Biography

Vocalist and Multi Instrumentalist performing various Genres of music . He is also the only artiste in India performing Classical and Fusion on the Hawaiian Slide Guitar and various other instruments .His concerts are marked with a unique sense of creativity and exploration. Dr. Prakash Sontakke is one of the leading COMPOSERS in the field of Hindustani Classical and Fusion music and happens to be the only one  playing the Hawaiian Guitar ,Weissenborns, Slide Guitar, Electric Lap Steel Guitars  and the Dobro  in the Hindustani style.

A Co-Composer , Vocalist and Guitarist on the Grammy Winning  Album “WINDS OF SAMSAARA” and the only one to have won the Independent World Music Awards, USA and the Nashville Award for composers where his composition was chosen over the maestro Illayaraja. An A grade artiste from Akashvani and Doordarshan with over 2000 Concerts experience Prakash has toured extensively with his troupes namely  “The Prakash Sontakke Group” (Classical and Neo Classical Fusion), International Trio “Lehera” (World Fusion ), “Moonarra” (Jazz and Classical fusion ) , “New Life” on the lines of Sufi World Fusion with Ace Drummer and Percussionist Sivamani . The band  “FOOD” (progressive Electronic Jazz crossover) where he performs with British Saxophone Maestro Iain Ballamy and the phenomenal Norwegian Drummer Thomas Stronen.FIGURA ENSEMBLE from Denmark where he performs with a Mezzo-soprano, three musicians, a composer, a poet and an architect, FIGURA Ensemble is a musical collective with a mind of its own.Also working with Jeremy Labelle from Reunion Islands on the CINE CONCERT ” DUVIDHA ” . Presently collaborating with musician ERALDO BERNOCCHI on a new album involving Guitars presented in a unique and ambient crossover style.Miguel Copons Blog Prepared Guitar interviewed him as one of the 300 essential names in Guitarists of Modern times. His techniques and approach to Slide Guitar has been critically acclaimed .He is always doing workshops seminars and Lecture Demonstrations to share his works on  the Slide Guitar

 

Prakash features in ECM records on the album “MERCURIAL BALM” as a guest with the duo “FOOD”  also featured are Thomas Strønen, Iain Ballamy, Nils Petter Molvær, Eivind Aarset and Christian Fennesz.

Prakash features in the fusion album “THUNDER” with Narada Michael Walden Drummer – Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston 

Prakash has also collaborated with Peru-born guitarist CIRO HURTADO one of the finest performers of traditional Latin music for his albuM “AYAHUASCA DREAMS”

Dr. Prakash Sontakke has featured in the Coke Studio Season 2 @ Mtv with the rocking directors of  Bollywood Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa .His TEDx Talk was very well received. His concert at NAMM ( National Association of Music Merchants of America ) with Salar Nader was very well received.

A Performer, Producer, Director, Innovator Dr. Prakash Sontakke has also been a Judge for the “Idea Rocks India” Reality show.

Lineage and Gharana  Dr. Prakash Sontakke belongs to the illustrious Gwalior Gharana . His father Dr RB Sontakke is one of the senior most disciples of Pt Omkarnath Thakur and his mother Dr Mani Sontakke is the disciple of Pt Lalmani Mishra. Both Dr R B Sontakke and Dr Mani Sontakke were Educators in Benaras Hindu University  for well over 40 years. Dr R B Sontakke and Dr Mani Sontakke established the Hindustani Sangeet Vidyapeeth in Bangalore where they have coached hundreds of students who are also busy performers in the field.

SONTAKKE GLOBAL MUSIC FESTIVAL

A festival dedicated to his illustrious parents Dr R B Sontakke and Dr Mani Sontakke Prakash organizes  this grand festival every where Top International Musicians of Western Classical  , Jazz , Blues and Rock perform along with Top National Musicians and  collaborate to give a rare treat to the Listeners . He has given a various upcoming musicians a feel of collaborations and musical exchanges.

INNOVATIONS 

He has innovated this instrument called “Swar Veena” on which he can play the Indian Raga Music as well as western sounding style .He also performs on his customised “TEAR DROP WEISSENBORN” made by Bill Asher Asher Guitars California apart from a Paul Beard signature “Dobro”. Performing  Hindustani Classical Concerts on the Weissenborn and Dobro open a totally new chapter owing to the different Textures and  resonant sounds of these instruments.Prakash has to his credit more than a few hundred National Broadcasts which were received very well and were critically acclaimed .

Prakash prefers to play the Gayaki Ang (vocal style) which recreates the emotion of the human voice on the slide guitar. Prakash performs solo and with numerous bands and musicians in major concert circuits in India and internationally. He has directed several Movies, Documentaries and Animation films and Jingles. He has been a part of Award winning Productions in Jingles as well as All India Radio .

TEACHING AND MEDIA 

  • He is a panel artiste of the ICCR ( Indian Council for Cultural relations ) .
  • He is on the board of advisors for SHANKAR MAHADEVAN ACADEMY for Online Music Learning
  • Mentor and Consultant at Octavium Academy of Music.

RAAGAS EVERYWHERE  A STORY- A MUSICAL -AN EXPERIENCE 

Raagas Everywhere is a journey of discovery, expression and love, through an eclectic mix of melodies that seemingly have nothing in common, but are united by a very primal element – the Raaga. Enjoy an evening filled with songs of various genres, jostling with each other in a delightfully musical manner, through which we weave a story of young love – a story of anyone, anywhere, listening to any kind of music that touches their heart and opens up their world.  

He also has to his credit the challenge of doing the music score of a German Silent Classics film “Cabinet of Dr Calgary” .The music was played Live in front of a discerning audience at the Indo German Urban Mela .

He is the recipient of the prestigious Aryabhatta Award, Ganayogi Panchakshari Gawai Award & Dr Puttaraj Gawai award.Haveri Award by Vinayak Seva Samiti.

His creative explorations in Jazz and world music are deeply underlined by his classical training. He has performed his guitar  for  Several commercial cinemas in Hindi ,Kannada ,Malayalam ,Tamil , Bengali  ,Punjabi Urdu, English including some European Theatre .