Deepak Ram


“Phenomenal flute playing, accomplished performer and composer.” — London Guardian, 1998

“This is an artist in the real sense of the word.” — Blues and Soul, London 1998

“South African composer Deepak Ram’s score is rich and haunting and innovative without straying too far from its ancient roots.” — Cape Times, South Africa, 1987

Deepak Ram is a versatile artist who is well known for his evocative performances in traditional North Indian (Hindustani) Classical Music, his collaborations with musicians of other genres, his innovative compositions and for his excellence as a teacher.


Deepak Ram’s first love is north Indian classical music. Indeed, he is an accomplished soloist. He is a delightful and captivating performer, combining technical mastery with personal charm. He has performed in the United States of America (where he is currently based), South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, Lebanon, Turkey and Holland and had the honor of accompanying his teacher, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, in Geneva, London and Paris.

Deepak began his formal training in bansuri and tabla under Sri Jeram Bhana in South Africa in 1975. Two years later he was off to Mumbai, India to study flute under the late Sri Suryakant Limaye (India’s master flute maker); he simultaneously spent a short time under flautist, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. It was in 1981 that his dream was realized when he became the disciple of the celebrated flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (with whom he continues to study from time to time). During this period he also studied tabla under Sri Yashwant Padhye and music theory and voice under Pandit Rajaram Shukla. Deepak earned a Masters degree in Music (MMus) from Rhodes University, South Africa, in 1996 for his thesis, “Exploring Syncretism Between Indian and Western Music Through Composition”.

Deepak’s versatility is apparent in his numerous collaborations with musicians of various genres. These include performances with jazz pianists Darius Brubeck and Bheki Mseleku, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Yousseff and the popular South African band Tananas. On January 1 2000, Deepak performed with South African musicians like Sibongile Khumalo and the Rwandan diva, Cecile, on Robben Island in South Africa’s millennium concert hosted by presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Deepak has seven solo albums to his credit and as a session musician can be heard on over twenty-five albums. His bansuri can also be heard on movie soundtracks, such as “The Fast And The Furious”, “Matrix Revolutions”, “India, Kingdom of the Tiger”, “Stealth” and “Before The Rains”.

In 2000 Deepak was awarded Best Instrumental Album at the South African Music Awards for his album “Searching for Satyam”. His previous album “Flute for Thought” also saw him being nominated for Best Male Artist and Best Instrumental Album in the 1999 South African Music Awards. Both these albums as well as Beauty in Diversity feature Deepak’s compositions and arrangements based on elements of north Indian music.

Deepak’s knowledge of both Indian and western traditions is evident in his compositions which range from pieces for jazz groups, western flute quartets (flute, violin, viola and cello), choral works and ballets to orchestral pieces. His last work “SURYA” for classical guitar and bansuri, commissioned by the award-winning guitarist Mesut Özgen was premiered at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Deepak is currently working on music for bansuri and string quartet.

One of Deepak Ram’s fortes is his ability to communicate his knowledge, making him an excellent teacher. Most recently, he served as visiting professor in Indian Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lectured full time for four years at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa, and has conducted many workshops in Indian music in the USA, United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. He also has several publications to his credit, including an instruction booklet, “Harmonium Made Easy”.

From The Press:

“Ram is certainly an accomplished player, displaying a technical mastery reminiscent of his famous teacher’s… Ram’s playing is mysterious and haunting. Ram proves on this recording (Prasad) that he’s likely to become a central figure in a new generation of Indian musicians.” — Gerry Farrell, Songlines, U.K., November & December, 2002

“His work was impressive. He made emotional and technical magic come out of that close-to-a-yard-long wooden instrument. He proved that he possesses the lungs, the lips, and the fingers to control his ungainly flute. And he conveyed feeling ever so effectively as each raga moved from melismatic, heart-of-space exhortation to virtuoso exhibitionism, from carried-on-a-breeze atmospherics to rip-snorting pyrotechnics.” — Peter Jacobi, Herald-Times Reviewer, Bloomington, IN, 2001

“…Phenomenal flute playing, accomplished performer and composer” — London Guardian, 1998

“...This is an artist in the real sense of the word...” — Blues and Soul, London, 1998

“Deepak is a master of the bansuri flute, a haunting traditional Indian instrument that he mixes masterfully with acoustic jazz improvisation. Music for the soul, make no mistake.” — Wax Magazine, 1999

“He provides a round even tone, with a purity which commands a gamut of dynamics. No speed is too fast if the music demands it, and any player would envy his flutter-tonguing.” — Grocotts Mail, Grahamstown, 1989

“He is able to make this deceptively simple looking instrument do astonishing things. At first recitative, with impeccable phrasing, it is soon clear that he is equally at home with turns and runs.” — Natal Witness, Pietermaritzburg, 1990

“He does not play his instrument, he is his instrument. It seems as though the breath of a melody was passing through the air which he simply reached up and caught in his flute.” — Daily News, Durban, 1991

“The music was almost therapeutic. Its melodies seemed to occupy an element somewhere between water and air.” — Rhodeo, Grahamstown, 1989

“South African composer Deepak Ram’s score is rich and haunting innovative without straying too far from its ancient roots.” — Cape Times, 1987

More Reviews, Articles and Interviews...

As Guest Musician, Soundtracks & Compilations:

  • Matrix Revolutions – Soundtrack w/ Don Davis
  • Hariprasad Chaurasia, Live in Paris, Krishnadwani Vol. 2, 1 Raga Jog
  • Buddha Bar V.1: Mixed By Claude Challe
  • Buddha Bar III
  • Putumayo Presents: Asian Groove
  • Putumayo Presents: India
  • Global Vibes
  • Jazz’in & Jive’in
  • Rough Guide To South African Jazz
  • Dhafer Youssef — Malak
  • Dhafer Youssef — Electric Sufi
  • Claude Chalhoub – Self-Titled
  • Tananas — Orchestra Mundo
  • Transglobal Underground with Natacha Atlas — Psychic Karaoke
  • Vas – Feast of Silence
  • Krishna Lila – DJ Cheb I Sabbah
  • Gathering Forces – Deepak Ram & Darius Brubeck – B&W, UK
  • Gathering Forces, Vol. 2 – Deepak Ram & Darius Brubeck – B&W, UK
  • India – Kingdom of the Tiger IMAX Soundtrack w/ Michael Brook
  • Indian Dream, Volume 1 – Emam
  • Mantra: Premananda & Turkantam
  • Mesut Ozgen & Friends – New Dimensions in Classical Guitar — DVD