Indian Harmonica Day Celebration 2014 @ HaLoH

Consistently for the third year HaLoH team celebrated “Indian Harmonica Day”  on 22nd November 2014 at Prasad Labs Preview Theatre, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. 22nd November was the birthday of Father of Indian Harmonica-Late Shri Milon Gupta, who popularized harmonica in India with his melodies and taught to play Harmonica to many Harmonica Lovers.

Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad (HaLoH) organized a Karaoke musical nite on Harmonica. The programme was a grand success with grand  audience comprising music lovers from all walks of life.
Those who wish to know more about Shri Sumanta Basu may click on the link below.....
Guest player-Shri Sumanta Basu from Kolkata, enthralled the audience along with HaLoH members and other guests – Shri Niranjan Gulwady from Pune ,Shri Rajeev Srivastava from Dubai, Shri Sanat Kumar from Chennai, Shri Karthik from Bangalore, Shri Krishnan Reddy from Chattisgarh and Shri Ramesh Tadepalli from USA.

Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad Mr Saurabh Upadhyay and Mr Nityam Bhimani anchored this event
Team HaLoH welcomes Mr Sumanta Basu & other guests.
Mr Vinayak of HaLoH welcomes Mr Kiran, Creative Director of Illusionz Media Works.
Mr Sumanta Basu lighting the lamp

Mr Sumanta Basu being felicitated by HaLoH.

Dr Rajvinder Singh Makhani from Indore had gifted this portrait of Milon da which is given to Shri Vinayak Bhosekar who is a direct disciple of Milon da, by Team HaLoH at the end of the programme.
The joy on the faces of Harmonica Lovers is inexplicable.

HaLoH thanks the visitors and all the members for the success of this programme.

Media partner for this event was ILLUSIONZ MEDIA WORKS
Watch videos embedded here!
Programme Opening :
Ramana - Namo Venkatesha
Annapurna – Yad kiya dil ne
Ramesh Tadepalli – Hai apna dil to awara
Inderjit Singh Soni – Chup gaye sare
Ashwin Betai – Ban ke panchi
Mahendra Gala – Zindagee Kaise hi paheli
Vivek Upadhyaya : Mai jat yamla pagla
Saurab Upadhyaya – Janeman janeman
Dr Revathi Iyer – Zeelke jara
Sumanta Basu – Ek Ajnabi
Sumanta Basu – Na hrudayam lo nidurinche cheli
Sumanta Basu – Jo wada kiya wo nibhana padega
Ravi Babu – I am a disco dancer
Rajeev Srivastava - Thujhe dekha to ye jana sanam

 Niranjan Gulwady – Tere mere milan ki
Kartik – Rojalo leta vaneele
Vinayak Bhosekar – Ye dil na hota bechara
Vijay Konda – O mehabooba
Ramana – Inteha hogayee
Krishnan Reddy – O sajna barkha
Sanat Kumar – Bekrar karke hamen
A Raj Kumar – Lakhon hai nigaon mein
Yash Betai – Mai tenu samjhawa ki
Nityam Bhimani – Gulabi ankhen
Dr Pradeep – Ajeeb dastan hai
Sumanta Basu – Itna na mujhe tu pyar
Sumanta Basu – Guzar jaye din
Sumanta Basu – Dil bar mere
Sumanta Basu – Tumse naraz nahin
Sumanta Basu – Aaj koi nahi apna
Vote of thanks.

We breathe harmonica!


Team HaLoH


HaLoH completes five years on Vijaya Dashami 2014

Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad (HaLoH) assembled at Ananda Nilayam (Sri Kantha Rao's residence)  which was the place where HaLoH was formed five years ago on the same auspicious day of Vijaya Dashami.
Harmonica Lovers in Hyderabad have been growing day by day with more people getting associated during weekly meetings all round the year.
We breathe harmonica!



was hosted by Himalayan Nritya Kala Sangeet Academy at Haridwar on the 13 th and 14th of  September 2014

Venue: Hotel The Great Ananda, Haridwar-Rishikesh Highway, Haridwar, INDIA

The purpose of the Meet is to facilitate interaction and learning between the Indian Harmonica/Mouth Organ Players from all parts of India and abroad and enjoy each other’s performances. This is third National Level Harmonica Players’ Meet  after Kolkata and Delhi.  Harmonica lovers of 15 states from all over India also from USA and Dubai had gathered at Haridwar to attend this meet. The purpose of this festival was to interact with harmonica lovers from all over India, to exchange information about music and harmonica with each other and discuss about promoting harmonica amongst the people in India. the harmonica lovers have been exchanging information in various online groups and forums. There is an online group titled – ‘Indian Mouthorgan Players (IMP)’ in Facebook where Indian Mouthorgan Players discuss about Harmonica with each other. Most of the participants in this festival who usually access the internet are a member of this online group.

The meet was organised as per the following itinerary:

Day 1 - Saturday, 13th September 2014

Registration of members.

Inauguration of IMP Meet 2014

Introduction of the host Shri Gopal Sharma and Himalayan Nritya Kala Sangeet Academy, Haridwar

Lighting of the lamp

Brief speeches by some senior harmonica players and representatives of various harmonica associations followed with Self introduction of delegates.

Shri Bhaskar Chowdhury, Kolkata

Shri Vinayak, Hyderabad

Shri Ajay Vijh, Singrouli

Dr Raghavan Iyengar, Indore

Shri Niranjan Gulwady, Pune

Shri Suhas Mitra, Kolkata

Shri Madhur Bhatia, Agra

Dr Shailendra Kumar, Muzaffarpur
Shri Rahul Joshi, Pune
Shri Sanjay Dattam Bangalore

Educational session on Hindustani Classical by Dr Doordarshi Singh:
This includes brief introduction to Hindustani Classical form of music, Bhatkhande notation reading.

Educational session on the scope of Diatonic Harmonica in Indian setting by Mr B.B. Hagjer - The session inclusive of basic knowledge of diatonic harmonica and practical session on bending notes to play bollywood music.
Question and answer session on Harmonica maintenance and repair. Queries answered by Shri Shri S.G. Helkar
Day 2- Sunday, 14th September 2014

Exhibition of different varieties of Harmonicas and original LPs/Cassetes of eminent harmonicists.
Ghazal sung by special guest Shri S.K. Rohilla and performances by Himalayan Nritya Kala Sangeet Academy members
Group discussion/ question and answer session on Harmonica and Music. Queries were answered by various harmonica players who present at the event.

Tips on home recording by Dr Nakul Dhagat, Bhopal

followed with Performance of delegates along with orchestra.

Memento for IMP Meet 2014 delegates:

Mr Yogesh Tamta from Lucknow presented a beautiful memento to all the delegates who attended this Meet.

We convey sincere thanks to Mr Gopal Sharma and his family who had taken special initiative to make this meet successful.

The event was a grand success and the delegates had a real learning experience with fun. The interactive and educative sessions on harmonica techniques, music theory, harmonica maintenance & repair, harmonica recording at home were quite helpful for the delegates. All the delegates also had the opportunity to perform and enjoy each others’ renditions during their free time.

HaLoH congratulates all the harmonica lovers who attended this festival

Jai Harmonica!

Photo Credits : Mr Rajesh Goswami-Agra, Mr Sanket Nayak-Mumbai


Bluesman of the North East : B.B. Hagjer

Dear harmonica lovers, our harmonica lover of this week is an Additional Commissioner of Taxes, Assam. When we talk about blues players from North  East, Mr B.B.Hagjer is one of the most discussed names in Indian harmonica lovers’ circle.

Given below is his write-up in his own words:

My journey with harmonica began when I first bought a Chinese ‘Tower’ harmonica for Rs.125/- way back in 1997 in Guwahati. Those days, harmonicas were not readily available. It was a chromatic harmonica and soon I started playing  a few numbers. I remember one of my favourites those days was ‘Boxer’ by Simon & Garfunkel. I also used to play a few Hindi Bollywood numbers and a few more Assamese numbers composed by Late Bhupen Hazarika. Someone from Mirza in Assam one Mr.Das  brought a neck rack for me from USA and I soon started playing harmonica on the rack. Those days diatonic harmonicas were not readily available. Then in 2002 I acquired my first diatonic harmonicas. These were Lee Oskar harmonicas in different keys. These days I play mostly Hohner and Suzuki harmonicas. One of my friends had brought them from USA. My early influence was definitely Neil Young. Even though I liked some of Bob Dylan Stuff, I preferred the likes of Neil Young more. I made my first western album titled ‘Our Land’ in 2004 and my second album titled Hunpori in Assamese in 2008. I have played harmonbicas in both the albums.  In my early days, I did not know what blues were or playing in second position meant. It was gradually that I learnt more about playing in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th position on a diatonic harmonica. Started using internet only from 2007 and gradually the world of ‘Blues’ opened up and then  I came to know about legendary Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Walter Horton, Sony Terry etc . Of the current lot, I am very impressed with Jason Ricci, Howard   Levy, Todd Parrot, Frenchman Sebastien Charlier. Among the ladies, it’s Rachel Plas, Christelle Berthon.

Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival I attended in Singapore in 2010 and Kualalumpur in 2012 was an eye-opener for me. Number of participants mostly the kids aged between 6-16 years and their expertise with the instrument amazed me. I found that the standard of harmonica playing especially chromatic is very high in South East Asia and neighbouring countries. Unlike in India, there are many harmonica teachers in South East Asia and harmonica education starts from very young age. Kids are ably guided by quality teachers with the knowledge of notations. The difference I find is that in India we play out of love for the instrument and are happy once some proficiency is achieved. If one attends a harmonica meet in India, one will usually find middle aged people taking part and very few kids aged below 10 or 15. There is not much competition. Unless kids are taught to play harmonica from a tender age, high degree of proficiency in playing harmonica cannot be achieved. Need of the hour is opening up more harmonica schools and holding competition among the kids.
I always felt the need of discussing nuances of playing diatonic players where I live; but there being hardly any diatonic harmonica player, I felt frustrated at times. Therefore when famous harmonica player Brendan Power visited India in 2011, I invited him to perform in Guwahati. He came to the city with Abe Thomas who is the moderator of Harmonica India. Brendan and company stayed in my residence.  Brendan was a revelation. I remember after picking him up at the airport, I was driving the car. Then he started playing the harp in the car itself and throughout the journey to my residence where he put up, I was foot stomping and tapping the dashboard vigorously. Brendan’s concert in Gymkhana club, Guwahati  was a sell-out. Well known Blues band ‘Soulmate’ also performed that day.

We know that there are missing notes in diatonic harmonica and unless one learns the advance technique known as overblow and overdraw, one cannot get the missing notes. Since 2009, I have been learning the advance technique and at present I can reasonably play the missing notes by employing the advance technique. Had there been no internet, it would have been very difficult for me to learn.  I have spent hours and hours learning to overblow and it was very frustrating at times not being able to play the notes. I have damaged/broken several reeds in the process, but it was worth it. But gradually, I leant how to overblow.
I had the opportunity of meeting several harmonica players in Delhi All India Harmonica Meet in 2013 such as Saitejas, Madan Kumar, Ashok Bhandari, Ramana, Anupam Paul, Debashis Dutta etc. There are more harmonica players, I could not interact with.  Saitaejas  came to my residence in Guwahati on his way back from Hornbill Festival, Nagaland. It was a pleasure meeting him and his initiative in teaching young children to play harmonica is the need of the hour. Among the diatonic players I have met Aki Kumar who is based in America, Vikash Karandikar, Ramasesh, Subham Harnal, Sridhar, Dileep Naik, Bob Lyndoh etc. Number of diatonic players in India is very small. While attending APHF also, I observed that there are not many diatonic harmonica players in Asia. Indonesia is however coming up with good diatonic harmonica players.  If we want to compete in APHF, we have to have high degree of proficiency in playing the harmonica and that is why exposure is required. I wish more Indians would attend APHF to experience and see the high standard of harmonica playing. Even though I have five-six Hohner and Suzuki chromatic harmonicas, I have stopped playing them. I am concentrating totally on playing diatonic harmonicas now-a-days.

Recently, Mr B.B.Hagjer visited The 10th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival 2014 in Hangzhou, China.
HaLoH wishes Mr B.B.Hagjer a bright future in his future endeavors. 

We breathe harmonica!


Asansol Harmonicats host Raniganj Harmonica Meet 2014

This month on 19th April, Asansol Harmonicats hosted a harmonica meet at Raniganj (West Bengal) so as to enable the local harmonica players from Raniganj, Asansol, Kolkata and other parts of Bengal attend the programme conveniently. Raniganj is the hometown of ‘Harmonica Tiger-Swarup Mitra’. The harmonica lovers outside West Bengal were also welcome to join them.  The day-long programme was successfully attended by 55 harmonica players and the strength of the audience was around 70-80 persons.

Shri Vinayak B. (Vice President of Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad-HaLoH) was the anchor of this programme. The programme started with the Lighting of Lamp by three junior as well as the most promising Harmonica players-Sumit Guha, Haimanti Karmakar and Ashay Kumar. This was followed by garlanding of the portrait of the ‘Father of Indian Harmonica’ - Late Shri Milon Gupta by Shri Asim Banerjee, who is an excellent harmonica player from Jamshedpur. Shri Vinayak B. and Shri Asim Banerjee are direct students of Milon da.

The programme was divided into three performance sections either on karaoke or accompanied with orchestra. In Pre-Lunch session, the beginners performed on stage. There were around 20 odd local students who performed on stage. This was followed by authentic Bengali lunch.
Post Lunch, the performances by harmonica players continued.  They included Haimanti Karmakar (student of Sandipan Chakraborty), Sumit Guha, Rabin Tah, Dr Ashish Goyal, Shri Kumar Auddy, Rajiv Shrivastava, Naren Jain, Shri S.G. Helkar, Rana Mukesh Singh and Dr Tapan Maharana. The session continued till tea break.

Post Tea-break, the most awaited performances were given by Sourab Debnath (student of Shri Swarup Mitra) from Asansol, Shri Ajay Vijh from Singrauli (played 2 Hindi songs), Shri Sumanta Basu from Kolkata (played around 5 Bengali numbers), Shri Swarup Mitra (played 2 Bengali and 2 Hindi songs) and Shri Asim Banerjee(played around 5-6 songs). Duet performance by Haimanti and her guru Sandipan was also enjoyed by the audience. Another highlight of the programme was a jugalbandi (jamming session) of harmonica and santoor by Dr Arindam Modak and Shri Swarup Mitra. During the programme, there was a special classical dance performance on Lord Krishna and Gopikas’ theme by the students of Sohini Dance Academy. This dance was choreographed by Mrs Swarup Mitra.

M/s Reynolds and M/s Thomas Music, Bangalore who deal in Hohner and Suzuki harmonicas respectively partly sponsored this event. Coca Cola sponsored the beverages.
At the end of the programme, Shri Vinayak B. received a standing ovation from the audience for his contribution towards the advancement of harmonica,his role in HaLoHandhis participation forthe success of this Meet. The local harmonica students got good exposure during the event. This boosted their confidence and zeal to learn harmonica. HaLoH wishes to see many such small local/state level Harmonica Meets all over India so that it motivates the present youth to pick up this wonderful little musical instrument.

(few videos will be published shortly)

We breathe harmonica!