Upendra Bhat is popular today as an accomplished singer of Kirana Gharana who reminds the listeners of his legendary Guru – Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
Born and brought up in Mangalore, a township in Southern Karnataka; Upendra began his musical career under Sangeeth Vidwan Shri Narayan Pai of Mangalore. He then received further training under Pandit Madhav Gudi; a senior disciple of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. In 1980, Upendra moved to Pune. Since then, he has been under the vigilant eyes of his Guru and has been receiving regular training from Bhimsenji.
Today, Upendra Bhat is an acclaminded classical vocalist. He holds a Master Degree in Music – Sangeet Visharad and Sangeet Alankar – awarded by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai. He is a graded artist of the All India Radio. His concerts are regularly broadcast or telecast by Radio and different TV channels. Apart from these he has given performances at several prestigious concert platforms like ‘ Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan, ‘Jalandhar, ‘Sawai Gandharva Music Festival,’ Pune and so on, both in India and in other countries like the U.K., U.S.A., Dubai, Bahrain, etc.
In 1996, on the occasion of the 7th Birth Centenary of Saint Dnyaneshwar, Upendra was felicitated for his musical talent at the hands of the Honourable President of India. Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma. He received the ‘Musician of the year Award’ in the year 2000, from the Andhra Pradesh Association of North America. He was also awarded a citation for his contribution as a classical vocalist, during the ‘Millennium Konkoni Sammelan,’ held in Chicago, in the year 2000.
Upendra has been gifted with a well-seasoned, sonorous and pliant voice. His classical renditions are marked by a systematic development of Raag structure, expressive singing and powerful taans. He also excels in singing other musical genres like Thumris, Bhajans and light musical numbers. He has several Marathi, Hindi, Kannad and Konkani songs in his repertoire and can easily delight any type of audience – laymen or connoisseurs. From the beginning to the conclusion, he keeps his audience captivated.
Even after his tremendous success as a performer, the simplicity and humility of his character remains unchanged. Upendra Bhat continues to be warm and friendly to his organizers and listeners. Listeners all over the world can except a lot from this dedicated and unassuming follower of Indian Classical Music !
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