Nilan Chaudhuri is a Bay Area based percussionist, drummer, performer, and educator. Initiated into the tradition of Tabla at the age of his five by his father, Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri, Nilan has been performing as a soloist and accompanist for nearly two decades.
Drawing inspiration from his father’s innovative approach to classical Tabla solo, Nilan was determined from a young age to be proficient as a soloist. He presented his first public Tabla solo at the age of eleven, at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, in the presence of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, and would go on to lead the AACM Tabla Ensemble, performing arrangements of his fathers compositions in the United States and India. It was during these formative years that Nilan was introduced to the world of Tabla accompaniment by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, providing rhythmic support for his vocal and instrumental classes in San Rafael.
As a teenager, Nilan was inspired by the Jazz-fusion Band ‘Oregon’ a group spearheaded by his cousin, multi-percussionist, Collin Walcott. The band’s music influenced Nilan to broaden his rhythmic studies, and in 2003 he began learning the Drumset with Sly Randolph. He has since had the opportunity to attend master workshops conducted by Ustad Zakir Hussain.
Since his debut performance in concert with his Father in Queens, NY, in 2005, Nilan has had the privilege of sharing the stage with some of Hindustani Classical Music’s most celebrated artists, like maestros Alam Khan, Shujaat Khan, Ramesh Misra, and Amjad Ali Khansaib at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Fillmore, The Monterey Pop Festival, The Fox Theater, and the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. His collaborations include crossover work with sitarist Arjun Verma, sarodist Manik Khan, Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Dennis Chambers, Miles Schon, and DJ Teeko. In addition to maintaining a busy performing schedule, Nilan teaches Tabla throughout the Bay Area as a faculty member at the Ali Akbar College of Music, in San Rafael, and as the Director of Percussion at Chitresh Das Institute, in San Mateo. It’s his lifelong mission to maintain, preserve, and share the art of Indian Classical percussion with the world.
Alam Khan - Passage. From the EP "Vignettes"
Featuring: Nilan Chaudhuri - Tabla & Nazan Aktas - Cello
Chitresh Das Institute Offering Kathak & Tabla lessons
World class instruction beginning to advanced, children, teens and adults.
Nilan featured in DRUM! Magazine
Interview on Transtabla
Tabla Demystified: Get Started With The World’s Most Expressive Drum
You don’t need to be a tabla master or have access to Abbey Road Studios to appreciate what has been called the most expressive drum in the world. Though The Beatles are largely responsible for popularizing the sound in Western music, there’s a lot to love about the beautiful and unique instrument beyond the nostalgic flower power of the ’60s. After stripping away some of the mystery surrounding these drums, you might even want to try them for yourself.
Nilan Joins the Toronto Tabla Ensemble!
In 2017 Nilan Chaudhuri joined forces with director Ritesh Das and Ensemble to create the track Saru Nau featured on the ensembles latest album Bhumika
Nilan teaches privately as well as in person and online through
the Ali Akbar College of Music and Chitresh Das Institute
Nilan Tabla offers a variety of Hand Made Tabla sets and accessories for purchase, produced by some of Kolkata’s most reputed manufactures. These drums are excellent for beginners and seasoned performers alike. Please contact directly for more product information, or to place an order.
full tabla set
A Complete set includes Tabla, Bayan, Protective Covers, Rings, Tuning Hammer, and carrying Case.
Hand made Copper Bayan
Neem/Mahagony Custom Hand Made Tabla’s available in a variety of diameters and pitches
Tabla rings, Protective Covers, and Tuning Hammers available in a variety of Designs/colorways