ILP ~ Sur Sangam ~ Saturday June 27th, 2009

Introducing the Shachi Group:

ShaChi Group has been active in the light music field for quite some time.  The Sharads, founder and core members of the group, come from a Gujarati Nagar family where music has been a tradition, a way of life.  They have given performances on stage, radio and television in India, US  and elsewhere.  They have produced audio cassettes of selections from their live performances, and studio-recorded stereo cassettes/CDs, like Sa-Ras Garba, Hriday Zankar, Mahol-e-Ghazal, and Swaraanjali with traditional folk, devotional and light music melodies.
During 2001-2006, they organized/conducted many cultural shows in Bakersfield, CA.  They gave a 2-hour, Janmashtami 2007 bhajans program at the Durga Temple, Fairfax, VA.  During Navratri 2007, they held two raas-garba programs with Dipesh Desai, a well-known Music Director of Gujarati films/TV.  In 2008, they conducted a Dandia Nite under the auspices of the India Literacy Project.
The ShaChi Group has indulged in various forms of sugam sangeet  like bhajans, garba‑raas, ghazals, and lokgeet, both in Hindi and Gujarati.
Artists for the program, Sur Sangam:
Chitra Sharad Mrs Chitra Sharad, who leads the ShaChi Group, started her career in music formally with participation in children's program on the All India Radio.  She later on worked as a Transmission Executive/Duty Officer at the Ahmedabad Station. Mrs Sharad has organized and conducted garba‑raas and cultural programs at Navratri time and similar occasions earlier in Ahmedabad, and later in USA in about ten States.
Dick Sharad Her husband, Dick, also sang on the AIR, and has given performances with her in India, England, Saudi Arabia and USA ‑ on stage, radio, and television. 
Neha, Neti and Alpa Sharad The talented young Sharads, Neha, Neti and Alpa, also sang American pop songs with a popular  band, Purple Flower, in Ahmedabad at public programs and on Doordarshan at Christmas/New Year time.  Neha, the eldest, continues to be an active music partner of her parents from childhood.
Abhijeet Panse the leader of the ILP program team, is a popular percussion artist in the DC metropolis, with over 20 years of tabla playing experience in India and US.  He also plays dhol and other percussion instruments.   He is a Tabla Visharad, and has studied tabla under Pandit Ramesh Samant from Pune.  He gives lessons in tabla-playing at his home in Chantilly, VA.  He works as an IT Manager.
Avadhanam Ventakesh a vocalist, has a passion for modern film songs (Hindi and Telugu) from childhood. He performs at social gatherings and cultural functions. Lately in 2008, he performed at the Annual Day Celebration of the India International School in Virginia. Venkatesh is a senior information officer.
Harish Patel is well known in the DC area as a cheerful emcee, skillful dholak player, and a devoted bhajan singer.  During his long music career, he has over 200 stage shows to his credit.  He has been a member of the Executive Board of the Durga Temple, active at year-round cultural events, particularly conducting bhajan-keertan programs. He works in the field of finance.
Jerome Vincent has been playing harmonium, harmonica and keyboard for the past 27 years. While in India, he formed a light music band called Raagas, and a Western music band Blue Ricks.  Also co-founded a light music band in US.   He has performed with many cinemusicians and directors in India, and for several organizations in US.  Teaching music is a big passion with him.
Kartikeya Tripathi is a versatile musician, who has been playing the keyboard for many years. He is one of the founder members of the band Mother Tongue, which indulges in a notable range of world music, including Indian, Turkish, Mexican and Western pop/rock. He works as a researcher in communications engineering.
Ram Mistry has explored different aspects of music over the years.  He has demonstrated his versatility by starting with the organ, and progressing onto tabla, guitar, dhol, ukulele, percussion and other musical instruments.   He has been an important part of the band, Mother Tongue, as the lead guitarist. He works as an examiner for patents and trademarks, and intends to attend Law School in the fall of 2009.
Urvi Mehta is quite comfortable with all forms of sugam sangeet, like bhajans, garba‑raas, ghazals, and lokgeet, both in Hindi and Gujarati.  She has been in love with music since childhood. She delights audiences with her lovely voice singing at social gatherings like birthday parties and public functions.   She is also a fine drama/stage artist.  She practices internal medicine in Maryland.