Trio Benares - World Music

Trio Benares "Assi Ghat"

Trio Benares winner of best German critic award 2016


read more about Trio Benares

Deobrat Mishra, Sitar
Roger Hanschel, Sax
Prashant Mishra, Tabla

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Trio Benares

“Exciting, virtuosic, sensual, beautiful!“
There has been a force of gravity between Indian classical music and jazz for many decades -- the push and pull of improvisation, the exciting rhythmic language.
Founded in 2014, the Trio Benares continues on this path of tradition.
As part of a seventh generation musical family, sitar player Deobrat Mishra has reached a prominent place amongst his peers. In collaboration with his nephew Prashant Mishra, a
rising star among Indian tabla players, he forms a perfect unit. Roger Hanschel, surely one of the most extravagant, multifaceted saxophone players and composers of contemporary jazz, communes with the sensual and brilliant sound of Deobrat Mishra‘s sitar. In turn, Hanschel‘s rhythmic finesse finds its equivalent in the virtuosic tabla playing of Prashant
Mishra. While steeped in tradition, Trio Benares brings a freshness to both musical styles.

Deobrat Mishra

Deobrat Mishra is no doubt one of the most energetic and innovative sitar artists of India.Selectivity, melody and rhythmic complexity are typical features in his lively playing style. Born in 1976, he represents the 11th generation of the Benares Gharana tradition. As a young child he studied tabla with his mother, Pramila Mishra, who is the granddaughter of the well -known tabla player Pandit Baiju Mishra of Benares. He started by studying vocal music with his father at the age of five and began his sitar lessons a year later. That same year, after only six months of studying the sitar, he gave his first public performance on stage. Five years later, he performed for the first time on the All India Radio.Since 1994 he has been touring throughout Europe with his father. In the same year he waschosen to receive the award of the best young sitar player of India by Youth Festival.
In 2000 he received the “Jewels of Sound Award”(Sur Mani) in Mumbai. His many projects include music workshops, solo performances for radio and television as well as world music programs with Indian and European artists. Moreover, he is the one in charge of cultural events and music lessons provided by the Academy of Indian Classical Music, the school he
founded along with his father, Pandit Shivnath Mishra, in 2006. He received a Masters degree in sitar from the Prayag Sangit Samiti in Allahabad.
In 2010 Deobrat Mishra played with Indian musician in Denmark for Global Voices of percussion. Musicians from all over the world performed and Deobrat Mishra represent Indian music
in this festival.
In June 12th 2012 Mishras create history of conducting Orchestra of 108 sitar players in Varanasi- India. Total musicians where 151 including Tabla and Flute players. Music was created by Pandit Shivnath Mishra.

Prashant Mishra

Prashant Mishra is one of the best young Tabla player of benaresGharana. When he was five he started to learn tabla with the family member of Biru Mishra of Varanasi also studying
Tabla presently with Mr.Chakkan lal Mishra (Student of Great Tabla player Anokhelal Mishra.
Soon after few years of hard practice with his grandfather Pandit Shivanath Mishra and uncle Deobrat Mishra he was able to perform with Mishras his skills beautifully compliment
and support the Mishras in their concerts and travel around the world with them. In 2004 he won first prize in Tabla competition organized by Sangeet Natak Academy Uttar Pradesh India.He received many awards for his tabla playing at many different places.


After beginning his musical education at a young age, Roger Hanschel then began to play the saxophone at the age of 11. Early on he developed a fascination for jazz and improvised music and at 14 founded his first group in which he was able to realize his musical visions.
From 1981 to 1987 he studied saxophone at the music academy in Cologne, Germany. At this point, original composition became a major emphasis in his work, along with performing on the saxophone. There he founded the group NANA in 1983 with Hans Lüdemann (piano), Rainer Linke (bass), and Klaus Mages (drums) working extensively with them until 1988. From NANA the group BLAU FRONTAL emerged. This group published 2 CDs between 1989 and 1993, one a trio and one in cooperation with Mark Feldmann and Hank Roberts.
In 1986 he studied at the “School for Fine Arts” in Banff, Canada with Dave Liebmann, Dave Holland, Richie Beirach, and others.
Hanschel is a member of the KÖLNER SAXOPHON MAFIA since 1987. The ensemble has received four German Record Prizes as well as the SWR
(Southern German Radio) Jazz Prize in 1999.
In 1994 Hanschel founded the group PLANET BLOW along with Lu Hübsch (tuba) and Jörn Schipper (drums) with whom he toured intensively until 1999. Two CDs record this work. After a tour of India, PLANET BLOW played numerous concerts with the Asian-Indian singer SANDHYA SANJANA. He frequently collaborated with singer GABRIELE HASLER, and regularly performed live with her. They recorded 5 CDs together and were the recipients of the Ensemble-competition „Jazz Arts 2003“ prize (Germany).
From 1994 to 1998 he performed in a duo with the Dutch cellist ERNST REIJSEGER.
He became a member of the STEFFEN SCHORN SEPTET in 1998 and is now performs with Schorn‘s UNIVERSE OF POSSIBILITIES.
In 1999 and 2003 he played in the KLAUS KÖNIG ORCHESTRA.
In January 1998 he presented his music for saxophone and string quartet with the title “years of the fifth period.” For this project he collaborated with the FRANKFURT CONTEMPORARY QUARTET, the string section of the ENSEMBLE MODERN. A CD of the same name was released in January 2000.
He also performed “years of the fifth period” with the AURYN QUARTET while on a three-week tour of South America under the auspices of the Goethe Institute in September 2001.
In 2000, along with Steffen Schorn and Dirk Mündelein, he founded TRIOSPHERE, which released their first CD in 2004 (winner of the German Record Critics‘ Prize). Triosphere won the Ensemble-competition „Jazz Arts 2003,“ the same year his duo with Hasler won a prize.
In addition Hanschel is frequently called upon for cross-culture collaborations: in a trio with Stefan Heidtmann (keyboards) and Klaus Kugel (drums, percussion) Hanschel participated
in new music/film production called ORNAMENTS OF LIGHT AND SOUND (with Ruth Hommelsheim, film; video art)
In 2006 he founded the quartet ROGER HANSCHELS HEAVY ROTATION (with Markus Segschneider, Dietmar Fuhr, and Daniel Schröteler (currently Bodek Janke)).
Since 2007 he has been performing SOLO CONCERTS throughout Europe and released his first complete solo CD in March 2011.
Since 2010 he teaches saxophone at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. He has most recently collaborated as a soloist with the NORWEGIAN WIND ENSEMBLE, the NDR BIG BAND (Germany), and GOTLAND MUSIKEN (Sweden).

News paper  critics citations.....

“... the young, well-traveled Indians and the experienced Hanschel display virtuoso playfulness: They slide from the dance-like to the contemplative, break out of the fine beauty of predetermined, vocal topics into a frenzy of self-invention. The way Hanschel takes his lifelong experience of jazz improvisation and respectfully links it with the modal characteristics of the Indian tradition – this must be called unique.”

(Ulrich Olshausen, FAZ, May 23, 2016)


“The Cologne saxophonist Roger Hanschel belongs to this small group of those who do not just scratch the surface, but go into depth in their encounters with Indian musicians. The trio Benares merges Western and Indian, with both sides approaching each other and without abandoning their own identity. Thus, it follows a tradition of Occidental-Indian cooperation by the greats such as the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano, guitarist John McLaughlin and violinist Yehudi Menuhin.”

(Werner Stiefele, Rondo Magazin, May 20, 2016)


“Together the three musicians play a high-energy fusion of jazz and Indian music, reminiscent of Shakti as if Mahavishnu McLaughlin played alto saxophone on speed. Accompanied by two Indians who cheer him on. That's terrific music firmly rooted in the present.”

(Axel Bussmer, Kriminalakte, May 2016)


“... now, Hanschel takes up this thread. Along with Deobrat Mishra on sitar and Prashant Mishra on tabla, the saxophonist finally directs our attention to the potential of these soundscapes. The reduced cast focuses on Hanschel’s imaginative themes, which he mostly unfolds with the sitar, has dance over the tight tabla background, and then opens up for solo exploration. The long-standing interaction between the two Mishras, uncle and nephew, specifically ensures an at times dense, at others very spartan tonal web. In particular, when the alto saxophone and the sitar come together in common solos, they spark up fireworks of counterpoint.”

(Thorsten Meyer, Jazz Podium, May 2016)


"Sri Aurobindo Auditorium in Bharat Nivas, Pavilion of India in International Zone was crowded with music lovers who longed for something more. Although the title World Music Concert had promised maybe a bit more than a classical Indian music, what we got was a big surprise- an exciting fusion of Western European jazz saxophone with sitar and tabla.
The three excellent musicians brought some freshness and proved that music does speak universal language. Deobrat Mishra on sitar and Prashant Mishra on tabla both from a prominent family of musicians, and Roger Hanschel on alto saxophone known as a versatile jazz player showed that merging two styles can give something new…"
  (Auroville Radio 29.3.2015)


"The duets of rhythms and tunes made the audiance to dive in the river of music and left them overwhelmed. In a program of europe-India musical evening district cultural commitee, Trio Benares and Navrang the duet concert was presented by young sitarist Deobrat Mishra who has been spread the musical frangrance all over the world and Roger Hanschel of Germany on saxophone who played in surprisingly and presented Kajari and made the people spellbound. Both presented Raag Jog, Gawati and Bhairavi and made the people bathed in the showers of Heart touching musical recital." 

(Times of India 27.3.2015)


"Music Lovers in the city were treated to a novel blend of jazz and indian classical music at the Assi Ghat with the musical group Trio Benares where the notes of tabla, saxophone and sitar together created some soulful music. The concert attracted a large audience who enjoyed the music in the open platform on the assi ghat."

(Banares Times, 27.3.2015)


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