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Parikrama Guitarist Sonam Sherpa Passes Away at 48

The guitarist suffered a cardiac arrest during a visit to Kalimpong, West Bengal today

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Feb 14, 2020

Guitarist Sonam Sherpa passed away today.

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Guitarist Sonam Sherpa from New Delhi rockers Parikrama passed away earlier today in Kurseong, West Bengal. Sherpa’s Parikrama bandmates confirmed that the guitarist suffered a cardiac arrest. He was 48.

One of India’s most iconic rock figures and a founding member of Parikrama, Sherpa was known for his soaring riffs and serpentine solos. With a career spanning almost 30 years that included performances at thousands of concerts across the world, Sherpa’s name was synonymous with Indian rock and he was an inspiration to at least two generations of budding guitarists and musicians. Since 2003, the musician had been running the Parikrama School of Music which offers courses in instrumental and vocal music as well as artist management and marketing.

Friends in the Indian rock scene would remember Sherpa for his kind, generous nature and soft-spoken personality, a stark contrast from his formidable onstage look.

Parikrama was started by Sherpa, along with Subir Malik (keyboards), Nitin Malik  (vocals), Chintan Kalra (bass), Prashant Bahadur (guitars) and Rahul Malhotra in 1991 in New Delhi. The band, a cult outfit and a college festival favorite, enjoys a fan following that cuts across ages, with Sherpa’s signature sound lending a unique sonic identity to it.

Last year, the band released their original “Tears of the Wizard,” which included some gritty and riff-heavy guitar work by Sherpa. The musician’s fretwork on tracks like “But It Rained” and “Am I Dreaming” remains memorable. In Sherpa’s passing, the Indian rock scene has lost a true hero.

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