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About Vishal Nagar

Vishal Nagar 

Soulful musicality along with graceful virtuosity makes Vishal Nagar truly one of the most gifted Tabla musicians of his generation. Rhythmic creativity and a strong emotional connection with his music contribute to Vishal's admiration as a performer amongst dancers, vocalists and instrumentalists alike.  Also a dynamic soloist, he has been one of the youngest Indian musicians to perform at the WOMAD music festival (co-founded by Peter Gabriel), World Rhythm Festival, and many others.  A vibrant performer and eloquent speaker, Vishal is also a highly sought after and dedicated educator who continues to perform and teach in India, the US and abroad while serving as an ambassador of Tabla.                                                                             Son of the renowned Kathak danseuse and vocalist Vidushi Urmila Nagar, Vishal showed an incredible attraction towards Tabla even as a toddler.  The saying, "Mother is the foremost guru" stands true for Vishal in its deepest meaning as it was under his mother's unmatched guidance that Vishal began learning and understanding the concepts of taal (rhythm).  The constant presence of musicians and her disciples led to an atmosphere filled with music and dance at their home.  It was through these experiences that Vishal began to absorb the essence of Indian Classical Music, unaware that his rhythmic and musical foundations were being laid.Vishal Nagar

Once reaching the age of formal training in Tabla, Vishal was initiated under the guidance of the esteemed Late Ustad Latif Khan and then trained under Ustad Shamim Ahmed Khan.  Supplementing his formal training, Vishal remained a devoted apprentice of rhythm and performance under his mother.  Through his training and personal exploration, Vishal has developed a deep understanding of the underlying fundamentals that guide khulaav/vistar (expansion/structured improvisation) and nikasiyat (precise playing technique) in Tabla which distinguishes his approach towards improvisation and composition. Though trained in the Delhi gharana (school) of Tabla, Vishal has humbly imbibed intricacies of other Tabla gharanas which have truly enhanced his skills as a "Chaumukha Tabliya" (four-faceted Tabla player who is equally proficient as a soloist and in all forms of accompaniment including vocal, instrumental and dance).

A true traditionalist of Indian Classical Tabla and innovatively creative in collaborative contemporary music settings, Vishal has had the honor of performing and recording with numerous renowned artists such as Pandit Birju Maharaj, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Vidushi Prabha Atre, Vidushi Urmila Nagar, Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Vidhwan Trichur Ramachandran, Pandit Satish Vyas, Pandit Madhup Mudgal, and Pandit Ramesh Misra, to name a few.  Expanding his cultural boundaries, Vishal has also had the privilege of collaborating with some of the great world music masters including African drum legend Babatunde Olatunji, eminent drummer Michael Shrieve, Carmona Flamenco, violinist Eyvind Kang, Ghanaian guitarist Koo Nimo, and famed saxophonist Jeff Coffin.  Ringing sounds of his Tabla can also be heard in the sound track for the critically acclaimed documentary "Dalai Lama Renaissance" narrated by Harrison Ford and produced by FOX Productions.

Since the mid 1990's, Vishal has also been teaching in the US and India. He has conducted lecture- demonstrations and short term residencies in numerous cities and institutions throughout the US including University of Boulder, Loyola University, and University of Washington. As a dedicated educator, Vishal has students in India and the US who are actively involved with performing and propagating Tabla.

Currently based out of New Delhi and San Francisco, California, Vishal continues perform and educate in India and abroad.

Photos by Inni Singh Photography





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