Proud to represent India at Grammys: Sandeep Das

Indian tabla player Sandeep Das, whose collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble "Sing Me Home" won the Grammy in the World Music category, says it was a proud moment to represent India on the international stage.

"Sing Me Home" features tunes composed or arranged by different global artists as it examines the ever-changing idea of home.

He rues the fact that classical music is not accorded the respect that it deserves in the country despite its growing popularity in the west.

"It is third time lucky for us. I am very proud of who I am and where I come from be it culturally or musically. I wish there were more acknowledgment from my own country for the music that is deep-rooted and in our blood over glitz and glamour," Sandeep told PTI over phone from LA just after his win.

"It is not a complaint but merely a wish. I hope there is more awareness about traditional music. I was invited to Harvard university but my alma mater Banaras Hindu University is yet to see something of worth in me."

Das has been performing with Yo-Yo Ma, a respected and multiple Grammy-winning Cellist, since the inception of Silk Road Ensemble.

The tabla player, who has a career spanning 23 years, says it took time for Silk Road Ensemble to find its due as people initially expected Yo-Yo Ma to play Bach but he was more interested in performing with people in "funny" clothes.

"Nothing grows in isolation and I realise that I have responsibility not just towards India but also to the people around the world who appreciate it."

Das wishes more classical musicians from India feature on the Grammys winners list in future as besides him only Pt Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt have won in the classical category.
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