Article by Sanket Acharya

Gifted Tabla Player Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri To Perform Solo At the 2024 LearnQuest Music Festival.

By Sanket Acharya

WESTON, MA–As many readers already know, the LearnQuest Academy of Music is a non-profit educational institution located in the Boston area that has been instrumental in bringing scintillating performances by Indian artists to New England since 2006. Now in its 16th year, the LearnQuest Music Festival, to be held during March and April this year, is sure to attract a wide array of music and dance lovers from the area.

This year, the audience will have a special treat in being able to listen to Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, a highly respected and world-famous Tabla player known for his captivating solo performances. Swapanji’s distinctive style and command over the instrument was initiated at an early age of five, through intensive training with his Guru, the late Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas of Lucknow Gharana. Spanning an impressive career of over seven decades, Swapanji has been a terrific soloist, a sensitive and elegant accompanist to the likes of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, as well as a mentor to students at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California where he is the Director of Percussion.

Given his unique contributions to the world of Indian music and Tabla, it is no surprise that Swapanji has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including the prestigious Padma Shree, Sangeet Natak Academy Award, and the American Academy of Artists Award, to name only a few. His performances have taken him around the globe and two of his records, Legacy (1997) and Passing on the Tradition (1998) were also nominated for the Grammy Awards.

Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri’s Tabla solo performance will be part of the five-day LearnQuest Music Festival that will take place during March 29-31 and April 13-14, 2024 at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. The festival also features several other highly regarded artists including Roopak Kulkarni (Flute), Kushal Das (Sitar), TM Krishna (Vocal), Lalgudi GJR Krishnan (Violin), and many more.

For full details and tickets, please visit

 About the Author:

Sanket Acharya is a disciple of Ustad Allarakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain and has performed several tabla concerts internationally collaborating with leading artists. He is a scientist by training and received his PhD in Immunology from Harvard University. Professionally, Sanket works in the biotechnology industry supporting development of advanced therapies. He lives with his family in the Boston area.

Article by Akash Deep

The LearnQuest Music Festival will celebrate its 16th offering this spring. Most music lovers are well aware that it is one of the largest festivals of its kind in North America, but even regular attendees may not be aware that it is one of the few festivals worldwide that spans both Hindustani and Carnatic music. And this year, it will also include a genre that some believe precedesthis bifurcation: Dhrupad.

Dhrupad is the style of raga-based music that legendary singers Miyan Tansen and Baiju Bawra performed during the Mughal period in India. A typical Dhrupad recital consists of an unfolding of the raag in increasing tempo – called alaap, jod and jhala – followed by a composition and its elaboration accompanied by a pakhawaj. Dhrupad music is described by both connoisseurs and new listeners as pure and resonant, subtleand majestic, introspective and divine.


This year the LearnQuest Festival will feature a renowned vocal exponent of dhrupad music, Pandit Uday Bhawalkar. He is a flagbearer of the famous Dagar bani after having received training under Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Pandit Uday Bhawalkar is a globally acclaimed performer and devoted teacher of Dhrupad music. He has also contributed to the soundtracks of films such as Mani Kaul’s “Cloud Door”, Aparna Sen’s “Mr. & Mrs. Iyer”, and Amol Palekar’s “Anahat”.

Pandit Uday Bhawalkar’s performance will be a part of the five-day LearnQuest Music Festival that will take place on March 29-31 and April 13-14, 2024, at Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. The festival also features Shashank Subramanyam (flute), Manjusha Patil (vocal), Kushal Das (sitar), TM Krishna (vocal), and many more. For full details and tickets, please visit

About the writer— Akash Deep is a student of Hindustani and Dhrupad music at the LearnQuest academy of music and a part of the organizing committee at Learnquest music festival. Professionally Akash is a professor of Finance at Harvard university

Article By Selina Senbanerjee

Pandit Ken Zuckerman and Vidushi Emmanuelle Martin Bring Global Perspectives to the 16th Annual LearnQuest Music Festival

It is often said that music transcends all boundaries. Inspired by this extraordinary power of music, LearnQuest Academy of Music was founded in 1996 and started its Annual Music Festival in 2006 – with the goal of Connecting through Music.

This year, LearnQuest’s 16th Annual Festival will feature two artists, Pandit Ken Zuckerman and Vidushi Emmanuelle Martin, who truly embody this spirit. Though these individuals were not born into Indian culture, Indian classical music connected with them. They have since dedicated their lives to learning, performing, and connecting others with the beautiful musical traditions of India.

Pandit Ken Zuckerman. Photo by Heiner Grieder

Pandit Ken Zuckerman is a Grammy-nominated sarod virtuoso from Switzerland. He started his musical journey in his childhood with piano and then switched to guitar. Later, Zuckerman started training on the sitar with the legendary sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and subsequently chose the sarod. Zuckerman has trained with Ustad ji for 37 years and is currently the director of the Ali Akbar College of Music in Switzerland. He has performed extensively around the world in both traditional Indian classical concerts as well as fusion projects and world music collaborations. Zuckerman is also a professor at the Musik Akademie Basel, Switzerland, where he teaches several unique courses within the Studio für Musik der Kulturen, which is focused on introducing music from other parts of the world to students of Western music.

Vidushi Emmanuelle Martin is an accomplished Carnatic vocalist from France. She started her musical training on piano at an early age before taking up Carnatic music. She has spent 10 years in Chennai, India training with the renowned Carnatic vocalist Vidwan T.M. Krishna, who will also be performing at this year’s LearnQuest Festival. Martin has performed extensively in Europe and the United States, and she teaches private lessons as well as training courses. She also hosts innovative world music workshops in collaboration with artists from other traditions of music.

Connect with these inspiring artists and their music at LearnQuest’s Annual Music Festival on March 29-31 and April 13-14 at Regis College in Weston, MA. For tickets and more information on this year’s festival and music classes, please visit

(About the writer: Selina Banerjee is a faculty member of Hindustani classical vocal music at LearnQuest Academy of Music. She has been learning with Dr. Pradeep Shukla at LearnQuest for the past 17 years and completed her Manch Pravesh in 2017. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Northeastern University’s Department of Chemical Engineering.)