Deepak is an incredibly versatile artist who is well known for his evocative performances in traditional North Indian 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, India 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, Melvin Peters and Bheki Mseleku, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Yousseff and the popular South African band Tananas. Most recently, Deepak performed with South African musicians like Sibongile Khumalo and Rwandan diva, Cecile, on Robben Island in South Africa's millennium concert hosted by presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
Deepak has six 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, Stealth, India-Kingdom of the Tiger and the Indian film, Maya.
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 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 Ozgen, was premiered at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
One of Deepak Ram's fortes is his ability to communicate his knowledge, making him an excellent teacher. 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 United Kingdom, Ireland, Holland and South Africa. He also has several publications to his credit, including an instruction booklet, Harmonium Made Easy.