Born in 1928 in the East Bengali part of North India, the musician, composer and teacher, Pandit (Master) Kamalesh Maitra, has been living in Berlin since 1977. He may be the last and greatest master of the tabla tarang, a nearly forgotten classical instrument from North India. He has played with musicians as eminent as Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Trilok Gurtu, Charlie Mariano and Giora Feldmann.
Kamalesh Maitra may be the last master of the tabla tarang from North India. In the long history of Indian percussion, it evolved rather late but, in spite of its magical sound, has not shared the public appeal of complex “classics”. It is made up of 10 to 16 single tabla-drums, tuned to the traditional raga scales and placed in half a circle in order of rising pitch. Tarang means waves and aptly describes the sounds evoked by the drummer. Quickly and suggestively, notes group into melodies and continually new cadences. The tabla tarang sounds rather like a marimba with a hint of gamelan and the resonance of a deep vibraphone.