The father and son duo of, professional classical Indian musicians, Pundit Vikash Maharaj and Prabhash Maharaj, will be visiting Auckland, Hamilton, and Wellington again.

The two are no strangers to New Zealand. This is their sixth visit here having performed with many different bands.

They have specially come this time to perform with the Holiwater Band at the three-day Splore Festival to be held at the Tapapakanga Regional Park in Orere, near Auckland this weekend (Feb 14-16). Earlier, the father and son first performed with the band at the same festival in 2002.

Pandit Vikash Maharaj, is the 14th generation of musician in the prestigious and oldest musician family of Banaras Gharana (traditional Music School) in Varanasi, India.

He started his Sarod lesson from Guru Sri Rajesh Chandra Moitra of the prestigious Maihar Gharana and in six months of hard training and his mother’s inspiration emerged him as youngest Sarod performer of All India Radio Varanasi graded artist.

As he belongs to a family of great performers and teachers; his grandfather Pandit Bade Ramdas ji, Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, father Pandit Nanhku Maharaj, uncle Pandit Kishan Maharaj, one can see in his Sarod performance and teaching as excellent combination of ‘Swar’ (Tone) and ‘Laya’ (Rhythm).

Pandit Vikash Maharaj’s unique musical quality is his ability to innovate Ragas and Talas at Sarod with his own natural proficiency and magical finger ability. His rare feet is attributed to the musical lineage he possesses from his father and fore fathers who has been great masters in various fields of ancient Indian Classical Music. Since Sarod is a rare instrument in India and it is only in recent years that it has come into great prominence and reserved for itself the status of a classical concert instrument by the effort of music masters like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and by himself among next generation of Sarod performers.

He has performed and recorded with many internationally recognized musicians. Pandit Vikash Maharaj is a gifted artist and creates an ambiance that is both deep and moving. His composition and improvisation is filled with joyful and complex interactions between melody and rhythm.

As visiting professor, he gave workshop and lessons on India’s musical culture to prominent Professors in the field of music, advanced music students and professional musicians. Successfully he was able to create a bridge of understanding between European and Indian music and teaching.

Prabhash Maharaj started receiving Tabla lessons from tender age of two. Prabhash Maharaj is the oldest of three sons of Pandit Vikash Maharaj. As being grandson and disciple of Tabla legend Pandit Nanhku Maharaj, he received hard training and many hours every day practice made him received numerous awards and performances, which includes six gold medals awards by the Govt. of India and two National Scholarships for the best Tabla player. Prabhash Maharaj was already touring internationally as a professional percussionist, since the age of 19.
Both the father and son has performed many international and national music festivals including WOMAD, Splore, Ganga Mahotsav, Kalidas Sangeet Samaroh, Tanzbrunnen and many more throughout USA, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Australia.

In New Zealand the two have played with different bands performing at two Diwali Festivals, at the Parliament Diwali event and at many other venues around the country.

The Hamilton concert will be held at the Hillcrest Normal School Hall, at 218 Cambridge Rd on February 23 at 5pm.

The Auckland show at the Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall, 13, May Road on March 1 at 6pm.

Venue and details of the Wellington show and possibly other shows are yet to be announced.