Claim To Fame:
- Has performed at Danny Elfman's home
- Has performed at prestigious venues and festivals in the US and India such as the Jaipur Literature Festival, SF World Music Festival, and Kala Bharati Music and Dance Festival
- Has recorded and worked with Narada Michael Walden and Kenwood Dennard
- Has western drumset training from the legendary Chuck Brown
- Well versed multi-percussionist
- Performs in many fusion groups and leads many ensembles around California
Ram Eshwar Kaundinya is a tabla player and multi-percussionist. He was initiated in the traditional gandabandan manner at age 5 by the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. He began his tabla training under Mary Khan, wife of Ali Akbar Khansahib and student of Ustad Alla Rakha. Then at age 7, he began his training with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri with whom he has now been studying for the past 14 years.
Ram performs regularly at the Ali Akbar College of Music, as well as at various sabhas in Vizag, India. He has accompanied a wide range of classical musicians from sarod, sitar, bansuri, violin, and vocal. In 2015, he was given permission to play his first full length tabla solo. He has experience playing with both Hindustani and Carnatic musicians and has played in a few jugalbandi concerts between the two styles.
In addition to Indian Classical tabla, Ram has trained in drum set playing under eminent jazz drummer Chuck Brown. Brown himself was a student of Max Roach and has additionally trained the types of Tony Williams, Terry Bozzio, and Dave Garibaldi. He also collaborated with many world musicians in the San Francisco World Music Festival between 2010 and 2013, where he played with musicians from Tibet, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, China, and others. He uses this unique background to play all types of percussion including congas, djembe, cajon, doumbek, kanjira, etc. Combining the Western polyrhythmic elements and hand drum techniques from the tabla, he creates a unique driving power through a multi-percussion hand drum set.
Ram continues to bring tabla and various rhythmic influences from around the world to new audiences in a variety of ways. At Tarpan Studios, he worked under Narada Michael Walden, a member of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra. At Tarpan he recorded a track with Narada as well as with Kenwood Dennard, a drummer famous for playing with the likes of Miles Davis and Maceo Parker. He is currently a part of the UCLA Charles Mingus Ensemble under the direction of Professor James Newton and has worked with the UCLA Latin Big Band and drummer Clayton Cameron in a jazz combo. In addition to these ensembles, Ram continues to play and stretch musical boundaries with the trio Uncharted Territory and the big band Global Soul Collective. Most recently, Ram was invited to play at the home of "The Simpson’s" composer Danny Elfman.