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Shobha Gurtu
GharanaNone - None
Shobha Gurtu
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Bhurji Khan
Menekabai Shirodkar
Natthan Khan
Ghamman Khan
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Shobha Gurtu was one of the finest Thumari Singers in India.

She was born in a musical family in Belgaon. Her mother Menaka Shirodkar was a celebrated Thumari singer and Kathak dancer in Maharashtra, basically hailing from Goa. Menakabai was trained in music under Ustad Dhamman Khan for Thumari and Ustad Bhurji Khan of Jaipur Atrauli Gharana for Khayal. Shobha Gurtu (Bhanumati Shirodkar before marriage) used to listen the Taalim of her mother from her childhood & she picked up singing at a tender age. Later she too got training under Ustad Dhamman Khan & her mother. For Punjab Ang thumari, she got some tips from Taj Mohammad Khan. ShobhaJi was also influenced by Begum Akhtar & used to follow her in Ghazal. She was friend of Kishori Amonkar, Jitendra Abhisheki & they had a great musical exchange!

She married Vishwanath Gurtu in Belgaon. After spending many years in Belgaon, she moved to Mumbai & spent her entire life in Mumbai, but traveled widely in India and abroad for concerts.

She used to present traditional Thumaris, with mixture of Lucknow & Punjab style. With singing, her specialty was slit & subtle 'Ada' (gestures)! She too composed some Thumaris, Bandishes and Ghazals.

She gave playback in many Hindi and Marathi films such as - Pakeezah (1972), Phagun (1973), Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978, Filmfare nomination as Best Female Playback Singer), Dhanya Te Santaji Dhanaji, etc.

She also sung Marathi Bhavgeet, Lavani and her popular Marathi songs are 'Ughadya Punha Jahalya', 'Hirvya Panacha Dethha', etc.

She collaborated with Pt Birju Maharaj (Kathak Dancer). She often lend her voice the collaborative jazz albums, of her son Trilok Gurtu.

In 1987, she received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and later awarded the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar, Shahu Maharaj Puraskar and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar. In 2002, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
After reigning over Hindustani classical music genre, for five decades, as the Queen of Thumri, Shobha Gurtu died on 27 September 2004, and was survived by her two sons.

She trained many in Thumari, such as Sarala Bhide, Dhanashri Pandi Rai, Shobha Joshi, Rajashri Pathak, Bireshvar Gautam, etc.
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