Deepak Ram, musician from two worlds

I came across this magical flute player and had to find out more about him. so I turned to Wikipedia. Where else?

Thank you, Wikipedia, the FREE encyclopedia!

Deepak Ram

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deepak Ram
Birth name Deepak Ram
Born 1960
Origin South Africa
Genres Hindustani classical music
Occupations Composer, flute player, Music producer
Instruments bansuri
Website [6]

Deepak Ram is a South African flautist, composer, keyboard player and producer of Indian origin. He has contributed on Shango and Labyrinth albums by the trance group Juno Reactor, Dead Bees on a Cake album by Jazz artist David Sylvan among others.[1]



[edit] Early life

Deepak Ram’s grandparents were brought to South Africa to work on plantations. He was thus born in South Africa to second generation immigrants during the apartheid era in the 60s. A few weeks after his birth, the family home was home was bulldozed under Group Areas Act for effecting racial segregation. The family thereafter settled in Sophiatown, a racially mixed area. His earliest influences were the Jazz records his brothers listened to and the Bollywood and Indian music his parents listened to. His first flute was fashioned out of a drainpipe with six holes drilled arbiratrarily on the sides.[2]

[edit] Career

Deepak Ram first traveled to India at the age of 17 where he received training in classical Indian music under the tutelage renowned flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and the late Shri Suryakant Limaye.[3]

Before passing away, the latter bequeathed a collection of flutes to Ram.[2]

Deepak began his formal training in bansuri and tabla under Sri Jeram Bhana in South Africa in 1975. Two years later he was off to Mumbai, India to study flute under the late Sri Suryakant Limaye (India’s master flute maker); he simultaneously spent a short time under flautist, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. It was in 1981 that his dream was realized when he became the disciple of the celebrated flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (with whom he continues to study from time to time). During this period he also studied tabla under Sri Yashwant Padhye and music theory and voice under Pandit Rajaram Shukla. Deepak earned a Masters degree in Music (MMus) from Rhodes University, South Africa, in 1996 for his thesis, “Exploring Syncretism Between Indian and Western Music Through Composition”.

Deepak’s versatility is apparent in his numerous collaborations with musicians of various genres. These include performances with jazz pianists Darius Brubeck and Bheki Mseleku, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Yousseff and the popular South African band Tananas. On January 1 2000, Deepak performed with South African musicians like Sibongile Khumalo and the Rwandan diva, Cecile, on Robben Island in South Africa’s millennium concert hosted by presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Deepak has seven solo albums to his credit and as a session musician can be heard on over twenty-five albums. His bansuri can also be heard on movie soundtracks, such as “The Fast And The Furious”, “Matrix Revolutions”, “India, Kingdom of the Tiger”, “Stealth” and “Before The Rains”.

In 2000 Deepak was awarded Best Instrumental Album at the South African Music Awards for his album “Searching for Satyam”. His previous album “Flute for Thought” also saw him being nominated for Best Male Artist and Best Instrumental Album in the 1999 South African Music Awards. Both these albums as well as “Beauty in Diversity” feature Deepak’s compositions and arrangements based on elements of north Indian music.

Deepak’s knowledge of both Indian and western traditions is evident in his compositions which range from pieces for jazz groups, western flute quartets (flute, violin, viola and cello), choral works and ballets to orchestral pieces. His last work ‘SURYA’ for classical guitar and bansuri, commissioned by the award -winning guitarist Mesut Özgen was premiered at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Deepak is currently working on music for bansuri and string quartet.

One of Deepak Ram’s fortes is his ability to communicate his knowledge, making him an excellent teacher. Most recently, he served as visiting professor in Indian Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lectured full time for four years at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, and has conducted many workshops in Indian music in the USA, United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. He also has several publications to his credit, including an instruction booklet, “Harmonium Made Easy”.


[edit] Discography

[edit] Solo Albums

[edit] DVD

Live in California with Pandit Anindo Chatterjee (includes interviews with Deepak Ram and Pt. Anindo Chatterjee

[edit] Production

  • ‘Sun Zara’, a debut album by Chinmayi on Worldwide Records label[5]

[edit] Contributions

  • Buddha Bar I
  • Buddha Bar III
  • Shango
  • Dead Bees on a Cake
  • Labyrinth

Enjoy your trance:


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