Kumar Mukherjee [Kasur-Patiala Gharana]
Kumar Mukherjee began his initial training in music when he started learning the tabla from Pt. Shankar Ghosh. Thereafter he began training in vocal music from Smt. Sanjukta Ghosh. Kumar's father, Kajal Mukherjee who has been an ace footballer and his mother Suvra encouraged his childhood vocation which was to become his lifelong passion.
Ustad Munawar Ali Khan Sahib, son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Khan Sahib took Kumar as his disciple and through him Kumar imbibed the traits of Kasur-Patiala Gharana. Rigorous training and practice sessions supervised by Ustad Munawar Ali Khan Sahib helped Kumar to improve his skills.
After the unprecedented death of his guru Kumar resumed his training under Ustad Raza Ali Khan. Born in July 1970 he has participated in numerous competitions representing his alma mater, La Martiniere For Boys. He also represented at National Children's Assembly and National Youth Assembly which was held at New Delhi. Kumar has won accolades for performing in music conferences along with his guru and for his solo concerts. As an accompanist he performed at the Tansen Samaroh (Gwalior), Sabrang Utsav (New Delhi), Dover Lane Music Conference (Kolkata), Sadarang Music Conference (Kolkata) etc.
Since 1996 Kumar started performing solo and his debut with Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma was widely praised. His recital at the Calcutta Club lawn with Ustad Aashish Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain was well received. Thereafter he has successfully exhibited his prowess at a number of programmes, namely, Dover Lane Music Conference (Kolkata), Tarun Kalakar Samaroh (Jaipur), Sangeet Bhavan (Shantiniketan), Humayun Kabir Institute (Kolkata), Saturday Club (Kolkata), Bharat Sevashram Sangha (Burdwan), Sutanuti Parishad (Kolkata), Salt Lake Music Conference (Kolkata), Anirban Foundation (Kolkata), Banaras Hindu University Reunion (Kolkata), Karamatullah Khan Music Circle (Kolkata), Jadavpur University (Kolkata), Jhankar Music Circle (Kolkata), Central Glass and Ceramic Institute (Kolkata), Rabindra Bharati University (Kolkata), Sangeet Sabha (Agartala), In Aid of Kargil Martyr (Bokaro), Sangitanjali (Giridih), Rotary Club Metropolitan and M.R. Shahani Presentation (Kolkata), Guru Purnima Festival (Patna). Apart from these he has sung in myriad festivals and concerts both within and outside Kolkata.
Saregama (Gramophone Company of India) has released his only album titled RISING STAR. He has revealed various facets of The Kasur-Patiala gayaki in his debut album.
Kumar's performances reveal the distinctive feature of the school of music he follows. He has a full throated voice, with a range spanning three actaves and can modulate his voice according to the genre he is presenting. Clear diction, full throated "aakars", fast "sargam" and "taan" and ability to do "Layakari" are the highlights of his style of rendition. Apart from Khayal, he also sings the "Thumri" and "Dadra" with an emotive appeal which is much akin to the style of his mentor. Lighter genres like Ghazals, Bhajan and Geet are also his forte. Since he hails from Kasur-Patiala Gharana, certain facets of Punjabi music are also present in his repertoire.
His renditions are power-packed with passionate overtunes which add colour and zeal to his style. Kumar also teaches students at his own residence. Due to his schooling (both musical and academic) he can communicate with his students more frankly, which makes learning and teaching an easier process. His performances at Dhaka were well received. He has also toured Singapore where his performances organized by SIFAS (Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society) and M.R. Sahani created quite a few ripples. Kumar's second tour of Singapore was organized by Bangladesh Art and Cultural Forum. An MA in English from Jadavpur University Kumar believes in experimentation and does some composing as well. Tradition and contemporarity are the guiding forces behind Kumar which helps him keep alive a legacy that has travelled thousands of years in time and space. Kumar's performance at the 'Millenium Park' Kolkata comprising of Carnatic, Hindustani and other folk genres has won a lot of critical acclain. This concept was a part of the clean Ganga compaign spearheaded by INTACH and Sankat Mochan Foundation. Recently, Kumar performed in Karachi and Lahore (Pakistan) as part of a delegation from Pakistan - PIPFPD. Lahore the hometown of his Ustad, welcomed his music with open arms.