My grandfather (on mother side) Mr Dileep Naik is the basic source of music and harmonica in me. An Engineer by profession and a self taught musician who plays Diatonic harmonica, Tenor Saxophone and Flute as hobby, he lives in Goa, the most musical part of India wrt western music. He made me listen to retro songs from fifties, sixties, seventies and harp played by him and accompanied by my family since, he says, even when I was not born :) When I was four, he got me a new Air Wave children Harmonica when his friends Mr Brendan Power and Mr Abe Thomas visited us in Goa. He loves to promote music and all budding musicians in Goa, and practically know and play with all bands including Lynx, Oasis and Jazz Junctions, and that’s where I got a chance to start playing myself.
He got me in music, and still mentors every aspect of it with so much interest and dedication. He shall always be my primary inspiration in music.
Ben Hewlett, UK
Mr Ben Hewlett is a great harmonica player, but more than that such a great human being and mentor. His mission is to play the harmonica himself, and also encourage others to play. A great harmonica teacher, he has over 21,000 online students across the globe.
He is the Chairman of the National Harmonica League, Bristol, UK.
He will be my inspiration always as because of him, I got to train from the legendary Mr Howard Levy, and participated in NHL in 2017. In 2014, Mr Hewlett had a harmonica workshop in Pune, India where he flew from UK with his friend Mr Shrish Swami. I went with my grandfather to attend the workshop, and after a late night jamming session, Mr Hewlett called me early morning to discuss a four year plan for my harmonica journey. Such was his foresight and attention, thank you sir.
Howard Levy, USA
My Howard Levy is an American multi-instrumentalist and was a founding member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, with whom he won a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the song "The Sinister Minister". He also won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition in 2012 for "Life in Eleven", a song written with Béla Fleck for the Flecktones' album Rocket Science (2011). He plays in many genres: jazz, classical, rock, folk, Latin, blues, country, and world music. He discovered the overblown and overdraw techniques which allow a harmonica player to obtain all the missing chromatic notes in the Richter-tuned diatonic harmonica.
I am blessed that I have got a chance to learn from such legendary musician. In my two years of training under him, I have improved on every aspect of my playing. His guidance is perfect with attention to minutest details, but above all I so much respect his ability to explain things from my age and maturity perspective. I just so much respect him, and adore his style of training, thank you.
Shri Madan Kumar is my Indian Classical music teacher who has spent years in teaching me musical notes since i was four years old. An expert Indian classical music professional, Madan Sir had all the patience to make notes for a kid who didn’t even knew how to read and write. People tell me I have a good ear, and command on notes, and the entire credit goes to Sir for his relentless efforts in training me on Indian classical music, and working with me hand in hand to prepare compositions on various ragas. Playing Indian classical music on Diatonic harp was unheard of as it was quite difficult, but it is only Sir’s efforts that his composition of Raag Multani bought me accolades at the World Harmonica Festival 2017. I am blessed to have a teacher and mentor like him.
Mr D’Cruz is a great Bass Guitarist and a pioneer in the world of Jazz music in Goa. He set up ‘Jazz Goa’, which within four years had a database of over five thousand jazz enthusiasts and over a hundred jazz originals composed by local talent and produced by Jazz Goa. Many of these tracks reached No.1 on international internet charts. I was given the oppourtunity by Mr DCriz to be a part of this fusion song which reached the No.1 position for weeks in the world fusion category in the year 2014. He is always ready to help and encouraging, and promotes me on his platform.
I would like to thank my family for being so supportive. Thankyou for encouraging me always. Right from my little sister Ritika, my parents, Dada, dadi and Nana nani, all are soo much important in my life.
Only with all their continuous love and blessings I am able to excel so much. I love you all.
Also Thankyou to my school Shishukunj International school, Indore which has also helped and supported me in so many ways.