Ashwin Batish is a pioneer in Indian World Fusion music. His sitar playing has brought him to share the stage with such diverse artists as Billy Bragg, John Prine, Cowboy Junkies and Lyle Lovett, to name only a few.However, Batish's sitar is not the traditional sort: he has the instrument juiced up with amplification and various special effects. In fact, Batish is best known for his Sitar Power projects, where the Worlds of Indian music and Rock collide. Even with his Rock and Jazz-powered sounds, Batish's roots are clearly in Indian Classical Music. He was taught by his father, Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish, a vocalist in the North Indian tradition renowned sitar player in his own right. Ashwin himself seeks to pass along his skills though his teaching at the Batish Institute of Music and Fine Arts, located in Santa Cruz, California. As well, he has performed at festivals and concerts throughout North America and beyond. Batish enjoys talking about his music, so we spent some time discussing his influences, challenges and goals.
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