For some who is not too fond of fusion, I was blown away when I heard Shankar Tucker and his troupe perform. I had unfortunately not heard of Shankar Tucker before, even though they have been creating waves in the online world with their eclectic original music-fusions for quite sometime now.
What is it that makes the troupe so special? Well, for starters, Indian classical music in tandem with the clarinet (which Tucker plays), the strums of an electric guitar and the tabla beats definitely made for great ensemble. For someone who is not too much into heavy classical music, Shankar’s performance with his troupe made for easy, and lyrical listening. In other words, it was not heavy, and, active audience participation in the form of appreciative claps and even some well-deserved…’wooo’s’ made one hum along (an impossibility in a pure classical performance) with some numbers, like the Mira-bhajan and popular numbers like, “Aaaj jaane ki zid na karo”.
It is indeed amazing how born in the United States, and with no Asian lineage as such, Shankar (which is his re-christened name) has picked up the nuances and the love for Indian classical music. Small wonder that his online music videos channel, ‘The Shrutibox’, has garnered more than 8 million views and thousands of fans worldwide.
Shankar’s troupe consists of powerful classical-vocal renditions by Nirali Kartik (she has her own popular youtube channel), Kartik Shah (music composer and producer who plays the guitar) and Amit Sharma ( plays the table and is from the family of the legendary Benaras gharana)
If you want to listen to Indian classical compositions with their ragas and talas seamlessly fuse with western rhythms then look out for Shankar Tucker on Youtube. Some of his numbers, which are high on the popularity chart, include Night Monsoon (an ode to Mumbai monsoons), Aaaj jaane Ki zid na karo and Ore Piya-Rolling in the deep.