Dheeraj hails from Varanasi which has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years. Also known as Ashish, he is one of the exciting dynamic young Tabla players of his generation and brings a laid back modern groove to the eight generation old Benares Gharana tradition he represents. At the age of 7, Dheeraj became a disciple of his grandfather the legendary Pt Sharda Sahai, the founder of PRSSV and the direct descendant of Pt Ram Sahai ji the founder of the Benares Gharana.
Dheeraj’s debut performance was at ‘Gritma’ at the age of 13 and since then he has performed in many festivals across India and Europe. He has accompanied many leading artists including Padma Vibhushan Girija Devi (vocalist), Amar Nath Mishra (sitarist), Ravi Shankar Mishra (Kathak dancer) as well as many upcoming young artists.
Dheeraj is a versatile artist equally at home with the formalities of the Tabla solo and classical accompaniment, the lighter forms of Thuri and Ghazal, and is developing new fusion works with Blues, Greek, Celtic and other artists. He has a Master’s Degree in Music from Benares Hindu University and is a gold medallist. He is currently resident artist and teacher at PRSSV in London.