I truly feel that indian Classical Music is the nearest path to reach God!
Sawani was born on 18th August 1979 in a musically rich family, Sawani has been very fortunate to have her father and grandmother as her Gurus too. Sawani's grandmother, Smt.Kusum Shende, herself a noted singer of the Kirana Gharana and an honoured artist of the Sangeet Natak Era a quired Hindustani Classical music lessons from the two great sister maestros of the Kirana Gharana, Smt.Hirabal Badodekarji and Smt Saraswatibal Raneji. She also got to learn many Ragas and compositions from Pandit Chota Gandharvaji. She was also a disciple of Smt Shobha Gurtuji who introduced her to a whole new world of semi classical music and taught her innumerable Thumris and Dadras Sawani's father, Pandit Sanjeev Shende, who learnt classical music from his mother, also had the privilege later to receive semi classical guidance from Smt. Shobha Gurtuji and Pandit Ajay Pohankar. Thus Sawani was amidst rich musical notes, right from her childhood. Sawani used to happily sit for hours together listening to her grandmother teaching many disciples
She grasped the musical combinations with ease, even though they were not directly taught to her. Sawani's parents and her grandmother noticed Sawani's interest in music and decided to start teaching her. Thus at the tender age of six, Sawani's musical journey began with long hours of daily 'Riyaz' under the expertise of her grandmother and father. Sawani was God gifted with an intense Sur' and 'Taal'sense. She grasped the detailed nuances of Raga grammar with ease.reason why Sawani’s mehfils are highly acclaimed by both the experts and the general audiences of music.
Sawani often feels that her grandmother has such a vast treasure of music that she can never really learn everything. Kusumtai always encouraged Sawani to hear music of all Gharanas, all artists. She always believes that an artist learns a lot even by listening to masters who have sacrificed their lives to music. Art is always greater than an artist
Sawani's father,Pandit Sanjeev Shende gave Sawani a very aesthetic vision to look at music. He believes that 'Sur' is a universal truth and a beautiful note touches your heart for sure whether be it in a classical form, a semi classical or a light music form. He has himself composed many melodious semi classical compositions and along with Sawani is teaching innumerable students to share his happiness with all and also keep alive this rich musical tradition.
Quest for more and more knowledge in music brought Sawani to learn more music under the expert guidance of Dr. Smt Veena Sahastrabuddhe, a noted classical vocalist from Gwalior Gharana. Sawani got to learn lots of different Ragas, Taan patterns and Taranas from her. Under her tutilage, Sawani also got to learn more professional details to make her singing only more perfect. Veenatai taught her with great passion as she loved the sincerity and talent of this young student of hers.
Sawani made her debut at the age of 10 to celebrate her grandmother’s 61st birthday in Pune. The hall was full of great Pandits and maestros of classical music.Sawani sang Raag Baageshri for half an hour in such a way that everybody present there was astonished to see the maturity in her singing at such a tender age. Veenatai then took Sawani with her to Kanpur to sing in her father’s memory there.
The journey of concerts started when Sawani was invited to perform at the prestigious Pt.Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Samaroh in Delhi when she was just 13. On the same day, in the evevning, Sawani was honoured when she performed for the then President of India, honourable,Mr.R.Venkatraman at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.Since then she has never looked back.
There have been many famous musical families in India.Many musicians among them have pursued the same stream of music as their ancestors or their elder sisters and brothers.But this is a unique case where the the two Shende sisters, Sawani and Bela have chosen two very different fields in Indian music and have excelled in their own respective ones.Sawani, chose the Hindustani classical field as her career as she feels that her temperament suits this type of music and her inborn creativity blossoms in the classical field.On the other hand, Bela chose the light music field due to her inborn liking for the same and also a high pitch voice with no octave barriers.She is now a leading playback singer in the industry and still learns classical music with Sawani.
Sawani’s musical career has blossomed throughout with her Gurus to guide her always. But she always admits with great love that she couldn’t have reached to such a height in music without the intense moral support of her mother.Sawani’s mother, Mrs.Medha Shende , a post graduate in Social Work and having worked in this field for about twenty-five years, took lot of pains to groom both her siblings, Sawani and Bela in their musical career, also balancing her own career on one side and looking after every small thing to make her home a perfect sweet home.
It is not very easy initially for any child to sacrifice the most precious playtime and concentrate on long hours of music practice after school.Education is also given utmost importance along with music in this family of rich medical background along with great musicians. It was always very exhausting to put in lot of efforts in music and education at that tender age, leaving no time for Sawani to actually experience the little joys of a normal childhood.Her mother made her understand the fact that all this hard work and sacrifice will definitely make her unique in the long run.She was constantly by her side in all those delicate moments in her life.It was only due to her that Sawani excelled in both music as well as studies to maintain the distinction level right upto MCom.
Sawani now is blessed with very loving in-laws too. Her husband Nikhil and her in-laws are great lovers of classical music and wish that Sawani continues her musical career with the same zeal as before. They support her in every way. Its very necessary for an artist to have peace of mind while pursuing a musical career. Music lovers always sense that peace of mind in Sawani’s performance.