Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, an outstanding vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gayaki tradition, represents the new generation of musicians.
Ashwini completed Sangeet Visharad of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya at the young age of 16 and won the Presidentís Gold Medal at the All India Radio Music Competition in 1977. After grasping the rudiments of Hindustani Classical music under the late Pt. Narayanrao Datar, she began imbibing the Jaipur Gayaki under the tutelage of her mother, mentor and Guru, Smt. Manik Bhide.
Ashwiniís musicianship is characterized by a blend of tonal sweetness coupled with vitality and emotion and raga structure-architecture. Her raga delineation shows an unerring grasp over the grammar of the raga while maintaining soulfulness. She yearns to explore the pathos of rare and complex ragas characteristic of her Gharana. In this effort she has received invaluable guidance from her Guru the late Pt. Ratnakar Pai. This, and of course, her motherís unstinted support, added to her own mature introspection led Ashwini to new horizons of Hindustani Classical Music.
Ashwini is at ease with lighter varieties of Hindustani Classical Music, like Thumri, Dadra, Bhajans and Abhangs. Her fluency in Sanskrit enriches her repertoire of stotras and stutis.
In October 2004 Ashwini published a book "Ragarachananjali" containing self-composed bandishes. The book has received rave reviews. Continuing her creative effort she has followed up with "Ragarachananjali 2", her second book of bandishes in October 2010.
Ashwini has participated in prestigious music conferences and Sangeet Sammelans. A `top grade` artiste of Akashwani and Doordarshan, Ashwini has featured in several national programmes and AIR Sangeet Sammelans.
As a teacher of competence, Ashwini devotes quality time to her disciples. Ashwini has regularly participated in lecture-demonstrations on Hindustani Classical Music in various schools, colleges and sangeet sabhas.
Ashwini`s contribution to Hindustani classical vocal music has been acknowledged by way of awards and citations. She is a recipient of the Government of Manarashtra Sanskritik Puraskar for 2011 and the Sahyadri Doordarshan Sangeet Ratna Puraskar for 2010. She was honoured with the "Pandit Jasraj Gaurav Puraskar" on the occasion of the 75th birthday celebrations of the maestro. She was awarded the Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Samman in 2005 by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
Ashwini, who is currently stationed in Mumbai, chose music as her first love forsaking a career in Biochemistry but not before completing her doctorate at the esteemed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre/ University of Mumbai.
Following is an excerpt of her performance at ITC SRA, where she was accompanied by Pandit Samar Saha on tabla and Smt. Rupashree Bhattacharya on harmonium.