Jyoti Thakar (b.1956) is a sixth-generation sitar player. Her paternal family, the Ashtewales, hail from the city of Ujjain in central India. As aristocratic disciples, the Ashtewales learned both sitar and bīn, an ancestor of the sitar, from leading court musicians of the nineteenth century, including Bande Ali Khan.

Jyoti retains the bīn-influenced style of her forefathers, which she first learned from her father, Shri Vasudev Rao Ashtewale. Her other musical mentors have included Dr. K.G. and Shri N.G. Gadgil, disciples of her great grandfather; Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, Agra gharana vocalist; Pandit Ram Narayan, sarangi soloist; and Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, one of the world’s leading performers of the tabla.



“Jyoti’s performance was marked by a sense of maturity. She did not give way to speed and virtuosic elements at the expense of the real soul of the music. Sitar playing has developed in a very different direction over the last fifty years and Jyoti’s playing gives a good glimpse of the older style of raga rendition”

Dharambir Singh, MBE, Founder of SAA-uk

Jyoti has performed for audiences in India, Singapore, Australia, Italy, America, and the UK. Selected sponsoring organizations have included:

  • South Asian Arts-uk (SAA-uk), Leeds
  • National Arts Council, Singapore
  • Vedanta Centre, Sydney
  • Sharda Music Center, Melbourne
  • Hindu Society of Northern Territories, Darwin
  • Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav, Kundgol
  • Naad Brahma festival, Pune
  • Swaranjali Pandit Sant Smriti Sangeet Samelan, Gwalior
  • Kumar Gandharva Sangeet Samelan, Indore
  • Meher Baba Samadhi, Ahmednagar
  • Cornell University, Ithaca
  • Italy Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Milan

From the blog:


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“She is a real ‘Guru’ who exhibits a high level of patience. Her affection for her students makes them feel at ease to learn and practice”

Rohini Moghe (India)

“I had other sitar teachers before, but I never learned as much with them as I did with Jyoti. She is a very nice person and a great teacher”

Barend Tromp (Netherlands)

“Jyoti is very sincere. She is strict, yet always encouraging. She has tremendous patience and continues to guide me until I play correctly”

Kalindi Chirmuley (Australia)

Those interested in studying with Jyoti should contact her directly. Persons of all ages, levels of experience, and places of residence (online) are welcome, provided that they practice!


Smt. Jyoti Thakar

Pune, India

Email: jyotinthakar@gmail.com

Phone: +91 9011910836

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