Shri Hemant Ekbote was introduced to tabla at the tender age of six. Under the tutelage of his father, Shri Shyamrao Ekbote, his study of rhythm flourished. Enthusiastically, Hemant began to devote several hours each day to the nuances constituting a thorough riyaaz or practice. He
continued to hone his skills as a music student (and, later faculty member) at the M. S. University of Baroda, where he received his master’s degree. Over the years, his talent and hard work won him a scholarship to study with the renowned Maestro Pandit Sudhir Kumar Saxena, master of the Ajrada Delhi Gharana. Hemant’s dedication unfolded opportunities and prestige. He has rendered sparkling performances on All-India-Radio and provided tabla accompaniments to Pandit Jasraj, Laxmi Shankar, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Sujat Husain Khan, Ryhday Nath Mangeshkar, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Arun Dravid, Mahesh Kale, and many other outstanding artists. He has also accompanied maestros in the production of music albums in India as well as in Hollywood. He currently has a thriving music academy--Divine School of Music-- at his home in Irvine, where serious students, young and old, Indian, and American assemble for tabla lessons. Hemant is also a visiting professor at the University of California, San Diego where he teaches students of different backgrounds the foundations of Indian music and tabla. Under his able mentorship and gentle presence, these aspiring scholars persistently sharpen their skills. Many of them are being groomed as future performing artists. Through Hemant and his students, the tabla tradition lives on.