Born in 1942 in Nagaon, Assam, Shri Khagen Mahanta learnt the traditional music of Assam from Shri Harendranath Mahanta and Shri Sushil Bannerjee. Shri Mahanta is popular for his rendering of Bihu and other traditional forms of Assamese music. He is equally at home with the Khol. A regular broad- caster, he is also a composer of distinction, and has recorded nearly two hundred audio- cassettes. Shri Khagen Mahanta receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion to the folk music of Assam.