Mike Lukshis has dedicated his life to the study and growth of the Indian classical percussion instrument tabla through performance, teaching, and community building. He is accomplished as a solo artist as well as in accompaniment to Indian classical dance and instrumental music. Based in New Jersey, he currently serves as the manager and tabla faculty at Taalim School of Indian Music. With 20 years of direct, gurukul style training by tabla guru and composer Pandit Divyang Vakil (fondly referred to as “Guruji”), Mike Lukshis has been imbued with the living tradition of tabla solo playing.
Mike's experience in performing goes beyond tabla solo, kathak dance accompaniment, and Indian classical music accompaniment. Throughout the past decade,he has performed at notable venues across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and India, capturing audiences with unforgettable live experiences.
Among his notable showcases are captivating performances at the following iconic venues:
New York, NY USA
New Brunswick, NJ USA
State Theatre New Jersey
Washington, D.C. USA
Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center
Ciudad de las Idea
Princeton, NJ, USA
Princeton Festival, McCarter Theatre
Brooklyn, NY USA
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
He has also performed with many American based rock and pop bands as well as ensembles of Iranian, bluegrass, Western classical, jazz, Jewish, and other genres.
In addition to his performing career, Mike Lukshis has taught hundreds of students of all ages and backgrounds as well as conducted numerous master classes, workshops and lecture demonstrations on the fundamentals of Indian classical dance and music at various schools, universities and arts and cultural institutions across the US.
With unwavering care and dedication, Mike adeptly imparts knowledge to his students, tailoring his approach to meet their individual learning requirements. His profound understanding and passion for the tabla permeate his teachings as he passionately instills the subtle intricacies of this performing art in his students. Through his constant encouragement and guidance, he motivates them to progress through each stage of learning, ultimately guiding them towards discovering and unlocking their true artistic potential. Mike Lukshis is committed tosharing the joys, grandeur and the rich cultural heritage of Indian classical music with diverse communities across the globe.
Pandit Divyang Vakil (known as Guruji, or “respected teacher”) is a world renowned Indian rhythm composer, Guru of “Taalvidya”, Spirituality and Philosophy. Driven by an unwavering passion, Guruji has dedicated himself to the revival of traditional Indian performing arts, the preservation of its rich cultural legacy, and the exploration of music's unique and universal essence.
With an illustrious teaching career spanning over four decades, he has nurtured and mentored countless professionals in the field of music. Renowned for his mastery as an intricate rhythm composer, he crafts captivating compositions, both traditional and contemporary, for the revered Indian classical percussion instrument, the Tabla, as well as a wide array of world percussion instruments. Through his guidance and expertise, he continues empowering revered musicians and percussionists worldwide, enabling them to embrace the foundational principles of the Indian classical rhythm system and seamlessly integrate them into their own musical instruments, thus expanding the horizons of rhythmic expression across cultures.
His spiritual works emphasize and explore the profoundness of the three major aspects of Spirituality; Music – Knowledge – Yoga. Throughout a dedicated span of more than two decades, he has conducted in-depth research on the topic of “Death”, one of the vastly ignored subjects by mankind. Delving into the intricate realms of rhythm and the art of dying, he has embarked on extensive research, immersing himself in the diverse philosophies, concepts, and rituals revolving around “Death” across various religions in the world.
Pioneering the groundbreaking "Taalvidya" program specifically tailored for Kathak dancers, he provides extensive rhythm training to over 500 Kathak dancers, students and professionals which aims at providing a deeper understanding of the intricate rhythmic patterns that form the very foundation of this mesmerizing art form. Through this transformative training, artists gain invaluable insights into the fundamental structure of Kathak, unlocking a myriad of new possibilities for exploration and artistic expression.
Guided by Guruji’s profound wisdom and vision, a multitude of transcendent events have graced the global stage for over three decades, celebrating the richness, versatility, and intricacy of Indian classical music and percussion. These remarkable gatherings have not only fostered harmonious collaborations among performing artists and professionals hailing from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds but also facilitated a profound exchange of treasured cultural values, ethical principles, and ancestral wisdom. Recognizing their collective efforts in revitalizing and preserving our cultural heritage, these events have significantly elevated the status of Arts, Music, and Culture in the current era.
Learn more at panditdivyangvakil.com