Tadao Ishihama -Biography

Tadao Ishihama,a versatile sitar artist,was born in Osaka in 1979.He always had a propensity for fine arts.He could draw pictures beautifully even at the age of 5 and later on he graduated in Japanese ceramic arts.So it seems that it was natural for him to develop a taste for music also.Ishihama started playing the sitar from the tender age of 15.After a period of intensive training in japan,Tadao Ishihama came to India for the first time in 1997.After a few trips back and forth,Tadao Ishihama came back to india and started learning the sitar under the tutelage of the eminent sitar guru,Pandit Monoj Shankar of the famous Maihar gharana(also known as the Senia gharana),in Kolkata.Ever since Tadao Ishihama has been giving stage performances at various important functions and venues not only here in India and in Japan but he has played the sitar the other Asian countries.In 2001 he appeared on the popular television channel etv Bangla and enchanted viewers with his innovative rendering of the sitar.He has performed a duet too accompanied by the Manipuri Pung(mridangam of Manipur)instead of the traditional tabla.Tadao Ishihama returned to Japan in 2003.However he is not a person to rest on his laurels.Instead his creativity surges ahead.He has teemed up with the music of West Africa to create a unique musical experience and has released a CD called Cocido.This CD`s music has caught the fancy of the young Japanese generation and can be termed as hit with thesales of the CD going up eversince its release.Ishihama has named his group Midorisekai(The Green Universe).In Japan,Tadao Ishihama has had musical sessions and recordings at the Rock,Jazz,HipHop,House,Drum`n Bass,etc.Ishihama`s sitar playing at Bangkok(with Suharit)has won for him accolades from appreciative audiences during 2004-2005.In December 2005 Ishihama performed at Vrindavan,a place held in very high esteem by all the musicians of the Senia gharana,as Mian Tansen,the greatest musician of all times and the founder of this gharana started from here.Vrindavan is treated as a pilgrimage by all musician s of the Senia gharana also because the much revered musician Saint,Swami Haridasji also belonged here.Performing at such a venerable place on the occasion of Swami Haridasji`s birthday celebrations,Ishihama played beautifully in his Senia gharana style and left the audiences charmed by his melodious renderings.For Tadao Ishihama`s playing at Vrindavan was not only a performance but also his offerings to his glorious predecessors.Though Ishihama went back to Japan in April 2003,he continues to come back to India,to his guru to further embellish his beautiful stayle.With Tadao Ishihama there is no stopping.He is continuously trying to better his skills.In Japan,he not only conducts cultural functions but has also dedicated himself to introducing and teaching aspirants to the heritage of the north Indian musical instrument-THE SITAR.
prof.Ruma Chatterjee
Jadvpur University,Rama Krishna Mission