Hindustani Music in Phoenix, Arizona

The Grammy-nominated artiste Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, credited with the invention of the chaturangi, or Indian lap slide guitar (a version of the slide guitar). Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya pioneered Hindustani slide guitar music and was invited to be a part of the World Slide Guitar tour of 1993 in the United States. Debashish played at various events and  venues for 40 days, including in Phoenix, Arizona. Debashish’s performance in Phoenix was very well received by the locals. Looking at the culture in Arizona, there is no surprise why the locals were so interested to learn more about Hindustani Classical music.

With a thriving music and arts scene, Phoenix is a dream city. The first Friday of every month has been reserved for an art walk called First Friday. For over 20 years, this street fair has been a fabulous event filled with exhibitions, free gallery tours, live performances and great food.

The Desert Botanical Gardens showcase the region’s arid landscape and offers day and night tours. With numerous varieties of desert plants and animals, this 140-acre park will be a fun thing to do with the whole family. It regularly hosts fabulous events – Dale Chihuly, the famous glass sculptor, has been there twice to give one example – so do look out for the events in the month you visit.

Music lovers cannot come away without visiting the world’s largest music instrument collection at the Musical Instrument Museum that houses more than 15,000 instruments from over 200 countries, including, of course India.

And finally, no trip to Phoenix is complete without a deeper dive into Arizona’s American Indian history. The Heard Museum in central Phoenix was founded in 1929 to propagate American Indian art and showcases paintings, sculptures and textiles from artistes in the Southwest. An absolute must-visit for a better understanding of the tradition and culture of the Southwest.

 

 

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