Cliff’s Musical Biography


Cliff Winnig has studied North Indian Classical (Hindustani) music since 1994, specializing in sitar. He spent over a dozen years learning with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Chicago and a master’s in music from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has played solo and with the fusion groups the Cooke Quartet and his own Eclipse Trip: a sitar, oboe, and bass trio combining jazz, rock, and Indian influences. He can be heard on the album Searching by the Cooke Quartet and the forthcoming Here Be Dragons by Eclipse Trip.

Cliff also sings baritone and bass in the San Jose Symphonic Choir and in the Voices of Hope charity benefit choir.

When not playing music, Cliff writes fiction, studies tai chi and aikido, and does social dance, including ballroom, swing, salsa, and Argentine tango. He lives with his family in Silicon Valley, which surrounds him with a variety of musical traditions. He can be found online at