Hailing from Pune, Bharat Kamat is one of India’s leading tabla artists who has been well received not only by discerning audiences but also by the lay listener. At the tender age of five, Bharat started learning tabla from his father Pt.Chandrakant Kamat who himself has been a devoted disciple of Pt.Samata Prasad of the Benaras gharana. Bharat’s grandfather Pt. Shantatram Kamat was also a renowned stage-music artist and has several 78 rpm records to his credit. Bharat has thus inherited the ‘sur’ and ‘lai’ from his paternal side.
This inheritance of the ‘sur’ has helped Bharat to have a very sharp ear for music which is an important musical requirement, especially for accompaniment, and this is clearly reflected in all his performances. Bharat’s training comprised of traditional tabla compositions of the Benaras gharana. Accompanying all forms of vocal music (from keertan to khyal), instrumental music and dance has also been a part of his training.
Clarity, purity of theka and his tone have made Bharat a musician par excellence. His accompaniment clearly reflects a deep understanding of the musical requirements of various gharanas in khyal music. His equal mastery in accompanying thumri, dadra, natyasangeet, sugam sangeet has earned him repute as a very versatile artist. Over the years, Bharat attributes his musical maturity to Pt.Bhimsen Joshi, with whom he has accompanied for more than nineteen years. His performances have been appreciated by tabla maestros Pt.Anindo Chatterjee, Pt.Suresh Talwalkar and the world renowned Ustad Zakir Hussain
Bharat began his career with Pt.Jitendra Abhisheki in 1987. To name a few, he has accompanied eminent musicians like Pt.Mallikarjun Mansur, Vi.Kishori Amonkar, Smt. Malini Rajurkar, Pt.Jasraj, Smt. Shobha Gurtu, Smt. Girijadevi, Pt.Ulhas Kashalkar, Pt.Yeshwantbua Joshi, Dr.Arawind Thatte, Pt.Saumitra Lahiri, Pt.V.G.Jog, Ustad Usman Khan, Smt. Padma Talwalkar, Dr.Ashwini Bhide, Smt. Arati Anklikar. He has participated in all the leading music festivals in India and has toured the U.S.A., U.K., U.A.E, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Indonesia, Hong-Kong, for performances. He has several recordings to his credit, of which labels of H.M.V., Rhythm House, Navras records (London), Alurkar music house, Mystica records, Times music, Sagarika records, B.M.G Cresendo are worth a mention. He is a regular broadcaster with All India Radio and Doordarshan.
Apart from his busy performing career, he also finds time to teach aspiring students at his residence in Pune. Besides, students from abroad have also sought his tutelage. Yet, even today, Bharat is modest enough confess his role as a student of music and aspires to achieve greater heights in music.
He has been awarded the first prize for tabla by A.I.R. in 1991 and by Pune Municipal Corporation in 2000