Roopa Sharma, Chicago, IL
It was my joy and privilege to attend my niece, Sunita Khaund Bhuyan's launch of "Bihu Strings" in Guwahati on February 12th, 2012. The album was released by Honorable Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam and Mr. B. Bajpai, Vodafone Business Head, Northeast.
Sunita, daughter of the great violinist Minoti Khaund was one of the guest artists in Assam Convention, Nashville, 2010. The audience was marveled at her absolutely wonderful performance.
Times Music approached Sunita last year requesting her to produce an album of Assamese Bihu music on violin. The result - an extraordinary album featuring FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE WORLD - OUR BIHU ON VIOLIN! The album contains 70 % violin with other instruments and 30 % Bihu songs.
Sunita deserves our gratitude for introducing Assam's Bihu on strings to the world-stage. All music lovers and especially all Assamese families should own this beautiful album. This will be a joy that will keep giving.
On July 11th, at the initiative of Probha and Rupesh Saikia, Abhishruti was invited to participate at a local radio program through Radio Masti. This gave Abhishruti the opportunity to touch the hearts and minds of a larger Indian audience. Additionally, this led to Radio Masti setting aside a special time slot from 10:30 to 11:00 am for the Assamese community to put forth their request of Assamese music – opening the door to popularize Assamese music and culture abroad.
On July 16, 2010, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, immensely popular among the connoisseurs of classical music around the globe, performed at the Cullen Hall UH, accompanied by his sons, Ayaan Ali Bangesh and Amaan Ali Bangesh. On the tablas were Vineet Vyas and Anubrata Chatterjee. The concert was in three segments, the first half featured the Maestro’s Sarod Solo. Then a Sarod Duet by the two brothers. The last segment was a Sarod Trio where the Maestro was assisted by his two accomplished sons. Vineet Vyas, from the Varansai School of Tabla and Anubrata Chatterjee, from the Bengal School of Tabla equallyy enthralled the audience with their superb accompaniment and
individual pieces throughout the performance.
This concert was sponsored by the Tagore Society of Houston in honor of the Nobel Laureate’s 150th birth anniversay. In keeping with the Ustadji’s extraordinary capacity to lure and engage all levels of his audience, he started the concert with Tagore’s “Ekla Cholo Re” and ended with an Assamese folk tune. His humble gesture made us proud and we felt as if this was his way of honoring the Assamese blood in his family.