Pandit Tota Ram Sharma
distinguished percussionist, Pt. Tota Ram Sharma is credited with articulating
a distinct style of Pakhawaj playing. 1947 born (in village Dhamseenga,
Mathura) in a family rooted in music his father and eventual guru Pt. Lakshman
Swami was a Sarangi player and a Dhrupad vocalist
His initial training was done under Pt. Muralidharji (Vrindavan) and then by Pt. Purushottam Das ji of Nathdwara. His advanced training was consummated under Pt. Mannu ji Mridangacharya (Banaras) and Pt. Ayodhya Prasad (Rampur)
He has participated in major music festivals, namely, Vrindavan Jayanti (Delhi), Haridas Sangeet Samaroh (Vrindavan, Mumbai), Gwalior Sangeet Samaroh, Dhrupad Mela (Vrindavan, Banaras), etc. He has accompanied many distinguished Dhrupad exponents, viz. Ustad Aminuddin Dagar, Dagar Brothers, Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Dr. Samuti Mutatakar, etc
AIR has accorded him as a top grade artist. Sur Singar Sansad, Mumbai awarded him with 'Taalmani' in 1975. In the same year Braj Sangeet Parishad honoured him with 'Braj Sangeet Shiromani'.
Famed to have added new dimensions to the art of Raas Leela, Pt. Tota Ram Sharma is a Braj poet also. Having many musical compositions to his credit, he is involved in teaching the nuances of his gharana to his disciples, notably Sh. Mohan Shyam Sharma, Sh. Fateh Singh Gangani, Sh. Dalchand Sharma, Sh. Tejpal Bhardwaj, Sh. Jerry Field, etc.