Trilok Gurtu

Trilok Gurtu

Trilok Gurtu (born in Bombay on 30 October 1951) is an Indian percussionist and composer who has also "crossed over" into jazz-rock fusion and world music genres. He went to a Catholic school in Bombay called Don Bosco High School. He has released his own albums and has collaborated with such artists as Terje Rypdal, John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek, Joe Zawinul, Bill Laswell, and Robert Miles.

Trilok Gurtu's mother, the singer Shobha Gurtu, started him on the tabla and he later studied the instrument with Abdul Karim. He began playing the Western drum kit in the 1970s and became interested in jazz. In a 1995 television special on Jimi Hendrix, Gurtu discussed having initially learned Western music without being aware of overdubbing, which forced him to learn multiple parts most musicians would have never attempted. In the 1970s he played with Charlie Mariano, John Tchicai, Terje Rypdal, and Don Cherry.

One of his earliest recordings was around 1977 on an album by the German ethnic fusion band, Embryo on their record "Apo-Calypso". His mother also sang on this record and later joined him on his first solo CD, "Usfret".

In the 1980s he played with Swiss drummer Charly Antolini and also with John McLaughlin in McLaughlin's trio, accompanied variously by bassists Jonas Hellborg, Kai Eckhardt, and Dominique DiPiazza. The line-up with Hellborg performed at least one concert opening for Miles Davis in Berkeley, California in 1988.

The close communication between Gurtu and McLaughlin included vocal improvisations using the Indian "tala talk" method of oral drumming notation used to teach drum patterns. In some cases, Eckhardt would join in with hip-hop beat-box vocals for a three-way vocal percussion jam, while Gurtu and McLaughlin threw in some humorous words such as Japanese brand names mixed with the Indian words.

Some of the unusual aspects of his kit and playing style include playing without a drum stool in a half-kneeling position on the floor, use of a non-traditional kick drum that resembles a large drum head with a kick-pedal, and a mix of tablas and western drums. A unique percussion signature involves dipping cymbals and strings of shells into a bucket of water to create a shimmering effect.

He joined Oregon after the death of drummer Collin Walcott. He appears on three records produced with this band, "Ecotopia" (1987), "45th Parallel" (1989) and "Always, Never and Forever" (1991).

In the early 1990s he resumed his career as a solo artist and band leader, and has been backed by various musicians on a number of CD releases.

In 1999, Zakir Hussain and Bill Laswell founded a musical group called Tabla Beat Science which played a mixture of Hindustani music, Asian underground, ambient, Drum and Bass, and Electronica. Gurtu joined the group, together with Karsh Kale and Talvin Singh. The group released three albums before going dormant late in 2003. []

In 2004 he co-created an album with Robert Miles entitled "Miles Gurtu". The beginning of a new collaboration with the Arkè String Quartet began in 2007 with the release of the album "Arkeology".


; Solo and collaborative albums

* 1983: "Finale" - with Charly Antolini
* 1987: "Usfret"
* 1987: "Ecotopia" - with Oregon
* 1989: "45th Parallel" - with Oregon
* 1990: "Living Magic"
* 1991: "Always, Never and Forever" - with Oregon
* 1993: "Crazy Saints"
* 1995: "Believe"
* 1995: "Bad Habits Die Hard"
* 1997: "The Glimpse"
* 1998: "Kathak"
* 2000: "African Fantasy"
* 2001: "The Beat of Love"
* 2002: "Remembrance"
* 2004: "Miles Gurtu" - with Robert Miles
* 2004: "Broken Rhythms"
* 2006: "Farakala"
* 2007: "Arkeology"


Trilok Gurtu has garnered a number of prestigious awards and nominations, including Best Overall Percussionist winner, "Drum Magazine", 1999; Best Overall Percussionist winner, Carlton Television Multicultural Music Awards, 2001; Best Percussionist winner, "Down Beat's" Critics Poll for 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 [] , 2000, 2001, and 2002 [] ; and Best Asia/Pacific Artist nominee, BBC Radio 3 World for 2002, 2003, and 2004.

External links

* [ Trilok] - Official website
* [ Web-article] at
* [ Article] in India Today
* [ Trilok Gurtu at MintakaMusic]
* [ Trilok Gurtu] at Allmusic - Overview, biography, discography

; Multimedia
* [ Trilok Gurtu, 1993 Zildjian Day] at YouTube

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  • Shobha Gurtu — Shobha Shirodkar Gurtu (* 8. Februar 1925 in Belgaum; † 27. September 2004 in Mumbai) war eine der bekanntesten indischen Sängerinnen. Sie sang im nordindischen Thumri Stil und wurde als dessen Grande Dame gepriesen. Shobha Gurtu wurde zunächst… …   Deutsch Wikipedia