If the male synonym for the tabla is Zakir Hussain, then the female equivalent has to undeniably be Anuradha Pal. The only Indian female to perform at UK’s World Of Music, Dance and Arts Festival in 2008, Anuradha along with her band Recharge will be performing in the city tonight. “This is the first time that I’m performing at a place like Blue Frog and I’m completely looking forward to the new experience,” she says.
The tabla virtuoso and percussionist started her training under the likes of Ustad Alla Rakha and Zakir Hussain. Ask her about being intimidated in their presence and she says, “Learning under such legendary artists was a blessing. At the same time, they were very demanding teachers and pushed me to the limits. But that certainly worked.”
Recharge — a world music fusion outfit — was formed in 2007, and was the only Indian group that was invited to perform at the Woodstock Festival in Europe in 2008. The band brings together a convergence of genres like Indian and Western classical, and jazz combined with Indian, African, and Latin percussion.
Comprising eight members including Anuradha, Recharge features percussion instruments like kanjira, mridangam, tabla and djembe besides saxophone and electric bass. Says Anuradha, “It is a confluence of various styles that comes out beautifully when all of us are belting the tunes out.”
The band will also be releasing their second album by September. Ask her about her upcoming tours Recharge and she says, “A tour in Europe is on the cards but that shall only happen by November.”
Anuradha is also the only Indian that will be collaborating with artistes from all over the world, in January 2011, for the Global Fusion Project that is to be held in Dubai. Says she, “It’s a great honour and an amazing opportunity to showcase the traditional Indian form of music on a global platform, in front of exceptional artistes from across the world. I believe that it only proves that India is going places.”