Joshua Feinberg

Instructor of Sitar and Indian Instrumental Music

“…one of the best artists today.”

- Pandit Jasraj, living legend of Hindustani Music, speaking after a standing ovation at Josh’s recital and award ceremony in Hyderabad, India (2/5/19)

 “Josh’s sensitive yet controlled handling of the instrument with touch, strokes and glides, and subsequent production of tonal and microtonal effects was a testimony to his genius.”

- The Tribune, Chandigarh, India (1/26/19) Review of a performance at Pracheen Kala Kendra in Chandigarh, India

Celebrated as a leading sitarist of his generation and a torchbearer for the Maihar Gharana, Josh is one of the most original and dynamic sitarists in the world. Recently given an award in cross-cultural understanding from the legendary vocalist Pt. Jasarj, he represents the future of sitar in the 21st century. Josh’s establishment as a leading sitarist is made all the more important as Hindustani music is Josh’s adoptive musical culture. A self-described “musical immigrant,” Josh’s music and presence inspires musicians and listeners alike, and serves as a unifying force bringing people together from different cultures and walks of life.

Josh is a one of the elite few young musicians who have performed with some of the top tabla artists in the world including Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri, Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, and Pt Kumar Bose. Josh is a regular performer at the Chicago World Music Festival and has performed for the Lotus World Music Festival, Harvard University, New England Conservatory, and countless other venues and festivals around the world.

Josh began his musical training at 4 years old with western classical and jazz on piano and bass in New York City, studying with some of the most accomplished musicians on the scene. He was hailed as a prodigy performing in jazz venues and concert halls across the New York area including Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, and many others. In his teens, Josh fell in love with the music of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, and shifted his focus to sitar and Hindustani music.

Josh is a student of the Maihar Gharana (school of playing) and has earned the love and respect of connoisseurs of Hindustani music, as well art-music communities around the world. One of the first non-Indian musicians to be accepted as a leading performer, he has learned with sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan as well as Ust. Aashish Khan, Sri Alam Khan, Pt. Tejendra Majumdar, Dr. Peter Row, Dr. George Ruckert, Sri James Pomerantz, Sri Warren Senders and Smt. Vijaya Sundaram.

Josh recorded his debut album, Homage, featuring tabla maestro Swapan Chaudhuri and released his second album, One Evening in Spring, in November 2014 featuring tabla maestro Anindo Chatterjee. Josh’s second album with Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, A Fallen Blossom in the Thorns was released in early 2017. Josh has also accompanied Sri Alam Khan, the son of Ust. Ali Akbar Khan, in the US and India at prestigious venues such as the Saptak Festival in Ahmedabad, and the Dover Lane Music Conference in Kolkata. (Saptak and Dover Lane are two of the biggest Hindustani music festivals in the world with thousands of people in attendance.) Josh also accompanied Alam-ji for a for a national broadcast for Doordarshan, one of the largest TV networks in India. Josh has performed as a soloist all over the world organizations including regular appearances at the Chicago World Music Festival, Lotus World Music Festival, Milapfest UK, Durham University in the UK, Purdue University, Prithvi Theater in Mumbai, Chowdhury House Music Conference in Kolkata, the Rahimat Khan Music Festival in Dharwad, Basant Bahar in San Francisco, The Music Circle in LA, Ragamala in Seattle, Kalakendra in Portland, Chhandayan in New York City, Harvard University, ITCSRA in Kolkata, SPICMACAY in Delhi, Sangit Mahabharati in Mumbai, Ragamala Toronto, Chhandayan NYC, and the Ravi Shankar Institute for Music and Performing Arts among many others. Josh’s concerts have been very well received, garnering rave reviews, especially in Kolkata and Pune. He has been hailed as the torchbearer for the Pt. Nikhil Banerjee baj of the Maihar Gharana.

In 2013, Josh published a sitar method book for the Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest music publisher. Josh has performed throughout the US, Canada, India and Europe and has also collaborated with artists such as Alam Khan, Savion Glover, Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock), Patrick Lamb, Gideon Freudmann (with music featured on the Showtime drama Weeds), David Ornette Cherry (Don Cherry), and many others. Josh has a Bachelors in Music from New England Conservatory, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Goddard College. He currently teaches at Lewis & Clark College, and Reed College in Portland, and has offered courses at the University of Oregon.

Josh is the executive director of Jalsaghar, a community-based music school and concert organization based in Portland, Oregon. Jalsaghar brings world-class artists in a professionally presented baithak (house concert) format to both serve the music community globally and in Portland. Josh teaches regularly both in Portland and online and lives life to the fullest with his poet-wife Jessica Pierce and two kids Sophia and Noah.

“Josh Feinberg is one of the most sought after sitar players of the present times. His approach towards the art of Indian classical music through his instrument has made his name secured in the younger generation of musicians. Apart from being deep rooted in the tradition, his playing impresses both the classes and the masses. He is undoubtedly one of the most prominent torch bearers of the Senia Maihar Gharana.”

- Anubrata Chatterjee, famous tabla player and son of Pandit Anindo Chatterjee

“In October of 2018, Josh Feinberg gave an outstanding performance on the Raag-Mala Toronto stage. His music was clearly steeped in the Indian paramparic classical tradition, where teachings are passed on from masters to students over many generations. He brought a stage presence to our concert that was commanding, warm and engaging. His raagdari (unfolding of the ragas/melodies) was nuanced and compelling. Our audience was greatly impressed.”

- Mohamed Khaki, president of Raga-mala Toronto