Pandit Ravi Shankar’s disciple Rishab Sharma embarks on India tour

He will also release the Sitar For Mental Health Mixtape
Rishab Sharma performed at the White House during Diwali
Rishab Sharma performed at the White House during Diwali

Sitarist, music producer, and mental health advocate Rishab Rikhiram Sharma brings his acclaimed multi-sensory immersive experience 'Sitar for Mental Health' to India after a successful run in the United States and Canada.

The 25-year-old New York-based artist will be performing in various cities across India for two months starting from March 2024. This is his largest multi-city trek in India and will include performances in cities such as Chennai, Jaipur, Goa, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Chandigarh.

Rishab, a descendant of the esteemed Rikhi Ram family of luthiers and the youngest and last disciple of the great sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, will be performing on stage in every city with a group of talented homegrown artists. The accompanying artists include Naveen Kumar on flute, Keith Peters on bass, Raghuraman R on guitar, Kulta Khan on khartal, and Prashant Trivedi on tabla.

Sitar for Mental Health is a program that combines the ancient practices of sound and energy medicine with traditional Indian classical music. It is designed to help individuals achieve states of deep reflection, connection, receptivity, and introspection. Through this program, the importance of mental health is highlighted by experiencing the auditory sensory processing system that surfaces naturally in classical music. The 90-minute experience uses the sound of the sitar as a transformational tool, accompanied by instruments like the khartal, sound bowls, daf, deep percussion, and more.

Rishab Sharma performed at the White House during Diwali
Sitarist Rishab Rikhiram Sharma speaks on his initiative Sitar for Mental Health

Rishab who performed during Diwali at the White House states, “Sitar for Mental Health has emerged as a beacon of change, igniting vital conversations about mental well-being across our diverse nation. Over the past three years, I've dedicated myself to advocating for mental health awareness and through this journey I've discovered the profound power of traditional Indian music, particularly the enchanting melodies of the sitar, to guide audiences towards a state of serene tranquillity."

He added, "I'm thrilled to announce our most ambitious endeavour yet: the largest Sitar For Mental Health Tour to date, spanning 11 cities in India. Featuring an ensemble of top musicians from across the country, along with mesmerizing visuals, captivating performance arts, and brand-new compositions, this tour promises to be a truly unforgettable celebration of resilience, unity, and the transformative power of music. Together, we look forward to embarking on this extraordinary journey, spreading hope and healing to every corner, celebrating and promoting mental wellbeing through music. Our concerts transcend mere performances; they are immersive experiences designed to nurture mind, body, and soul. Beginning with a grounding breath exercise, we seamlessly transition into a transcendent sound meditation. Interactive sessions within the audience encourage open dialogue, fostering a supportive atmosphere where attendees feel empowered to share their stories and experiences. Finally, we uplift spirits with high-energy music collaborations, leaving audiences inspired.”

After the tour, Rishab will release the Sitar For Mental Health Mixtape. It is a musical journey that starts at dawn and ends at nightfall, showcasing various Ragas. The mixtape is crafted with great care and passion, presenting Ragas in different genres, ranging from soothing lo-fi tones to spirited folk-style rhythms. The mixtape features five distinct Ragas - Alhaiya Bilawal, Bhairavi, Khamaj, Shankara, and a unique creation, Bihaagananda - representing a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. By seamlessly bridging the gap between the past and the present, this mixtape redefines the notion of tradition, making it more relevant and accessible than ever before.

Rishab Sharma performed at the White House during Diwali
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