About Surya

Surya is a music educator and with a Bachelors of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. He has been teaching music for over 15 years, offering voice lessons for young singers, drumset lessons, and beginning piano. Surya teaches out of his own studio in San Pablo, CA, and has experience working with different learning styles.


Surya Prakasha took piano lessons from age 6-13. He started playing drums in 1991 after enrolling in a high school world music course, and fell in love with music from different parts of the globe. He went the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and got his Bachelor of Music. There he studied with his jazz drummer Greg Bandy and also took formative lessons with Joe Morello and Michael Rosen. He studied Music Theory, Aural Skills, Piano and Western Music History. He studied African-American music history, composition and arranging with Dr. Wendell Logan.


Surya studied and performed African diaspora percussion with Santeria priests Adenike Sharpley and Adetobi Greg Jackson. After Oberlin, Surya travelled to DeGambia (West Africa) and stayed with an dance and drumming troupe. He then moved back to the Bay Area, playing jazz gigs, and teaching.


Surya has been a teacher at The Jazz School, the SF Community Music Center, Edna Brewer Middle School, Elmhurst Middle School, California College Preparatory Academy, and more.


Surya studied singing with Rose Pels at the Oberlin Conservatory. After moving back to the bay area he studied with Julia Uhlehla at the Community Music Center, and with Andrea Fultz at the Voice Studio in San Francisco. He studied North Indian style singing with Rita Sahai, and then North Indian and Kirtan style singing with Jai Uttal from 2011 to 2016. He also studied harmonium(a hand-pumped reed organ) with Jai Uttal.


Surya was a back-up vocalist for Pyeng Threadgill from 2008 to 2009. He has led many kirtans, an Indian style of devotional singing. He was a lead singer in the band Bolo, a group that was based in the bay area from 2012-2017.


Surya plays music for Shabbats and High Holiday Services at Congregation Kol Shofar. He now teaches full-time out of his studio.

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