Dayita Datta is a performer, educator, collaborator, and ardent advocate of North Indian Classical music who has been teaching and performing across Southern California for more than a decade. She is the founder, director of Shruti Music Academy, a premier North Indian Classical music institute where students learn different intricacies of North Indian Classical Vocal music based on the age-appropriate curriculum. The institution quickly adapted to the ongoing pandemic situation and has been successfully conducting classes as well as student concerts over zoom for the last three years.
Dayita was a student of legendary Hindustani vocalist Late Vidushi Lakshmi Shankar for a decade and continues her musical journey under the tutelage of eminent Hindustani vocalist Pandit Sandip Ghosh. She has also studied Rabindrasangeet (songs written and composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore) under the tutelage of Late Smt. Bulbul Sengupta, an acclaimed singer and retired Dean of Fine Arts, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India.
Dayita is a recipient of the “Music Apprentice” and “Music Development” grant from Alliance for California Traditional Arts, under the auspices of Late Vidushi Lakshmi Shankar and Pandit Sandip Ghosh, respectively. Dayita has also been awarded an "Individual Artist" 2016-2017 grant by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. She and her fellow musicians from different genres collaborated as part of a project called "Raga Essence" and had the privilege to perform three times in a row at "ArtNight Pasadena", a signature cultural event produced twice a year by the Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Pasadena.
Dayita has collaborated with the renowned string quartet "Quartetto Fantastico" at the annual Los Angeles Grand Performances in Aug 2011. She has also collaborated with renowned cellist Pete Jacobson, and harpist Kaffee Mimun at various ArtNight Pasadena events. Dayita has also featured as the lead vocalist in numerous Shakti Group productions directed by Viji Prakash, the renowned Bharata Natyam protagonist. Some of her other key performances have been at Music Circle, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Barbara; California State University, Los Angeles; James Armstrong Theater; Pasadena Conservatory of Music; Pasadena Central Library, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Michael J. Fox Theater, Burnaby, BC, Hindu Temple of Antelope Valley, to name a few.
As an Orff certified music specialist at the Children’s Center of California Institute of Technology for last 14 years, Dayita had the opportunity to assimilate Western pedagogical aspects with traditional forms of Classical Indian Music, using compositions in Ragas, clapping patterns with Indian Taals (Rhythm structure) and solfege (system for singing notes), and playing Orff (Barred) instruments. As part of her student ensembles, Dayita has included Soprano and Alto Recorders, soprano, alto, and bass Xylophones, Glockenspiel along with Indian percussion instrument Tabla and Indian classical vocal composition. Dayita has conducted various Educator Workshops for Pasadena City College’s Child Development Workshop Initiative(CDWFI), Children’s Center at Caltech, and Early Childhood Stem Conference held at Costa Mesa and Pasadena, California since 2014.
Dayita strives to play an active part in spreading the awareness of North Indian Classical music across the diverse local communities and build a strong support base with a deep appreciation of this rich ancient traditional art form.