First Edition Arts (FEA) is a team of people with backgrounds in business journalism, corporate communications, music, design, filmmaking, advertising and cultural documentation.
And we are passionate about the arts.
The FEA team curates, presents, documents and produces artistic works with some of the finest musicians and performers across Hindustani classical and traditional music genres, contemporary jazz, blues, rock, pop and more. We also work with Indian classical and contemporary dancers, theatre, dance-theatre and comedy artistes.
We aim to support new, varied and stimulating artistes, performers and productions; strengthening the live arts scene in India. Bringing quality and variety to the entire spectrum, from the classical to the contemporary and across all genres, is a critical part of our vision.
We aim to strengthen our own culture while remaining open to the influence of other cultures, relying on quality as the critical benchmark in all our curatorial decisions.
We also work with businesses, corporate brands, public and private cultural and educational institutions and NGOs to explore the possibility of working with the arts specially to enhance learning processes and outcomes.
To emphasise audience connect to the arts, we create opportunities for meeting artistes and building rich surround content in the form of videos and brochures.
Devina Dutt, has 25 years of experience as a news, business, development and arts writer. She began her career in journalism with Sunday Magazine and later joined Business India before moving on to work with the corporate sector and development agencies producing a range of corporate literature. Simultaneously, she was involved in the arts as an editor and translator and wrote for the culture pages of national magazines and newspapers which included primarily, The Hindu. She has travelled widely as an observer and writer on the performing arts in different parts of India. Passionate about all the arts, like the rest of the FEA team, she is also fatally attracted to poetry of every persuasion in Hindi, Bangla, English and Urdu.
Pepe Gomes, has been a musician and lead singer in a rock band in Kolkata before moving to Mumbai to join the advertising industry 25 years ago. He has worked with Trikaya Grey and White Light Moving Picture Co. before setting up as an independent advertising film producer/director and music composer. Deeply passionate about the arts with a special interest in music and film, he tends to be the purist in the group, but one with wide ranging taste and discernment. He is as passionate about Western music ranging from classical, rock, jazz and hip hop as he is about Hindustani and Carnatic music, very select fusion as well as classical and contemporary dance and folk theatre forms.
Suranjan Das, an independent brand consultant, is a graduate of Economics with an MBA in Marketing. He has more than 25 years of experience in advertising, brand strategy and organizational development and has worked in leading agencies like JWT and M&C Saatchi, where he has held very senior positions. He was also Consultant COO at the True School of Music, Mumbai, India’s first contemporary music institute in 2013-14.
Suranjan, a self-confessed travel freak and foodie, is also an avid lover and follower of the arts and music. He shares a particular affinity for western classical, jazz, blues and rock.
Arjun Mitra has a background in design and print as well as video and computers. He has worked in the advertising and feature film industry winning several prestigious awards for his pioneering work in visual effects.
He has designed several coffee table books, along with album covers & promotional material for contemporary international musicians. He is passionate about jazz, rock and country with a special attachment to The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. He is just as passionate about Hindustani and Carnatic music. A special gift is his ability to respond instinctually and contextualize the work of visual artists with a minimum of jargon and theory.
Sanjay Pareek has an MBA in marketing and brand development. He has spent 25 years in the FMCG, media, Financial Services and Infrastructure sectors heading marketing and business development. His last position was as head of Percept Advertising’s outdoor retail division. Sanjay is a well travelled and adventurous photographer with a special gift for “getting” monuments and places.
Vandana Kataria studied design at NID specializing in film and visual communication. Over the years she has explored natural history projects, crafts and modern design in books and films. Later she branched out into production design for ad films and feature films. She is an award winning production designer for films like Oye Lucky and Shanghai and has worked closely with Dibakar Bannerjee. She is currently working on a screenplay for her first feature film.
Priyadarshini Gupta is a key member of FEA’s Perspectives series, which offers arts-based experiential workshop sessions on themes including Gender, Diversity and Inclusion and Creativity to organisations and institutions. Her experience as a Consultant for over 17 years across the corporate sector in telecom, consumer durables, pharmaceuticals, insurance and manufacturing enabling Organization Effectiveness, Culture & Diversity and Inclusion brings the essential knowledge base of the changing priorities and challenges faced by companies today. In addition, like the rest of the FEA team, the TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) graduate is an avid traveller and observer of different cultures with a deep interest in the performing arts and the dynamics between artist and audience.
As a ‘Home Chef’ Priyadarshini is also associated with Mumbai based food portals, curated kitchens and pop-up food stores. She is a regular with holachef.com, smallfry.com and onceuponatimeinmykitchen.com.
Ranjit is a dynamic, multifaceted musician and composer whose work ranges from composing music scores for Indian feature films to playing drums with such iconic musicians as Don Cherry, A.R. Rahman and John McLaughlin. His mother is the renowned Kathak dancer Sitara Devi. Anchored in the Indian classical tradition, he has emerged as one of the “leading edges in drumming”, according to jazz legend John McLaughlin in whose band The 4th Dimension he has occupied the drummer’s seat since 2011.
He has also had a long career in composition and music production, working out of his own state-of-the art studio facility in Mumbai. Interested in the “meeting points of different cultures”, his most recent album Bombay Makossa is a unique three-way fusion between African rhythms, Carnatic classical music and modern jazz. Together, mandolin maestro U. Shrinivas from Chennai, bass guitarist Étienne M’Bappé from Cameroon and Ranjit Barot form Chingari, a band that charts a daring path and creates a new musical hybrid.
Souvik launched AbstractLogix, an independent music website, label, and distribution channel in the US in 2003 on the open source principles of community, collaboration and transparency. Since then, the Abstractlogix site has offered a truly eclectic selection of CDs, DVDs, books and services that has made it one of the fastest growing commercial music sites on the Internet. A rare music company whose model is based on artistes benefiting from the free flow and sharing of information, Abstractlogix has an enviable roster of some of the most loved and respected musicians in progressive jazz, rock and fusion. They include John McLaughlin, Jimmy Herring, Alex Machacek, Gary Willis, Wayne Krantz, Oz Noy, Anthony Jackson, Gary Husband and Jeff Sipe among others.
AbstractLogix has consistently positioned itself at the cutting edge of every element of music - production, sales and distribution. In addition to traditional record label functions, AbstractLogix has fostered a vital community of musicians and fans via its online portal, constantly taking advantage of the ever-expanding possibilities of the digital revolution.
Maya, the Kathakali trained theatre artiste and teacher is known as one of the most versatile and electrifying theatre makers and performers in India today. Maya taught Acting at the National School of Drama, New Delhi for many years and continues to work in Education, with students and teachers on the use of drama as a teaching device in the classroom.
Her early training in Kathakali, the classical dance drama of Kerala, and years as a hands-on theatre teacher and artiste make her work rich in varied improvisation techniques. Maya’s fearless experimentation strikes a chord with young people and she is in great demand for performances and workshops in college and university campuses as well as arts festivals in India and abroad.
Maya is currently a professor in the Department of Education at the Shiv Nadar University where she is designing an Applied Theatre graduate programme due to begin in 2015. Maya was given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Acting in 2010.
Subhash has been a professional advertising man for 28 years, having worked with creative agencies like Ogilvy, Trikaya Grey, Ambience Publicis and Bates 141. He is now the founding managing partner & CEO of BBH India (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), one of the most renowned creative companies in the world.
Over the years, he has been associated with many famous brands and their subsequent success stories. At BBH today, he oversees an enviable portfolio of clients and brands like Unilever, Marico, Johnnie Walker, Skoda, C.R.Y. and Red Bull amongst others.
Beyond his obvious passion for brand building, Subhash has always loved his music. He is also part of a popular retro band called ‘Wanted Yesterday’ performing songs of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and the blues greats at packed venues like The Blue Frog in Mumbai and Delhi.
Along with famed classical violinist Kala Ramnath and friends, he has recently helped set up a charity foundation called ‘Kalashree’ with a vision to take musical education to the underprivileged children of India.
Born into a musically dedicated family, Shubha Mudgal has been trained by some of the finest musicians and musicologists in India. Trained by eminent scholar-musician-composer Pt. Ramashreya Jha "Ramrang", she also received guidance from Pt. Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya and Pt. Vasant Thakar. She later learnt stylistic techniques from well-known maestros Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki and Pt. Kumar Gandharva. She also received training in thumri from Smt. Naina Devi and is thus a versatile and popular performer.
In addition to being a performer, Shubha has also won recognition as a composer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Padma Shri from the Government of India in 2000, and the Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival in 1998.
She has also been closely involved with several projects related to music education in India. Formerly a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education constituted by the Government of India, Shubha also chaired a focus group discussing the need for introducing an arts education programme in mainstream school education during the National Curriculum Framework 2005. Shubha Mudgal has recently been appointed Nana Shirgaokar Visiting Research Professor at Goa University.
One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a disciple of Pt. Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a considerable repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas.
A popular performer at most prestigious concerts and festivals in the country, he has also recorded prolifically for national and international record labels accompanying a host of vocalists and instrumentalists.
He has also been featured on radio and television networks overseas and was one of the presenters for a radio series entitled “Perspectives – North Indian Classical Music” featured on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. His inputs on the rhythmic aspects of this system of music were of particular significance to this series.
Aneesh has also been a member of the Japan-based Asian Fantasy Orchestra since 1998, and an ongoing collaboration with the Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt, since 2003. As teacher and artist-in-residence, Aneesh has been involved with the University of New England, University of Mumbai and the Department of Music, Media and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Australia.
Aneesh is also the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd., an independent online record label that he established with vocalist Shubha Mudgal.
His study and research in the area of History, which he studied at the University of Mumbai has earned him a doctorate. He has been a keen researcher of trends in performance, music education and patronage that unfolded in the late 19th and early 20th century. He writes frequently on music for newspapers, journals and other publications in India and abroad and is also deeply involved in creating and developing educational material related to Indian music. He is the author of a children’s book on tabla, which is part of a forthcoming twelve-book series entitled Baajaa Gaajaa: Musical Instruments of India. He has also written Tabla: A Performer’s Perspective, which gives an overview of the stylistic features and performance contexts of the instrument.
Shubha Chaudhuri has a PhD in Linguistics. She has been with the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies, Delhi since its inception in 1982.
In the field of audio-visual archiving, her major interests have been database applications, research archives and ethnomusicology, issues of Intellectual Property Rights and community archives. She has presented papers at many national and international venues in these areas.
Her fieldwork has been in Western Rajasthan in India and more recently in Goa as well. She has co-authored with Daniel Neuman and Komal Kothari “Bards, Ballads and Boundaries: An Ethnographic Atlas of Music in West Rajasthan”, and co-edited with Anthony Seeger “Archives for the Future: Global Perspectives on Audio-visual Archiving in the 21st Century”, and “Remembered Rhythms: Essays on Diaspora and the Music of India”.
She has served as Vice-President of the International Association of Sound and Audio Visual Archives, the Executive Board of the International Council of Traditional Music (ICTM), and as council member of the Society of Ethnomusicology. She is currently National Representative of the ICTM.
Shubha Chaudhuri has been a consultant for the Ford Foundation in the area of audio-visual archiving for projects in India, Indonesia and Sudan. She has been active in holding training workshops for archiving and ethnomusicology, and served as consultant with the WIPO Creative Heritage Project and with UNESCO for the cultural mapping project as well as training workshops for the implementation of the 2003 Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention in Nepal, Bhutan and Lao PDR.
Pt. Nayan Ghosh, the only acclaimed maestro of two diverse fields – the tabla and the sitar, is considered a virtual treasure-house of vast musical information and an important reference source for music seekers.
Born in 1956, he has received intensive training over three decades in vocal music, tabla and sitar from his erudite and versatile father the tabla maestro Padmabhushan Pt. Nikhil Ghosh, an important 20th century musical figure. Nayanji’s elder uncle was the legendary Pannalal Ghosh, the ‘father of Hindustani Flute’.
A much respected tabla soloist and a brilliant sitar maestro in his own right, as a refined tabla accompanist, Nayanji has shared the stage with luminaries ranging from Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pt. Jasraj, to his contemporaries like Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Shahid Parvez and Vishwamohan Bhatt.
With a consistent performing career spanning over four decades, his solos have been featured in most of the major music festivals across India and around the world, with rave reviews in major international dailies. He has also taught at innumerable renowned universities across the globe. He has also collaborated with leading world music figures like pianist Yosuke Yamashita and guitarist Kazumi Watanabe of Tokyo, Kidd Jordan and Henry Butler of New Orleans, John Bailey of UK, Ross Daly of Greece, Paul Grant of Switzerland and Hu Ling of China among others.
A recipient of the 1998 Achievement Award from the Governor of California, Gray Davis, in Los Angeles, USA, Nayan Ghosh heads the famous music teaching and research institute in Mumbai founded by his father, the Sangit Mahabharati and is presently also a ‘Distinguished Guest Professor’ at IIT Bombay’s Cell for Human Values.