Niladri Kumar is a world-renowned and fifth generation sitar player. The son of sitar player Kartick Kumar, a disciple of Ravi Shankar, Niladri began learning sitar under his father at the age of four. Kumar gave his first public performance at the age of six at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.
Niladri has been featured in over 20 international and national albums, received numerous awards, and performed across the globe. Niladri was a part of the Masters of Percussion tour, alongside Zakir Hussain. He has also worked with Jonas Hellborg and V. Selvaganesh on their album “Kali’s Son,” and with John McLaughlin on the album “Floating Point.” Additionally, Niladri has worked with various music directors in Hindi cinema, including A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and Pritam.
In March of 2007, Niladri was conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, which is awarded to young musicians. He has also won an MTV Immies award for the Best Classical/Fusion Instrumental for his album, “If”. In March of 2013, Niladri won the MN Mathur Award in the 51st Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Samaroh for his contribution to Indian classical music.
Niladri created the Zitar—a modified, electric version of the sitar—which he used to compose his first full track album (titled “Zitar”) in 2008.