Surmani Shampa Pakrashi began her musical sojourn at a very tender age and had the privilege of training under the venerable guidance of maestros such as late Smt. Shefali Banerjee (a disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khansaab of Maihar Gharana), Late Shri. Premsingh Kinot (a disciple of late Pandit Ratanjankar of Agra Gharana), and Late Pandit Govind Narayan Natu (Gwalior Gharana).

She obtained a Masters Degree in Music with Honours from the prestigious Bhatkhande University of Music at Lucknow. Her consistent excellent performance earned her a scholarship at this esteemed institution.

She was under the able tutelage of the legendary Pandit Askaran Sharma – a renowned exponent of the Mewati Gharana and a doyen of Pushtimargi Sangeet – until his demise in 2015.

This varied tutelage spanning decades has enabled her to emerge with her unique and endearing style of singing – hailed by many as versatile and imaginative, and one that brings out the true beauty of a Raga. The blend of aesthetics and expression that is found in her renditions has captivated audiences and critics alike.

She has inherited the rich musical legacy of Awadh and Purab, due to her familial roots in Benares and Lucknow. Her soulful renditions of fading musical treasures such as Thumri, Tappa, Daadra, Rasiya, Hori, Kajri, Sawan, and Banwari, to name a few, have earned her numerous accolades. She is a graded All India Radio artiste and has performed earlier on its platform innumerable times.

She also has a strong academic background and holds, among others, a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Lucknow University. Her passion for teaching saw her pursue teaching for nearly a decade at the Sangeet Shikshapeeth of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai. She has a large student following, which include several artistes of repute today.

© Shampa Pakrashi