Chandrakant Shantaram Kamat (1933-2010)

17. 7. 2010 | Rubriky: Articles,Lives

“Today, we have lost an artiste who enriched the legacy of Benares style. He accompanied me in a number of performances. May God bless his soul.” – Bhimsen Joshi

[by Ken Hunt, London] The Benares-style tabla artist Chandrakant Shantaram Kamat was one of the mainstays of radio and recital in Pune. Between 1956 and 1991 he was an All India Radio (Pune) staff musician and he also did 50 years’ service at the Sawai Gandharva festival. Over the course of his career, he accompanied successive generations of top-notch principal vocalist, instrumentalist and dancers.

He was born into an artistically inclined family on 26 November 1933 in Dhule in the Raj-era Bombay Presidency (nowadays Maharashtra). The son of the actor-singer Shantaram Kamat, he began learning music in boyhood while also training in classical dance and working. Concurrently, he graduated from child to adult actor with the Anandvilas Natak and Prabhakar Natak theatre companies. His background in tabla and dance later put him in a position to accompany dancers, most notably the accomplished Kathak dancer Rohinitai Bhate. His formative tuition in tabla was consolidated when, circa 1964, he was accepted as an advanced student by the Benares gharana tabla maestro Samta Prasad (1921-1994). Over the course of an extensive life lived in music he accompanied generations of classical musicians including, in alphabetical rather than chronological order, Begum Akhtar, Kishori Amonkar, Prabha Atre, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Gangubai Hangal and Bhimsen Joshi.
He died at home in Pune in Maharashtra on 28 June 2010. His sons Bharat Kamat and Subhash Kamat are taking forward the family’s tabla tradition.

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