Founder & Director
The inspiration behind the Shruti School of Music concept blossomed from the Shruti School of Music in Mumbai, a non-profit organization and family run school by Shankh and his sister and brother - (both highly respected musicians in the Indian Classical field of Music). Shankh has held a key role as a Founding Member and Director from its very inception.
Shankhachur comes from a family with a strong tradition of Indian Classical Music and has fully devoted his life to this art. Son of the visionary sitarist and Guru Shri Rabindranath Lahiri (disciple of Ustad Dabir Khan), he grew up in an environment imbued with the fragrance of Hindustani music. As a child, he received intensive training in both vocal and tabla from his father and went on to graduate with a Sangeet Visharad in both subjects. He later took advanced talim in tabla from Pt. Sandeep Dev in Kolkata. Currently Shankh, (as he is lovingly known in the fraternity), is a devoted senior disciple of world-renowned tabla maestro Pandit Nayan Ghosh.
Shankh is a beloved instructor here at Shruti School of Music and continues to share his knowledge with many eager and diffrent cultural students from many years in Tampa, Florida and others from around the world. Apart from his busy schedule as an Internationally touring and succsessful Indian Classical performer and teacher.
Shankh continues his vision of "Inspiring & Bridging The World Through Cultural Music" with his World fusion band "Wahh!". 'Wahh!' in India is a popular word that expresses 'Great Inner Joy and Appreciation'...'Wahh!' is a spectacular blend of East meets West in true Fusion Music style, using the scintillating sounds of Indian Tabla and Vocal overtones, 'Wahh' fuses a modern approach weaved in with Sitar, Bansuri Flute, Western Drums, Guitar and Bass. It Combines Indian Raga music and Western harmonic melodies with an infectious Rhythm section creates a strikingly impressive blend of Musical style and instruments. With such diversity, 'Wahh!' offers a wide appeal to all types of audiences.
Shankh & Friends Kirtan is Shankh's unique Kirtan muiscal group that is characterized by using the rich, traditional musical history of his cultural upbringing from India and comprising of all leading, professional musicians- offering an authentic taste of Indian Kirtan with a fresh, modern feel. Shankh decided to create this dynamic Musical Group to share his natural Kirtan knowledge and Musicianship from India with the West and perform it in an unparalleled feast of integrative Spiritual nourishment and delicious musicality.
For more information visit: www.shankhmusic.com
Labonee Mohanta, disciple of Kathak maestro Pandit Chitresh Das, began her training in Kathak dance at the early age of 8. She is a prominent solo artist, having performed Kathak solos to great acclaim in dance and music festivals throughout the United States, Canada, India, and Europe. Labonee has become renowned for dynamism in her dance, fiery footwork, subtlety and grace in movement. She also employs the technique “Kathak Yoga” where she simultaneously sings the rhythmic cycle, dances complex mathematical patterns, and plays the harmonium.
Recently, Labonee has established her own dance company in California and teaches 50 students in 3 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also the Dance Director of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, for which she regularly performs and choreographs the dance segment of the Ensemble for productions in North America and abroad. Labonee also works with the Ensemble on creating and featuring dance and choreography for videos and short films.
Labonee toured extensively with the Chitresh Das Dance Company and served as center director and senior teacher at her Guru’s institution for many years. Labonee also teaches workshops internationally, including in India, USA, France, and Ireland.
As a second generation Indian based in America, she plays a significant role in preserving the cultural heritage of India in the East and spreading these values in the West. She represents a new generation of high caliber Indian classical artists and continues the mission of promoting, educating, and thus preserving the rich heritage of Kathak.
Learn more about Labonee at www.labonee.com
Co-Founder & Assistant Director
Heather DeRigo is Co- Founder and Assistant Director of Shruti School of Music and is a passionate and creative musician who grew up immersed in Music and the Arts. Born into a musical family, where both her parents, as well as many other family members -were professional, touring musicians, Heather naturally took to the world of music. Her upbringing led her to a colorful, musical background in playing set drums and singing in various bands in New York and Florida which helped to propel her into a wide range of experiences. Heather’s early performance experience later merged into the business side of the music industry where she worked for a radio station in Promotions and Advertising and also performed the duties of a talent scout under the thumb of Polygram records back in the early 90′s. Heather’s positions in the music business ignited friendships and close relationships with high profile musicians that also enriched her experiences in the Music Industry. She has performed with leading musicians in various genres of Music throughout her career, which helped inspire her to create SAA. As founding member and manager of SAA, Heather DeRigo is a also a prominent Professional Drum Circle Facilitator in the Bay area with her company YOUniversal Rhythms and continues to perform as a drummer/percussionist and singer for other musical groups locally. She offers private lessons and group classes as well. Heather currently resides in Tampa with her husband Shankh and performs with various Musical groups throughout the Bay Area.
For more information on YOUniversal Rhythms please visit: www.YOUniversalRhythms.com
Abhik Mukherjee was born in Calcutta in a family that has a rich musical and educational heritage. Abhik was taught by Sri Bimal Chatterjee, a leading disciple of Pandit Kashinath Mukherjee-a doyen of Imdadkhani-Etawah gharana. Abhik remained under his affectionate guidance till the age of sixteen when finally he was taken to Pandit Kashinath Mukherjee. Panditji (a leading disciple of the legendary Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Amir Khan) took Abhik under his wings and soon Abhik blossomed into an artist who is looked upon as one of the torch-bearer of the Imdadkhani-Etawah gharana among the younger generation. He is also undergoing extensive training from Pandit Arvind Parikhji who is an internationally reputed artist and musicologist and senior-most disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan.
Abhik's first public performance was at the age of nine at the Governor House, Kolkata. Since then, he has performed all over India and abroad. He has collaborated with different genres of music and performed with Carnatic Classical musicians, jazz musicians, and fusion musicians.
Abhik is a gold–medalist from the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, with a Master’s in Musicology.
a resident of New York, Abhik has performed all over the globe. His concert tours of Argentina ,Suriname, Italy, Germany and Switzerland were widely acclaimed by the press and public.
He also shared the stage with legends like Aretha Franklin and Steve Wonder in the celebration of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at Washington DC, in the presence of U.S. president Barack Obama.
Kathak Dance Instructor
Initiated into classical dance at a very early age, Sayali first started her training in Bharatnatyam at the Nalanda Dance Research Center, completing her seven year "Kovid" diploma in the year 2000. Captivated by the forcefulness of Kathak's pure dance form and the intricacies in even the minutest form of Abhinaya, she devoted herself completely to her training in Kathak.
Sayali is a 'Gandabandh Shagirdh' of Guru Smt. Uma Dogra, the renowned Kathak exponent of the Jaipur Gharana. She has a Masters degree in Dance (Kathak) from Samved School of Kathak and Society for Performing Arts. In the year 2006 she was recipient of the title 'Singar Mani' by Sur Singar Sansad.
She has been performing both as a senior dancer for Samved School of Kathak, and as a solo artist for past seven years. Some of her notable solo performances include 52nd Swami Haridas Sangeet Sammelan, Mumbai and Raindrops Festival, Mumbai. She has had an opportunity to be a part of musical production "Romeo-Juliet" by Kalashram under Padmavibhushan Guru Birju Maharaji. Sayali also was a part of Kathak-Odissi dance collaboration for "Laadli Awards for Gender Sensitivity". Along with her Guru Smt Uma Dogra, Sayali has been part of prestigious festivals like Kala-Ghoda festival, Konark festival, Khajurahoo festival and Pt Durgalal festival. She has also toured Japan as part of Samved School of Kathak for ICCR in 2007 and Min-non Concert Association in 2008. She recently founded Kathakārs School of Dance in Palo Alto, CA.