About the Band

Chakra is a six-piece ensemble founded by Hans Utter in 2008. The music of Chakra is a fusion of North Indian classical music, Arabic music, and jazz. Each member of the ensemble brings years of performance experience in a variety of styles. Chakra bridges the gap between various improvisational styles, blending the music of diverse cultures into an appealing and innovative tapestry.

Hans Utter

Considered one of America’s finest sitarist, Hans Utter is an exponent of the prominent Imdad Khan gharana, an unbroken line of seven generations which has made significant contributions to the development of classical Indian music. As a disciple of Ustad Shujaat Khan, son of the illustrious sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan, Hans has trained intensively in India for nearly two decades. Hans’ unique musical background combines professional experience in diverse styles including jazz, Western Classical, electro-acoustic music, and composition. He performs regularly in the United States, India, and Europe, and is the recipient of sixteen national and international awards and grants.

Utpola Borah

Utpola is one of India’s most eminent Hindustani (North Indian) classical vocalists, captivating audiences worldwide with her artistry. She is an exponent of the North Indian classical style of Khyal, as well as Thumri, Dadra, and Bhajan, and the regional folk songs of India. Utpola’s mastery of various genres of Indian music comes from her extensive study with Prabha Atre, Vidushi Malashri Prasad and Pandit Indralal Dhanda of the Kirana, Banaras, and Udaipur gharanas (traditions) respectively. Utpola is an accomplished concert performer and is regularly featured on All India Radio and numerous television networks. Following the path of her guru, Dr. Prabha Atre, her goal is to impart India’s ancient music traditions to new audiences.

Bradley Mellen

Performing on both double bass and cello, Bradley Mellen is an active and in demand member of the Columbus, Ohio music scene. His versatility and wide-ranging interests are evidenced by the variety of projects he is involved with, such as the straight-ahead Jacob Reed Trio, the world-jazz-fusion of Chakra, the challenging compositions of Ken Messer's Phoenix Project, and the deep fusion grooves of the Tim Dvorkin Trio. He also leads his own Brad Mellen Quartet for which he arranges an eclectic mix of obscure gems from the jazz canon, popular tunes, film and game soundtracks, and original material. Bradley holds a Bachelor's degree in composition and jazz studies from the Ohio State University, and a Master's degree in jazz performance from Purchase College in New York.

Justin Campbell

Justin Campbell is a seasoned and talented drummer, percussionist, and arranger with a high level of ability for jazz-fusion, funk, latin, afro-cuban, r&b, and progressive rock. Justin possesses an incredibly insightful ear and improvisational skills, and continues to redefine "impact within music". Justin also performs with and several other musical acts throughout the Midwest in a truly extensive variety of music. 

Matteo Amburgy
Hakan Kaya

Hakan Kaya was born in Turkey. At the age of ten, his love for percussion started with the local gypsies. He learned and mastered all of the aspects of local and Middle-Eastern dancing and drumming. His introduction to world music started when he immigrated to the U.S. Self educated and trained by playing with various local and international bands, he focused heavily on African, Middle-Eastern, and Afro-Cuban music. At the present time he resides in Columbus, Ohio, playing with several salsa and Middle-Eastern bands. He also teaches dancing and drumming to local enthusiasts.