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Niladri Kumar

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Uploaded on Feb 27, 2008

Niladri Kumar began his career with music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal in the late s. He was part of the Masters of the Percussion tour alongside Zakir Hussain. Kumar has also worked with Jonas Hellborg and V. Selvaganesh on their album Kali's Son and with John McLaughlin on album Floating Point. Kumar has also worked with various music directors in Hindi cinema, including A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Pritam. Niladri was conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi's Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, awarded to young musicians, in March . Niladri has also won MTV Immies award for the Best Classical/Fusion Instrumental for his album If.

Kumar has created a unique instrument, the "zitar", which is a combination of sitar and guitar. The concept initiated from a traveling sitar, which was modified by Kumar to create rock guitar sound out of it. Kumar reduced the number of strings on the instrument from to five. He also added an electric pickup inside the instrument so that it would sound more like a guitar. His first full album composed using the instrument, titled Zitar, was released in . Kumar wrote the first track for the album Priority in . Over the next five years he improved the track and subsequent track by gauging audience reaction during live performances. He improvised the tracks adding components from various genres such as rock, electronic and lounge. He also won the MN Mathur Award in the st Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Samaroh for his contribution to Indian classical music in March, .

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