Maruti Rao Keer
Maruti Rao Keer was one of the finest Tabla players Hindi film music industry has ever seen. An eminent music arranger, Maruti Rao was R.D.Burman's chief rhythm assistant, together they created enigmatic rhythms for number of songs. Maruti Rao remained as his rhythm assistant and close associate right from R D Burman’s first film ‘Chhote Nawab’ (1961).
Maruti Rao started his career as Tabla player in 1950s. His gurus were Shree Bhanudas Mankame, Shree Bhairav Prasad, Shree Sunder Prasad and Ustad Gamekhan Sahab. Maruti Rao played Tabla for almost all the music directors of Hindi film industry. Almost all the tablas heard in Marathi filmi and non-filmi songs have been played by him. He started playing for S D Burman and then with his son Pancham (R D Burman). There were times when both of them were assisting Dada Burman.
Pancham and Maruti Rao had such a great understanding that only Pancham’s sheer eyecontacts were enough for him to give what Pancham wanted.
Maruti Rao not only played for Pancham but also gifted talented musicians to the industry. Such a kind hearted person he was, he did so much for everyone and lived a simple life in his room in Dadar.