The mountainous region of Kashmir was where Rahul Sharma's lineage with music evolved. His grandfather, Uma Dutt Sharma, was a master of the santoor, an instrument that is similar to the hammer-dulcimer. The harsh tone of the instrument made it fell out of line with folk music as well as classical music, but Uma Dutt Sharma persisted. His father, Shivkumar Sharma mastered the instrument by experimenting with various striking positions and tones. As Shivkumar's status rose in the musical circles of Kashmir, word of his performances grew over borders and continents. Shivkumar's son, Rahul Sharma continued the tradition of the instrument. Rahul Sharma was always in love with music, often singing at an early age and playing the harmonium. Learning the santoor at age 13, the child wasn't completely sure of pursuing music until he turned 17. After studying economics at Bombay's Mithibai College, Rahul Sharma began performing with his father. In September 2000, Real World Records released Music of the Himalayas, a live performance in Turin featuring Sharma, percussionist Pandi Bhawani Shankar and tabla player Ustad Shafat Ahmed Khan. The musician has performed in North America and throughout Europe. He has also performed at various folk and world music festivals, including WOMAD. ~ Jason MacNeil
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