Indian Americans in Los Angeles, Calif. were recently treated to “A Generational Journey of Geet Ramayan,” a musical concert based on poet G. D. Madgulkar’s verses.
The melodious program was composed and performed by Dr. Gopal Marathe.
A unique addition to this year’s show was a song performed by Marathe’s 6-year-old granddaughter Sahana Joshi, who is also his student. Three generations of the family performed at the show, including Marathe’s daughter Shruti and son Nishad, who have been a part of his music group from a young age.
They have toured San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Calgary. The programs usually include 17 to 19 songs, which take around three hours to finish. In one show, Marathe performed all 56 songs of the “Geet Ramayan,” which held the attention of the enraptured audience throughout the 10 hours it took to complete.
The “Geet Ramayan” concert team comprised Marathe, singers Shobha Ambegaonkar, Shruti Marathe and Nishad Marathe; Sandeep Katre on tabla; narrator Shashi Panat; and instrumentalist Gandhar Katre.
Marathe, with his team of musicians and singers, has been performing in California every year for the past 35 years.
Marathe, who hails from Karnataka, performed his first concert in Bangalore. He moved to the U.S. in the ‘70s and, with a passion to continue his music program, roped in two musicians and did his first show in Philadelphia in 1973.
The first musician in his group was Shridhar Phadke, at the time a university student in the U.S., who is the son of late Sudhir Phadke, an accomplished singer-composer of the Marathi film industry. “Geet Ramayana” is one of his most popular works.
Marathe later moved to Los Angeles and made two new additions to his group — singer Shobha Ambegaonkar and tabla artist Bhagwan.
For more information on Marathi events, festivals and culture, visit www.marathicultureandfestivals.com.