Best Indian Drummers of All Time
Nov 17, 2017   BY: Snehal More 

In recent years, unlike other music genres, drummers of India have received a lot of praise in the music industry. India has got the drummers who have broken all the norms of drummers being underrated and developed their firm footing individuality around the world with their talent. Let's know closely about the most influential, accomplished and renowned drummers of India.

1. Sivamani

Sivamani is a leading drummer of India and is very famous around the world. As a soloist, he is well-known for his creative, versatile drumming. He doesn’t need any electrical gadget to compose a music and unites any kind of props or things like a spoon, water tub, bottles, pillow, metal, luggage and creates a divine rhythm from it. Sivamani’s father was a Chennai based percussionist and started his musical profession at the age of 11. Firstly, he experimented his music with Carnatic maestros. He is a euphoric presenter of drumming and has amalgamated with renowned artists like A.R. Rahman, Youssou N'Dour, Zakir Hussain, Elvin Jones and Hariprasad Chaurasia. Sivamani has gained recognition through his role as A. R. Rahman's lead percussionist and has performed at countless massive stages. His first solo album is Mahaleela, playing with a rotating team of singers and has also played drums for many Bollywood and Tollywood films.

In some of his interviews, he has said- 

“My life as a drummer started the day I was in my mom’s womb, I played to the sound of my mom’s heartbeat.” — Sivamani 

“Becoming a drummer is more of a choice than chance for me. I always wanted to make it to the top.”- Sivamani

2. Ranjit Barot 

Portrayed as “ONE OF THE LEADING EDGES IN DRUMMING” by guitar legend John McLaughlin, Ranjit Barot is an Indian drummer, music director, singer and film score composer. Ranjit has been featured as the drummer in John McLaughlin’s Grammy-nominated album 'Floating Point'. He is at the forefront of the Indian musical revolution and has brought his unique personality to this genre of music. Ranjit’s mother Sitara Devi was the queen of Kathak and so since childhood, he had the influence of dance and music on him. After starting his professional career in 1980, Ranjit has been a featured drummer and arranger for R.D.Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, continuing through the eras of Anu Malik and Ismail Darbar. Ranjit also performed at the Yatra with the great Pandit Ravi Shankar’s ensemble, Jazzmine, featuring John Handy, George Adams and Mike Richmond of the Mingus Dynasty. His debut album “BADA BOOM” featured some of the greatest musicians of the music scene and presently he is a music producer for MTV Unplugged (India).

3. Trilok Gurtu

The living legend, Trilok Gurtu is an open-minded musician who embraces Jazz and Indian Classical Music. Gurtu is universally acknowledged as one of the most innovative and pioneering percussionists. He is self-confessedly strongly influenced by the drumming patterns. His nimble hands flourish on the drums and create the intense music. Gurtu’s unique percussion signature involves dipping cymbals and strings of shells into a bucket of water to create a shimmering effect. He has set a world class standard in his career and collaborated with Jazz artists like John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, Jan Garbarek, Don Cheery, Bill Evans and Dave Ho. In the early 1990s, Gurtu resumed his career as a solo artist and a bandleader. He created an album, Miles Gurtu with Robert Miles and further in 2012, collaborated with electronic folk duo Hari & Sukhmani in their hometown of Chandigarh and produced a song 'Maati' on the music documentary-travelogue The Dewarist.

4. Darshan Doshi

Darshan Doshi holds the crown of “Youngest Drummer Of India” in Limca Book Of Records. Darshan is an Indian musician and drummer and has a vast experience of working with leading music directors on many Bollywood film scores. His first guru was his father who is a musician and later was trained by great maestro drummers Ranjit Barot, Pankaj Sharma. Darshan started his career in 1994 with the group Little Wonders with Kalyanji-Anand and later began his Bollywood career with the movie Black. He is mostly known for his soundtrack work of the hit rock-musical movie, Rock On and has won the Indian Recording Arts Academy award as the Best Percussionist for the film, Queen. He has played for innumerable episodes of Coke Studio India and MTV Unplugged and is presently working as a drummer with Farhan Akhtar’s band ‘Farhan Live’.

These are the drummers who have gained fame globally and made India proud.


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