Upendra Bhat is a popular today as a promising singer of Kirana Gharana who reminds the reminds the listeners of his legendary Guru Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
Born and brought up in Mangalore, a township in Southern Karnataka; Upendra began his musical career under Sangeeth Vidwan Shri Narayan Pai of Mangalore. It so happened that in 1971, Pt. Upendra Bhat got to accompany Pt. Joshi on the Tanpura. He pleaded to Pt. Joshi to accept him as shishya. Pt. Joshi in turn directed him to his disciple Madhav Gudi. He then received further training under Pandit Madhav Gudi, a senior disciple of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. In 1980 Upendra shifted to Pune. Since then,he has been under the vigilant eyes of his Guru. He started teaching Pt. Bhat the basics in Bhairavi. He taught him the essence of kharaj (lessons in lower octave). He showed him how the body should be calm and the mood pleasing. He has been receiving regular training from Bhimsenji.
Today, Upendra Bhat is an acclaimed classical vocalist. He holds a Master's Degree in Music - Sangeet Visharad and Sangeet Alankar - awarded by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya,Bombay. He is the graded artist of the All India Radio. His concerts are regularly broadcast or telecast by Radio and different TV channels.Apart from these he has given performance at several prestigious concert platforms like 'Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan 'Jalandhar, 'Sawai Gandharva Music Festival', Pune and so on, both in India and in other countries like the UK, USA, Dubai, Bahrain, etc.
In 1996, on the occassion of the 7th Birth Anniversary of Saint Dnyaneshwar, Upendra was felicitated for his musical talent at the hands of the Honourable President of India, Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma. He received the 'Musician of the year Award' in the year 2000,from the Andra Pradesh Associatin of North America. He was also awarded a citation for his contribution as a classical vocalist,during the 'Millennium Konkani Sammelan',held in Chicago,in the year 2000.
Upendra has been gifted with a well-seasoned,sonorous and pliant voice. His classical renditions are marked by a systematic development of a raag structure,expressive singing and powerful taans. He also excels in singing other musical genres like Ghazals, Thumris, Bhajans and light musical numbers. He has several Marathi,Hindi,Kannada and Konkani songs in his repertoire and can easily delight any type of audience - laymen or connoisseurs.From the beginning to the conclusion, he keeps his audience captivated.
Even after his tremendous success as a performer,the simplicity and humanity of his character remains unchanged. Upendra Bhat continues to be warm and friendly to his organizers and listeners. Listeners all over the world can expect a lot from this dedicated and unassuming follower of Indian Classical Music!