Article by Shuchita Rao

Harmonious Convergence: A preview of upcoming Jugalbandi concerts at LearnQuest Music & Dance Festival 2024.

“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.”
– Pablo Casals

Jugalbandi is a musical collaboration between two skilled performers of similar
musical caliber. Literally translating to “intertwined twins”, jugalbandi is akin to a
duet performance between two artists who could be vocalists, or instrumentalists,
or a combination of the two. The featured collaborators are typically supported by
a team of talented musicians on percussion as well as the tanpura drone

A productive musical dialogue between two imaginative performers can create a
harmonious and dynamic interaction leading to an aesthetically pleasant
experience for the listeners. If the performers compete on stage, they take away
from the spirit and essence of a joint creative endeavor. It is only when the
collaborators work with a sense of mutual respect for each other, enhancing each
other’s ideas, that jugalbandis turn into a a magical experience for themselves as
well as for the audience.

Upcoming Jugalbandi Concerts in March & April 2024 in Boston

LearnQuest Academy of Music, based out of Waltham, Mass is a reputed music
institution that has been presenting Indian classical music festivals for last 15
years. Several memorable jugalbandi performances held during past annual music
festivals highlighted camaraderie among the artists while they actively explored
and pushed the boundaries of tradition and innovation within Indian classical
music. Some jugalbandi examples from past festivals include jugalbandi between
the renowned sitarist Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan along with mandolin maestro, the
late U. Srinivas, a Sarod-Sitar jugalbandi by brothers Aayush Mohan and Lakshay
Mohan, a jugalbandi between Hindustani shehnai artist Ashwini Shankar along
with Carnatic flautist J.A. Jayanth among others.

This year, at a five day long LearnQuest Indian music and dance festival 2024,
which is scheduled to be held in two parts at Casey Theater, Regis College in
Weston, Mass: the first half between March 29th to March 31st and the second
half from April 13th to April 14th, an impressive array of jugalbandis (listed below)
will be presented.

1. Indian-Western jugalbandi (Ensemble) by violinists Purnaprajna Bangere
and David Balakrishnan on Saturday, March 30, 2024
2. Hindustani vocal and sitar jugalbandi by vocalist Arshad Ali Khan and
Shahana Banerjee on Sunday, March 31, 2024
3. Hindustani-Carnatic jugalbandi by Hindustani flautist Shadaj Godkhindi with
Carnatic violinist K J Dilip on April 13, 2024
4. Carnatic-Hindustani jugalbandi by Carnatic flautist V.K. Raman and sitarist
Pt. Kushal Das on April 13, 2024
5. Hindustani jugalbandi by vocalists Sanjukta Biswas and Sabina Islam on
April 14, 2024
6. Carnatic duet by violinist duo Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi
Vijayalakshmi, who are the children of the legendary musician, Vidwaan
Lalgudi Jayaraman on April 14, 2024

A slice of history
Since the mid-20th century, jugalbandis between several gifted performer duos
have mesmerized audiences around the world and enriched the classical music
landscape. Dhrupad vocalists such as the senior Dagar brothers, Nasir Moinuddin
Dagar and Nasir Aminuddin Dagar, Sitar virtuoso Pandit Ravi Shankar and Sarod
virtuoso Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Violinist Vidushi Dr. N. Rajam and Shehnai virtuoso
Ustad Bismillah Khan, Vocalist Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj with renowned
flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Violinists Vidwaan Lalgudi Jayaraman and
Pandit T.N. Krishnan and Hindustani vocalists Ustad Dilshad Khan with his wife
Begum Parveen Sultana among several other talented pairs have showcased the
intricacies of Indian classical music through the medium of jugalbandi.

A unique collaboration akin to a jugalbandi that art lovers once witnessed several
years back on Indian national television, Doordarshan, was where two iconic
artists, Hindustani vocalist Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshi and reputed painter M.F.
Hussain collaborated in front of a live audience. Hussain painted while listening to
Bhimsen Joshi Ji’s music. At the end of the concert, a beautiful and compelling
work of art had been created from the inspiration the painter drew from the

JASRANGI – A unique Jugalbandi concept
Another interesting type of jugalbandi created by the late Sangeet Martand Pandit
Jasraj is known as “Jasrangi.” In this art form, one musician sings a raga in the
lower register (lower octave or mandra saptak) while the other musician
alternates by singing a different raga in a higher register (Madhya and taar saptak).
The complementary interplay of the two separate ragas creates a haunting effect.

Are Jugalbandis spontaneous works of art?

While some jugalbandis are spontaneous and extempore, others may go through
some amount of advance preparation. In Boston, in the year 2011, an innovative
jugalbandi between two pairs of brothers – Hindustani Dhrupad exponents
Gundecha brothers, and Carnatic brother duo Malladi brothers happened at the
Kresge auditorium in Cambridge, Mass. This collaboration succeeded in bringing
Hindustani and Carnatic music lovers closer in savoring the beauty of Indian
classical music. Gundecha brothers explained the work that went into planning
the jugalbandi as follows: “When we decided to sing with Malladi brothers, we
put considerable thought and planning into how to make the jugalbandi effective.
We listened to each other, made observations on each other’s musical content
and style and discussed with them how to bring out the best in of both styles. We
then isolated musical movements and components that sounded similar, and
those that synthesized well when sung together. We thought of ragas and talas
that are common to both styles and came up with a plan.” This planned effort and
execution of a jugalbandi was well received by a diverse audience of music lovers.


Henry Ford once said “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is
progress, and working together is success.” Music lovers are in for a treat in
March and April 2024 because not one, but six jugalbandis will be presented at
the Learnquest festival in an effort to showcase the depth and beauty of Indian
classical music. Buy your tickets in advance at