The daughter of leading musicians Pandit Ajoy and Chandna Chakraborty, Kaushiki was raised at the Sangeet Research Academy, which is where her father taught. She sang from the age of two, with her mother her first teacher, and also toured nationally and internationally with her father, sometimes singing at his concerts. From age 10 she studied with Gnan Prakash Ghosh, before beginning a period of study with her father at his Shrutinandan music school.
Like her father, Chakraborty performs one of the two major divisions of Indian classical music. This is north Indian, which is also known as Hindustani music. (The other is the Carnatic music of south India.) Ancient Hindu music, known as dhrupad dhamar, was exclusively religious, plain to the point of austerity and performed to strict rules including firm adherence to 7/8 time. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the region’s new Mongol rulers brought with them a great love of music, but regarded it as primarily a means of entertainment. This music, lively and performed in different times, including 4/4, was artfully blended with the religious dhamar music, which the newcomers loved but did not regard as inviolable. The new fusion, known as khayal, found favor and its popularity spread, although the Muslims took steps to ensure that the original form was not lost. A general condition of Muslim music was that it was not performed by women. This ruling does not apply to the Sufi Islamic sect, of which there are many followers in India, and hence a form of group singing developed, known as qawwali, in which solos were included and often performed by women.
Although Chakraborty’s repertoire is predominantly of north Indian origin, she has also studied the music of south India and from time to time has incorporated aspects of contemporary Indian pop music, thus considerably widening her audience. In addition to her music studies, Chakraborty has also studied philosophy, gaining a first class honors degree. In 1998, she attracted very favorable attention as an opening act at the 27th annual ITC Sangeet Sammelan in New Delhi. In 2000, she won an award as the outstanding performer for the Dover Lane Nabin Pratibha in a series dedicated to encouraging new talent. While still in her twenties, Chakraborty extended her audience globally and made a very successful visit to the UK where a live performance in London in August 2003, was recorded and later released as Pure. At this concert she was accompanied by her father who on this occasion played harmonium.
Singing in a clear and liquid manner, Chakraborty has developed a growing and admiring audience in countries with large Indian communities, such as the UK, and is making a name in world music circles.
She hosts a weekly talk-show with singers in the entertainment channel. She also sang for a dozen or so movies as well.
Chakraborty has been the recipient of many awards including Jadu Bhatta award in 1995, received an Outstanding Young Person award from ITC in 2000. She received the BBC Award (2005) for outstanding achievement in music. BBC also made a short film featuring her musical journey. She has also received Sangeet Natak Academy’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Puraskar 2010 for Hindustani Vocal Music, and the 2013 Aditya Birla Kalakiran Puraskar.
Sandip Ghosh is a talented, young, upcoming musician of the present generation. He has successfully evolved as a promising Tabla player of the Farukhabad Gharana. He is equally adept as a solo musician as well as an accompanist with vocal, instrumental and dance performances. Sandip is known for his great sense of creativity as well as intelligent and sensible accompaniment.
Sandip was initiated into the art of Tabla by his supportive parents in his early childhood. He started to learn Tabla under the tutelage of Pt. Gobindo Bose and continued for nine years. Sandip, then came in touch of Pt. Anindo Chatterjee where he started taking talim and gradually emerged as a specialised Tabla player of the superb style of “Farukhabad” gharana. Under the able guidance of Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, he has gained extensive talim of all other gharanas as well. He is also taking Vocal accompaniment Talim from Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty.
He has successfully collaborated with Music Bands like ‘Kyabaat’, Hamburg, ‘Ragas & Blossoms’, Kolkata, ‘String Struck’, Mumbai, ‘Asa, The Coral of Life’, Munich , ‘Anouraag’, Switzerland, ‘You & Me’, Germany, ‘ K3’, Austria ‘Big-Band Orchestra’ of ‘Hamburg Music University’.
Sandip Ghosh has won many titles and awards. To mention a few are President’s Award, “Gold Medal” in South Asian Universities Festival twice,Academy Puroskar, Rajya Sangeet Academy, National Scholarship from Govt. of India, Dover Lane Music Conference Award.