Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drumset, and Indian classical music on tabla. His first few years were spent under the guidance of Ustad Zakir Hussain, and his own interests and love of tabla brought him to the great tabla maestro Pt Anindo Chatterjee, of whom he is now a dedicated disciple.
After graduating with a music performance BA, Gupta worked and taught in the Bay Area for 10 years as a jazz drummer, and later also as a classical Indian tabla player. Today he lives in Brooklyn, New York, and has been involved in performing and teaching through several organizations, including Carnegie Hall’s Global Encounters program on the music of India program. Gupta has held workshops on Indian music and cross over drumming styles, at The Jazzschool in Berkeley and Berklee College of Music in Boston. His influences range from Elvin Jones and Tony Williams to Ustad Allah Rakha and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. He has had the pleasure to play with many great musicians including Marc Cary, Rez Abbasi, Kiran Ahluwalia, Pt Krishna Bhatt, George Brooks, Mark Turner, Wallace Roney, Pt Chitresh Das, Jason Samuels Smith, Pt Ramesh Mishra, Pt Anindo Chatterjee, Grachan Moncur III, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Prince Lasha, Sonny Simmons, Vijay Iyer, Marcus Shelby and many other luminaries of music today.
Sameer continues to build his career by combining traditional and modern improvisational styles drawing from his Indian heritage and American roots. He has already established himself as an original musical voice in jazz, world, and fusion music. From his early percussion studies in Tokyo, Japan in the mid 80s, he has consistently placed himself in many challenging musical environments. From bebop to avant-garde jazz, and European classical percussion to North Indian classical tabla, Gupta continues to compose and perform music from a true multi-cultural perspective that now bridges several continents.