After a vacation at Mysore, on way back to Hyderabad, our member Ramana halted at Bengaluru for a few hours. He met Mr Debashis Dutta, a popular harmonica player of India at his residence. No wonder, without harmonica session, any harmonica enthusiast's vacation is incomplete. Though it was a working day, Mr Debhasis deferred his official meeting and spent about 3 hours with Ramana on discussing and enjoying harmonica session.
Mr Debashis Dutta, an Aerospace and Materials engineer by profession, is 55 years old. He is based at Bangalore where he had lived and worked for the last 30 years. He did his B.Tech in Metallurgical Engineering from BHU-IT and then followed it up with an M.Tech degree each in Aerospace Engg (IIT-Madras) and Materials Engg (IISc Bangalore). He currently works in a senior engineering position for a US based aerospace MNC in Bangalore. He is a member of harmonica Club of Bangalore.
He is a self-trained mouthorgan player. He got introduced to this instrument when he was about 14/15 years old in high school by his maternal cousin Mr. Satinath Mukherjee who was an accomplished harmonica and piano professional and a contemporary of the great Milon Gupta. His cousin gifted an old Hohner mouth organ to him which he still possesses. What interests him about the instrument is that it is quite versatile, user friendly, a constant companion for every season and every place and produces music that pleases his ears along with everyone else’s ears. Moreover, anyone with an ear for music can learn the instrument on his/her own and give performances.
This is what Mr Debashis Dutta says about his harmonica playing style and preferences: “My playing style is basically single note playing but I do resort to Octave playing depending on the requirement of the song. For that matter I also resort to tongue slapping once in a while depending on whether that style would best suit the particular line of the song in a given situation. I try to get into the emotion or "feel" of the song rather than concentrating too much on accuracy of individual notes, lyrics or grammar. This approach according to me brings out the best from a harmonica or any wind instrument. I prefer playing Indian music, i.e., old meldious Hindi or Bengali songs with beautiful tunes composed by legends like Salil Chowdhury, Pancham Da, SD, Naushad, Madan Mohan etc. I prefer to play Chromatic harmonica of Suzuki and Hohner brands.”
Embedded below is a rendition by Mr Debashis Dutta.