Home » Jazz Musicians » Broto Roy

Broto Roy

In the mid-‘80s, India-American composer and tabla percussionist Broto Roy (an EMI-India recording artist) began composing and recording a genre of music he calls “Raga-Jazz”, an amalgam of ancient Indian ragas (melodies), talas (rhythms) and western Jazz. His mastery over the complex, formalized rhythms of his native India combined with his deep appreciation and understanding of the Jazz idiom led the Washington Post to declare his music “spiritual and visceral”. He was Artist in Residence at the Kennedy Center’s inauguration of their Millennium Stage. His CD “Total Immersion” is only the second live recording sanctioned by the Kennedy Center for public release (the first was by Pavarotti). His debut CD “American Raga” was played aboard the International Space Station when Dennis Tito carried it with him as he orbited the earth. His Broto Roy Quartet, consisting of sitar, tabla drums, tenor sax and electric bass, released "All Barriers Fall" (May 2018) and June 2015 released “Ancient Algorithms” - all and more at Amazon and iTunes.

His third CD "Live at the Lowell Festival" (near Boston, USA) was released in 2003 (Buzkhashi) by the Broto Roy Trio featuring the great Indian “sarodist” (Indian bass-lute) Aashish Khan and violinist Shashi Dhar. His Bengali folk ensemble GANGA released their CD "Setting Down Roots" in '08 (Buzkhashi). In 2011 GANGA released “Bringing It Home”, a compilation of live tracks from their concerts at the Library of Congress’ Coolidge auditorium; the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (New York City); Festival of American Folklife (July 4th) and many others. EMI-India re-released "American Raga" with worldwide distribution by Virgin Records in '09.

As a dedicated teacher on the side, Broto also performs with his students. See tabla concerto video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noQx5014RBE. He received the Virginia Master Folk Artist award from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and taught in the DC public schools for three years. His numerous college performances, both for general audiences and music conservatories feature an educational component highlighting the rich history and science of Indian classical music theory and its modern practice. Some college concerts include: Sussex College, New Jersey; Mount Holyoke; Colgate University; Yale University; University of South Carolina at Columbia; State University of New York at Syracuse and Oswego; and eight campuses of Pennsylvania State University from Erie to Pittsburgh. On November 14, 2013 Broto lectured on India and performed at Harrisburg College, Pennsylvania and on January 9, 2014 he delivered a lecture at University College at the University of Maryland. The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Broto two teaching grants in 1986 and 1993.

Read more


Album Review

Broto Roy: American Raga

Read "American Raga" reviewed by Ed Kopp

My familiarity with Indian music is pretty much limited to George Harrison's sitar rock, one 20-year-old Shakti album, and a Ravi Shankar LP that hasn't visited my turntable in at least 15 years. Truth be told, Indian music always seemed so dauntingly exotic that I never gave it much of a chance.That is, until this CD arrived in my mailbox. Broto Roy's American Raga immediately won me over with its haunting riffs, arresting rhythms, and passionate improvisational exchanges ...

Read more articles
Hindu legend - Dallas Morning News - May 6, 2017 Master musician. Voice of pure honey - Times of India Concert mythique et magique – EuroNews Awesome! Grammy bound - CNN The Titan of Tabla - Old Town Crier, Alexandria, Virginia Fusioneering, imposing pedigree. Solo success - The Gazette, Maryland Spiritual and visceral - Mike Joyce - The Washington Post The best of Asian-Pacific American traditions. Enriched the range of artistic and cultural themes. Exceptional contributions which enrich our nation and the world. The young South Asian percussionist Broto Roy, an accomplished navigator of a range of multi-directional pathways between East and West, not only to a new range of aesthetic references, but also to new instruments and performance styles as well. After appearing in America, Europe and India with the folk group Ganga, with major classical Indian musicians and with the jazz-based East-West Ensemble, Roy continues exploring new rhythmic embellishments and ideas. - The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC Imparting cultural and historical knowledge. Talented. - The Library of Congress Warmth and drive - Down Beat In fact, every track is well arranged and the overall impact is great - The Statesman (India) Each song celebrates a unique emotion worth remembering for its melodies as well as its lyrics. - Calcutta Mirror, India Languid and celestial - Washington City Paper, Washington, DC The audience was entranced - State Magazine, Washington, DC Complex, trancelike, peaceful. The most authentic experience - Lowell Sun, Massachusetts USA Blues-Jazz-Raga fusion - Daily News Analysis (DNA), Bombay India Inspiring - NPR Radio Program With Good Reason

Read more





Rez Abbasi
guitar, acoustic
Shawn Lane
guitar, electric
band / ensemble / orchestra
Tom Teasley

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.