Ram, Deepak


b. Cape Town, 1960


South African composer, performer (of north Indian classical music and in other genres) and teacher. Ram is from a family of musicians (his brothers Vevek and Rabin are also performers). He began his formal training in bansuri and tabla under Sri Jeram Bhana in South Africa in 1975. Two years later he moved to Mumbai (Bombay) in India to study flute under the late Sri Suryakant Limaye; he also studied briefly under the flautist Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. In 1981 he became a disciple of the flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (with whom he continues to study from time to time).


During this period he also studied tabla under Sri Yashwant Padhye, and music theory and voice under Pandit Rajaram Shukla. Ram has performed in the United States of America (where he is currently based), South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, Lebanon and Holland. 


Ram earned an MMus degree from Rhodes University in 1996 for his thesis Exploring syncretism between Indian and western music through composition. He lectured full time for four years at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, and has conducted many workshops in Indian music in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. He has also been a visiting professor in Indian Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 


Ram has collaborated with musicians from various genres. These include performances with jazz pianists Darius Brubeck and Bheki Mseleku, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Yousseff, and the popular South African band Tananas. Most recently, Ram performed with the South African soprano Sibongile Khumalo and others in a millenium concert on Robben Island hosted by former South African president Nelson Mandela. 


Ram has made a number of recordings, including Gathering Forces II (jazz, with Darius Brubeck), Orchestra Mundo (South African jazz/folk, with Tananas) and Indian Dream (Indo-folk/jazz). He has also worked as a session musician on a number of other recordings. 


Ram's album Searching for Satyam was named 'Best Instrumental Album' at the South African Music Awards in 2000. In 2001, he was signed by Golden Horn Records, a world music and jazz label in California. 


Deepak's knowledge of both Indian and Western traditions is evident in his compositions which range from pieces for jazz groups, western flute quartets (flute, violin, viola and cello), choral works and ballets to orchestral pieces.


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