Dhanashree is the sparkling gem in JIVI's crown.The manner in which she enlightens the jazz vocalist has been cherished by all, many return to India for more.Her ongoing efforts are surely bridging the gap between instrumental and vocal jazz.
- Niranjan Jhaveri ( former Head and Founder of the Jazz India Vocal Institute)
Book / CD "New Vocal Techniques for Jazz and Modern Music"
Dhanashree has been the chief Vocal Instructor at the JIVI, founded by Niranjan Jhaveri for training world renowned Jazz vocalists in Indian Vocal techniques. She has created a unique method of teaching Indian vocal subtleties and voice culture to Jazz vocalists in a short duration of time allowing them to absorb the finer nuances and spirit of Hindustani vocal classical music without being treated as “beginners of music”. It is an “artiste” to “artiste” experience and the students are initiated into Indian vocal techniques produced by mature and trained Indian voices.
DR. KATHARINE CARTWRIGHT
It was both a joy and a revelation to study with Dhanashree Pandit-Rai at the Jazz India Vocal Institute. Dhanashree is not only a superb khyal and thumri singer, but also a first-rate teacher and a wonderful person. I miss her tremendously and look forward to returning to Mumbai to continue our studies.
Dhanashree is full of gifts - of incredible musical talent and knowledge to share, of laughter and empathy - and she possesses endless patience with her students. As a musician, she is unparalleled, and as a teacher, she is one of the greatest that I've encountered.
Studying with Dhanashree was an amazing musical experience. Both warm and intuitive, she met me where I was at and helped me to move forward. She gave me a great introduction to Indian singing, which I continue to apply to my other musical endeavors.
I am a swiss student and got the chance to take vocal lessons for two weeks with Dhanashree. From the first lesson on I got so many inspiring inputs...You can work on at home for a long time with all the material she gives to you. Dhanashree has a clear concept how to teach the art of indian classic singing! It was a lot of fun to work with her- she did a lot more than just being a vocal coach! She gave advices for local concerts and really involved me in the indian music world!
A precious precious teacher----everyone who gets the chance to spend time with her shouldn't miss this great opurtunity!
CAROLINE LYNN BAYNE
I'd like to say that 'Dhanashree is an exceptional artist and teacher - able to step outside the square of teaching tradition and give her students an insight into her incredible musical heritage that is inspiring, challenging and comprehensible. A deeply rich and moving experience that I will always carry'.
Jazz, improvisation, world, exotic scales, sacred & medieval song
BETTINA KOZIOL (Germany)
with dhanashree’s open minded, multi culture musical and mental understanding, she has guided me through weeks and years of experiencing my voice in an indian shape, being so patient and loving; which has encouraged me to reach out for my indian roots and do a cross over cd using raags and compositions, up to indian voice improvisation .. in a daring (scary ;-)) ) way...
Classical, and avantgarde pop singer and composer from munich, Germany
ANN DYER (San Francisco, U.S.A.)
“My studies of Hindustani vocalizations have made a profound impact on both the craft and art of my music. There is no more sophisticated technical training for the voice and ear than the Hindustani musical tradition.”
Khyal and Thumri singer Dhanashree Pandit Rai was my teacher/ Guru, sharing her music generously, opening up my ears and mind for new ways of playing the voice and training it to do incredible things. The lessons were very well organized by the experienced Guru, and I must emphasize the excellent choice of teacher!
ANTIGONE FOSTER (Australia)
One of the most constructive elements of my experience of studying with her was that she was completely attentive to my own needs and allowed us to direct my study of repertoire and technique to aim for results that would be of the most practical use to me.As a professional artist herself Dhanashree is also able to empathise with you on that level.Certainly, the experience of studying with Dhanashree, and spending an unforgettable time in Mumbai, has left an indelible mark on my own vocal style.
Dhanashree has a beautiful voice and I was mesmerized from the start during my lessons with her. I had not heard much Indian music before going to India to study and sitting on her living room floor with the sound of the tanpura and her voice washing over me opened up an amazing new world to me. I am very grateful for the time I spent studying with her and I continue to study and appreciate Indian music to this day.
Wendy Fopeano- Jazz Singer and Host
of "Jazz and More" on KUVO, Denver's jazz station,
streaming on the web at Kuvo.org.
PATRICK RYDMAN, Sweden
"Dhanashree Pandit-Rai is not only an amazing performer in her own right, but also an excellent teacher. Her approach to teaching western-style vocalists the fundamentals of Indian vocalising is spot on. Combining clear, well structured written material with the opportunity to record the one-on-one sessions, my two month stint with Dhana has provided me with a wealth of material to use and vocally I feel I have expanded my boundaries more than I thought was possible. If you´re going for the nitty gritty of the Ragas, or just want the "Indian flavour" added to your singing, Dhanashree has the knowledge and the skill to show you how."
Here’s what some of them have to say about their experiences with learning Indian music at the JIVI :
Dhanashree Pandit Rai is a very special talent. She has a rich, warm strong alto voice to carry her provocative and sometimes hauntingly lyrical idea's and improvisations. She is steeped in the history of Indian music and along the way she has developed one of the first documented teaching programs for vocalists who are interested in learning about Indian singing and improvisation. I feel very fortunate to have studied in Mumbai through Niranjan Jhaveri's "JIVI" program with Dhanashree and I hope to return soon to further my studies with such a gifted teacher. I highly recommend Dhanashree to any promoter who would like to feature a marvelous talent and to any student who desires to learn about Indian singing.
"Sparkling and witty, Dhanashree lays out her copious knowledge without artifice or mystery. She is a generous, supportive teacher and understands the interior world of the singer since she is such a great one herself. I studied with her the most of any JIVIite and her lessons laid the bedrock for my current artistic work. What a master!"
With the passing away of the founder of JIVI - Niranjan Jhaveri in May 2010, JIVI officially came to an end, but Dhanashree is carrying on the work of initiating Jazz musicians from all over the world to Indian music.