The “Raga Essence” ensemble is deep-rooted into the spirituality of age-old traditional form of Indian Classical music and plans to collaborate with artists from different genres to spread the awareness of North Indian Classical music across the diverse local communities and build a deep appreciation of this rich ancient traditional art form. 


Dayita Datta, the director of the project “Raga Essence” has been performing at various venues around Southern California for the last 13 years as well as teaching North Indian Classical music to school-age children and adults across the San Gabriel Valley area in Southern California. Dayita's elaborate training of North Indian Classical music under the auspices of late legendary vocalist Vidushi Lakshmi Shankar, and she continued learning from Pandit Sandip Ghosh with an amalgamation of Western Classical music that she learned as an undergraduate and continues to do so as a music specialist helps to create collaborative musical experiences. 

The following artists have been part of the ensemble at various venues: 

JyotiPrakas an accomplished tabla artist, has performed extensively in India and United States. He has studied tabla under internationally renowned artist Pandit Abhijit Banerjee. He has accompanied various internationally acclaimed musicians such as Pt. Jasraj, Vidushi Purnima Chowdhury, and Viraj Amar on vocal, Pt. Keshav Ginde on flute, Pt. K.Sidhar on sarod, Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya on santoor, Kathak Dancer Pt. Chitresh Das, Tap Dancer Jason Samuel Smith, just to name a few.  He resides in Southern California and teaches in Los Angeles, Irvine, Riverside, and the San Diego area.

Pete Jacobson is a cellist, producer, songwriter-singer, chamber musician, teacher and music selector who has recorded, performed, and toured with renowned artists. He studied with Eleonore Schoenfeld at USC as well as at Cal Arts and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He performs with Grammy-winning Southwest Chamber Music, the Arohi Ensemble, the 440's, SANGAM, and the Hutchins Consort. 

Kaffee Mimun is an active musician performing, teaching, writing and arranging music in Orange County. Her music studio is home to a growing number of aspiring musicians. With her music studio and a teaching position at Orange County High School of the Arts, Kaffee inspires the next generation of musicians. Kaffee attended Oklahoma City University, received her Bachelor degree in Piano Performance. She later moved to California, on a full scholarship, she studied with harpist JoAnn Turovsky at the University of Southern California and received Doctorate of Musical Arts in harp performance. 

Link to 2017 ArtNight performance 

Link to 2016 ArtNight performance