|Nada Brahmono Namaha Nawh Vidya Sangitaat Parah
| Panchet Garh: the ancestral music home of Debu
Panchet Garh Music Tradition: Panchet Garh is a small village in the
Midnapore district, about 78 kilometers from Calcutta, where Debu grew up
and received his initial musical training. This is also Debu’s ancestral home.
The tradition of tabla came to Panchet Garh Raj family in 1904-05 with Ustad
Faqir Bux of Punjab Gharana. Panchet Garh, during this time, attracted many
musicians like Jadu Bhatta, Tasaddak Husain Khan of Agra Gharana
(Bismillah Khan Saheb’s maternal uncle), Ustad Munna Khan, Pandit
Chandrika Prasad, Biswanath Dhamari, Kashinath, and many others.
Chowdhury Jadabendra Nandan and Chowdhury Jogendra Nandan (Debu’s
maternal great grand father), were two brothers, who were already learned
musicians in Dhrupad and Surbahar (Been Kar style), having frequented
Maihar, UP many times, to learn from Ustad Wazir Khan, the court musician
of Senia kingship and gharana (Incidentally, Ustad Allahuddin Khan Saheb,
Pandit Ravi Shankar’s Guru, also learned from Ustad Wazir Khan, making
the two Chowdhary brothers and Ravi Shanker Guru Bhais.). Aside from
this, Chowdhury Jadabendra Nandan also took taalim in Pakhawaj from
Ustad Murari Mohan Gupta. Around that time, Ustad Faqir Bux became the in-
residence musician and teacher in Panchet Garh Raj family and became the
Ustad of the Raj family. The Gurukul which the Ustad had set up at this time
would later boast of musicians such as Chowdhury Jogendra Nandan,
Rathindra Nath Das and many others.
Chowdhury Kaushalya Nandan Monica Nayak
Debu’s grand father, Chowdhury Kaushalya Nandan (above picture) also
accepted Taalim (lessons) in Pakhawaj and Tabla from Ustad Faqir Bux.
Around this time, Panchet Garh, not only became a family of musical
traditions but also became a school of classical music and learning. Later,
Chowdhury Kaushallya Nandan also became a well known tabla maestro of
this institution where he taught many students who eventually became well
known tabla players in their own rights. Chowdhury Kaushalya Nandan was
Debu’s first Guru. Debu was three years old at this time.
Debu Nayak’s mother Monica Nayak introduced him to music very early in
his life. Having learned Sitar and vocal herself at her ancestral home she
was well equipped to induct her son into the tradition of the family gharana.
Debu’s first memory of attending a musical concert is of him sitting in his
mother’s lap listening to his grandfather play the Tabla accompanying his
grand uncle on the Jaltaranga….
Late Pt. Radhakanta Nandi
Debu learned for eight years with the maestro Nandi in Calcutta. Pandit ji
was a disciple of the legendary Pandit Anokhelal Misra of Benaras and was
considered the Jadugar of Tabla. Debu got his first training in
accompaniment with light classical and classical music from him.
A picture of Debu and Pt. Samir Chatterjee, during the Ganda Bandhan
ceremony at the temple:
Pt. Samir Chatterjee (Gurudev)
Pandit Samir Chatterjee is the Ganda Bandh guru of Debu Nayak. Belonging
to the Farukhabad gharana, Pandit Ji inculcated in Debu a love for the purity
of tabla bols and it’s “prana”, the tonal quality of the kinar, and the intricacy
of mathematical pattern, which are distinctive to his playing. Debu is the
first seven Gaanda Bandh students of his Guru.
Debu with Pt.Anindo chatterjee
Pt. Anindo Chatterjee
Debu is deeply influenced by the tabla playing of Pt. Anindo Chatterjee.
Pandit ji is an exponent of the Farukhabad Gharana and performs the bols of
this Gharana with a twist of Lucknow and Delhi. He is a master soloist, and
this is what attracted Debu to him. Debu still learns from Pandit ji, and
whenever he is in town, Debu facilitates many lessons, workshops and
concerts of Pandit Anindo Chatterjee in the Washington area.
Ustad Zakir Hussain
Debu believes that the rhythms of tabla are endless and can be learned
from whoever is willing to share the knowledge. For this reason, every
opportunity, Debu gets, he becomes a disciple before a Teacher/Maestro.
With his purpose in mind, he has attended a number of tabla workshops
conducted by Ustad Zakir Hussain.