Chitnis, Dholakia and Stephens Trio

Chitnis, Dholakia and Stephens are long time performers, teachers and recording artists living in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Please send us a message with your booking inquiries.

Viswas Chitnis began learning Sitar at the age of 15. He received his training at the Ali Akbar College of Music under the guidance of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. He is the founder of North Carolina Raga Revival as well as the School of Rag Indian Music Academy located in Raleigh NC and Brooklyn NY. He has received training on the Indian violin known as esraj by the late Sarangi Maestro Pt Ramesh Misra. He lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife Jill Taylor and daughter Nikhila Chitnis.

Dr. Ajay Dholakia is a long-time Triangle resident. He comes from a family of Indian Hindustani Classical musicians and has been playing and teaching tabla in the area for many years. He started learning tabla during his highschool days in Indore, India. He has played percussion  and tabla with different rock, fusion and folk music bands and has accompanied many visiting classical vocalists and instrumentalists. He continues his tabla journey at the Anindo Chatterjee School of Tabla.

John Stephens is a sarode, surbahar and sitar player based in Durham, North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music (2006) and his MFA in North Indian music at CalArts (2011). John is a performing musician, recording artist, music educator and student of sarode maestro Ustad Aashish Khan, eldest son of Ustad Ali Akbar. John is the author of “The Microtones of Bharata’s Natyashastra,” Volume 6 of Analytical Approaches to World Music ( He also wrote the introduction and transcribed Aashish Khan’s music in Sangeet: Legacy of the Maihar Gharana.