**Senior disciple of world-renowned bansuri maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia**
**Best Instrumental Album, South African Music Awards, 2000**
**Nominated Best Male Artist & Best Instrumental Album, South African Music Awards, 1999**
Deepak Ram is a versatile artist who is well known for his evocative performances in traditional North Indian (Hindustani) classical music, his collaborations with musicians of other genres, his innovative compositions and for his excellence as a teacher.
Deepak’s first love is north Indian classical music. Indeed, he is an accomplished soloist. He is a delightful and captivating performer, combining technical mastery with personal charm. He has performed in the United States of America (where he is currently based), South Africa, India, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, Lebanon, Turkey, Taiwan and Holland and had the honor of accompanying his teacher, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, in Geneva, London and Paris.
Deepak began his formal training in bansuri and tabla under Sri Jeram Bhana in South Africa in 1975. Two years later he was off to Mumbai, India, to study flute under the late Sri Suryakant Limaye (India’s master flute maker); he simultaneously spent a short time under flautist, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. It was in 1981 that his dream was realized when he became the disciple of the celebrated flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, with whom he continues to study from time to time. During this period he also studied tabla under Sri Yashwant Padhye and music theory and voice under Pandit Rajaram Shukla. Deepak earned a Masters degree in Music (MMus) from Rhodes University, South Africa, in 1996 for his thesis, “Exploring Syncretism Between Indian and Western Music Through Composition”.
Deepak’s versatility is apparent in his numerous collaborations with musicians of various genres. These include performances with jazz pianists Darius Brubeck and Bheki Mseleku, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Yousseff and the popular South African band Tananas. On January 1, 2000, Deepak performed with South African musicians like Sibongile Khumalo and the Rwandan diva, Cecile, on Robben Island in South Africa’s Millennium Concert hosted by presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Deepak has 9 solo albums to his credit and as a session musician can be heard on over 60 albums. His bansuri can also be heard on movie soundtracks, such as “The Fast And The Furious”, “Matrix Revolutions”, “India, Kingdom of the Tiger”, “Stealth” and “Before The Rains”.
In 2000, Deepak was awarded Best Instrumental Album at the South African Music Awards for his album “Searching for Satyam”. His previous album “Flute for Thought” also saw him being nominated for Best Male Artist and Best Instrumental Album in the 1999 South African Music Awards. Both these albums as well as “Beauty in Diversity” feature Deepak’s compositions and arrangements based on elements of north Indian music. In 2008, The Board of Directors of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in California selected Deepak Ram for the 2007 Award of Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Humanities. Previous recipients of this award include Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri.
Deepak’s knowledge of both Indian and western traditions is evident in his compositions which range from pieces for jazz groups, western flute quartets (flute, violin, viola and cello), choral works and ballets to orchestral pieces. His last work ‘SURYA’ for classical guitar and bansuri, commissioned by the award-winning guitarist Mesut Özgen was premiered at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Deepak is currently working on music for bansuri and string quartet.
One of Deepak’s fortes is his ability to communicate his knowledge, making him an excellent teacher. Most recently, he served as visiting professor in Indian Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lectured full time for four years at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, and has conducted many workshops in Indian music in the USA, United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. He also has several publications to his credit, including an instruction booklet, “Harmonium Made Easy”.