Christopher Hale Sitar
North Indian Classical Sitar and Vocals
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Biography

Christopher Dicran Hale was born in Albany, New York in 1968. Within a year, he accompanied his parents, both of whom were doctors, to a remote mountain village in the country of Nepal.

Super 8 Video Footage from childhood in Nepal in 1970.

Besides being a pediatrician, his mother was also a concert pianist. The music of his childhood was a combination of western classical music and Nepali folk songs.

During his adolescence at Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India, he was introduced to the sitar by his first guru, Ajit Singh. Being involved with the Jazz program there, he also studied several other western instruments and formed his first rock band.

Between 1987 and 1990, he studied jazz guitar and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was during this time that he was influenced by Joseph Gabriel Maneri, one of the leading figures in microtonal music.

Returning to India in 1990 he became the vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Olio. In 1993 he attended Bhatkhande Music College, in Lucknow, to focus on sitar. Christopher toured across India and produced two records with Olio until it disbanded in 1999.

“Surulurulu” by Olio, Live in Manipur, India, 1996

During a trip to England in 1999 he formed the Indian devotional group Aradhna with guitarist Pete Hicks. This partnership prompted a move to New York City in 2000, and a study period with surbahar player Shubha Sankaran. In 2002, sitarist Paul Livingstone introduced Christopher to his current sitar guru, Partha Chatterjee, foremost disciple of sitar master Pt. Nikhil Banerjee. He also had the opportunity to study Hindustani vocal music with Pt. Rajeev Taranath. Christopher continued to tour as vocalist and sitarist with Aradhna from 2000-2012, performing across North America, India, Europe, South Africa, and the Caribbean, and recording and releasing eight albums.

“Mukteshwar” by Aradhna

Currently Christopher performs in weddings, corporate gigs, and public shows in Toronto, as well as teaching sitar and Hindustani vocal music from his home where he has lived with his wife since 2004.