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Accomplished musician Sunita Bhuyan is here in Michigan to perform at the Village Theater in Canton, MI

Here is an exclusive interview with the “Joy of Giving” Ambassador Sunita Bhuyan.

About Sunita Bhuyan:

A recipient of the prestigious Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Excellence in Music , acclaimed violinist Sunita Bhuyan from India is that rare performer who blends skill and a nuanced understanding of music with spunk on stage. Her musical range is breathtakingly wide, from pure classical music to a wide range of light melodies that fuse jazz, folk and a host of other influences from different parts of the world to create a distinctive sound. Sunita also uses music as a tool for her life-enrichment workshops o leadership and change. Her album “Bihu Strings” which reflects the folk music from the state of Assam is the only Bihu album on violin.

As a Joy of Giving Ambassador, Sunita has been recognized by His Holiness Pope Francis for her work with almost 20,000 less privileged children.

Sunita has wowed audiences at numerous national and international venues and now we will have the opportunity to see her perform in our hometown! She will be accompanied by Prafulla Athalye on Tabla (disciple of Tabla Maestro Padmashri Late Ustad Allarakha Khansaheb and Padma Bhushan Ustad Zakir Hussain) and other accomplished musicians. We hope to see you all. Please be sure to let your friends know also.

Here is an exclusive Q & A with Sunita:

How did your music career start?
Music is a journey that has been a part of my life since I was 8 years old. It was a gift painstakingly given to me me by my mother. At that time, I did not realize the depth of the subject. .As a young girl I looked at it as something that took away time from my fun and friends. The violin which was my medium of learning is a tough and complex instrument and can be overwhelming for a beginner. It was a blessing that I got to learn the right technique at home thanks to my mother, my guru and was able to generate a few sounds soon after the initial years. Childhood was a flurry of school exams, followed by music exams, visits to Kolkatta to Pandit V.G.Jog's classes, evenings at concert halls either to watch my mother perform or other great musicians from different gharanas and styles. It was as though it was a way of life and the only religion! It been more than 35 years since then!

How did you decide to pick up the violin as the instrument that would be your profession?
There was no choice. My mother decided that I will have to learn it and play it.

Tell us about your first memory of music and the impact music has had on your life?
It wasn't until my early twenties that I realized the impact music can have on one's life and the environment. As I went through my academic life, management education, and then joined a corporation, I gradually started experiencing the multidimensional benefits of this medium on one’s personal, social and professional life.

Coming to music as an artistic platform, First, it facilitates internal wellness and secondly it inculcates positive social behavior. These two have been my most precious discoveries from this craft. Workshops on leadership, teamwork, partnerships and collaboration through music has been a pioneering field of work which has opened up unbelievable avenues for me .and at the cost of sounding pompous, given me an unique identity in the human resources world

Who is your mentor and inspiration?
My mother Violinist Minoti Khaund and then later pur Guruji Pt. V. G. Jog. Pt. Buddhadev Dasgupta has mentored me a lot as he has been my mother's guru too. Yehudi Menuhin and L Subramaniam have been my role models. I am awed by Vanessa Mae .

What are some of your favorite performances?
I kept wishing for breakthrough events and overnight success till few years back! ..but nothing happened .
Jokes apart, my career has been slow but sure with certain milestones than breakthroughs. Glasgow Music Festival, Edinburgh Mela, SHRM conference, Paddy Fields, Kala Ghoda Music Festival , launch of my album Bihu Strings, performing in Rome, ..each and every workshop that I have, some for over 20, 000 children special and I learn continuously from them.

By God’s grace I have collaborated with some really good artists, recently with Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Bickram Ghosh, Yati Durrant , then Shivamani ji kindly joined me at recent concert. The all-women concept E Factor has artists like Saskia De Has, Merlin D'souza , Debopriya Chatterjee, Anuradha Pal , Swarupa Ananth , Isheeta Ganguly who has very kindly joined me for women- centric events.

What brings you here to Canton, Michigan?
The Assamese community here in North America is a small close-knit community compared to other Indian communities, with a unique family-like bond that stretches across USA and Canada. What started as a handful of families in the '70s in the Detroit area has now grown over the years.

I have relatives and close friends living here in Detroit who are very involved with an organization called Assam Foundation of North America or AFNA. It is a US based volunteer-driven non-profit organization supporting deserving charitable activities in India and US since 1983. AFNA largely focuses on projects related to education of under-privileged students and supporting people with special needs and senior citizens in the North-Eastern state of Assam, India, where I am originally from.

So when the regional volunteers of AFNA knew I was visiting Michigan, they decided to organize this program as a fund-raiser to benefit the under-privileged back in Assam. I am fortunate to play a small role in the effort of these dedicated expatriates who deeply care about where they came from and are trying to do their bit to give back to the society in whatever way they can.

I am humbled to be the "Joy of Giving" Ambassador for Mother Teresas campaign by Don Bosco. My activities of Joy of Giving is across the country and the world as needed. As a personal goal, I have decided to give 20% of my occupational time to It and have committed to a few projects currently. Child friendly Guwahati Don Bosco, Angel Express street kids, and Syntel SPrayas, the CSR project of the company I used to work for. I never knew that a passion that was personal would take me to the Vatican one day and bless me with HIS Holiness Pope Francis recognition.
Music has the power to heal and create harmonious relationships. Hence it can be a powerful tool to impact lives and as artists it is a privilege to share this gift with people who need it and for a cause.

Sunita Bhuyan Mozart and Raag Bilavat

Sunita Bhuyan is performing on Saturday, May 18th at the Canton Village Theater, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton, Michigan. Click here for more information.

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