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Archive for February 3rd, 2008

Explore a world of south Asian music | Darbar South Asian Music Festival 2008

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 3, 2008

Press Release February 4th 2008

Darbar Festival:

“..surely Britain’s best festival of South Asian Music”


Leading maestros together with up and coming talent from the world of Indian Classical Music take centre stage at the third Darbar Festival. 40 artists from the UK and abroad representing some 20 musical traditions come together for the UK’s largest gathering of south Asian classical musicians between 4th and 6th April in Leicester.

Despite its youth, the South Asian Music Festival which is already attracting audiences from across the country and abroad, “looks like a festival in its prime,” says veteran journalist Jameela Siddiqi.

Tabla Maestro, Swapan Chaudhuri, says “in over 40 years of touring I have never experienced such an atmosphere”. Grammy Award winner, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt says he’s been “overwhelmed to see what Darbar is doing in promoting and propagating a great heritage.”

Jay Viswadev, Artistic Director of Sama Arts believes there is a growing appetite amongst the new generation to find out about south Asian heritage. “These young people have a British lifestyle, but they are looking back at their identity. They are trying to find out what is it that fascinated their ancestors about Indian music”.

The 2008 Festival, at Leicester’s Phoenix centre, brings together the multi-talented maestro, Pandit Nayan Ghosh on Tabla and Sitar, Irshad Khan playing the sonorous sounds on the rarely heard Surbahar and Uday Bhawalkar representing the ancient tradition of Dhrupad, a genre that traces its ancestry back to the recitation of the ancient Vedas.
Rising stars include the versatile vocal virtuoso Kaushiki Chakrabarty, winner of the BBC World Music Award, and Purbayan Chatterjee, carrying forward Nikhil Banerjee’s lyrical Sitar tradition.

British artists share the stage and rub shoulders with the greats from overseas. Tarun Jasani on Sarod opens this year’s festival. Bhupinder Chaggar brings a British sensibility to the Punjab and Benares Tabla traditions. And we have Kaviraj Singh on Santoor and Upneet Singh on Tabla – two products from Tarang, The National South Asian Music Ensemble, which has done much to develop the musical careers of young British musicians.

The Festival also includes “Darbar Unplugged”, a rare opportunity to listen to music in an intimate setting, the way it was in the great courts of the mughal emperors without any sound amplification. This year’s concert features Irshad Khan on Surbarhar (or bass Sitar) at the historic setting of the Guildhall in Leicester which dates back to the 14th Century.

Outside of Leicester Darbar recitals, talks and workshops also take place at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Horniman Museum in London which is holding a major exhibition on Indian Classical Music.

Several other concerts are also being held in partnership with SAA-uk (Leeds), Kalasangam (York) and Vani Fine Arts (London).

The gathering will be more than just a showcase of musical talent. Performances will take place throughout the day so that audiences get an opportunity to listen to a range of ragas for different times of the day.

Behind the scenes, Darbar is also working to raise the game of the next generation of UK talent. It organises a pioneering Shivir (retreat) providing intense, quality training to a small number of talented UK-based artists from maestros attending the festival. This will not only help the artists themselves by raising the quality of their performances but, in turn, their students. The teachers at this year’s Shivir, taking place in the week before the festival, are Purbayan Chattejee on Sitar; Yogesh Samsi on Tabla; Ajay Joglekar on Harmonium and Kaushiki Chakraborty on Vocal.

Ustad Shahid Parvez, one of the greatest contemporary sitar players, who led the 2007 Sitar Shivir said: “Shivir’s are much more than summer schools or workshops. They provide the teacher with a greater capacity for teaching. I can teach a whole piece which will be with them for their whole life.”

One of the students at the Sitar Shivir, player Debipriya Das, from the Tarang group of young musicians, said the experience “has been awesome. All the students are of a very high standard, and this has created a challenging atmosphere of learning.”

Darbar’s partnerships also extend beyond the UK’s shores. It has a strong link with the Saptak music festival, India’s largest and most respected music festival. Every January it sends a UK artists to perform at the prestigious festival in front of critical Indian audience in Ahmedabad in Gujurat.

Explore a world of south Asian music - Darbar South Asian Music Festival 2008

Notes/background Info

Darbar has some very high quality pictures from our events. We can also arrange interviews with the artists. Please call Kulbir Natt on 07737 847 678.

Darbar :: Arts | Culture | Heritage

The organisation has two simple aspirations: putting on outstanding events people from the world of South Asian arts, culture and heritage, and help develop promising UK musicians into world class performers.

The first Darbar Festival in 2006 was a tribute to the late Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee, a resident of Leicester. Gurmit Ji was a talented tabla player, an inspirational teacher, and a deeply spiritual person who made a selfless contribution to the music scene.

Festival on the Web FaceBook: Darbar Arts Culture Heritage group.

Booking Tickets or

Sense World Music (Media Partner)

Sense record label records artists at the Darbar Festival and the widely acclaimed Saptak music festival, in Ahmedabad, India. Its aim is to produce the highest quality product with deep artistic consideration. Sense aims to raise the professionalism within Indian classical music and give higher profile to the musicians.

Darbar Festival 2008 Schedule (21/11/2007 @ 01:03:05)

Darbar Festival, Phoenix, Leicester

Friday 04 April 2008

Session 1: 10.00am
(Please arrive early to pick up festival wristbands.)

Tarun Jasani – Sarod

Transport yourself on a journey to Persia and South Asia with the sounds of the ancient Sarod and the Tabla. Tarun Jasani, on Sarod, a powerful, yet melancholic instrument and Gurdain Rayatt on Tabla are just two of the growing number of UK based artists enthralling audiences around the country.

Rakesh Chaurasia – Flute

Like his legendary uncle, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Rakesh commands the Bansari flute with strength, dexterity and serenity. While his roots are firmly classical, he’s also blended the sounds of the hollow bamboo with melodies of jazz, film music and Spanish guitar. He is accompanied
by Yogesh Samsi, a Tabla player whose reputation is built on his consummate artistry of this versatile percussion instrument.

Session 2: 3.00pm

Audience with Shashwati Mandal Paul – Exploring the Heritage of Tappa Vocal

Tappa encapsulates high energy, swinging rhythms and quick turns of melodies. The origins of this high octane vocal style go back to the ancient songs of the camel drivers of Punjab and Sind.

Sanjay Subrahmanyan – Carnatic Vocal

An afternoon fiesta of carnatic sounds led by Sanjay Subrahmanyan,a powerful and energetic singer who blends classical compositions with a rich array of new ideas. S. Varadharajan plays the violin with grace, fluidity and pace. Dynamic and complex rhythms are provided by
R. N. Prakash on Ghatam – or clay pot – and Neyveli Venkatesh on Mridangam.

Session 3: 7.00pm

Irshad Khan – Surbahar

“To watch Irshad play is like watching a man go through a mystical experience,” was one reviewers comments after being spell bound by the sonorous sounds of the Surbahar. Irshad’s music is spontaneous,vibrant & sensual and you scarcely need to be an expert in Indian Music to appreciate the brilliant flights of fingers moving across what is often
described as the bass sitar. Beside him is Shrikanth Mishra, a rich talent at Pakhawaj, who has accompanied many contemporary Dhrupad masters.

Pandit Nayan Ghosh – Tabla

Acclaimed as one of India’s finest Tabla players, Pandit Nayan Ghosh is notorious for rarely practising. Nevertheless his innate artistry, rich repertoire and tonal brilliance comes shining through his storehouse of Tabla rhythms. Accompanying him in this unmissable Tabla solo is
Dilshad Khan playing the eloquent Sarangi.

There are 30 minute breaks between items and about 2 hours for lunch.

Saturday 05 April 2008

Session 4: 10.00am

S. Varadharajan – Carnatic Violin

Fast, dynamic, complex weaving carnatic melodies and rhythms to light up Saturday morning. S. Varadharajan on violin leads this ensemble with RN Prakash on the Ghatam or clay pot and Neyveli Venkatesh on Mridangam. Together they take you on an improvised journey that will
have you tapping your feet long after the performance.

Debojyoti Bose – Sarod

The Sarod in the hands of Debojyoti Bose, younger brother of Tabla maestro Pandit Kumar Bose, moves listeners through an endless variety of moods and energy levels. His compositions display agility, and an explorative mind that moves across different musical schools with melodic snippets collected from far and near. He is accompanied by the ever-excellent, Shabaz Hussain.

Session 5: 3.00pm

Audience with Bikram Ghosh and members of Sunev on creating cross cultural music

Cross-cultural music has been around for generations. Today it is sometimes called fusion. Bikram Ghosh – a master of percussion with Tabla, Hand Sonic, Tamborine and more – talks about his own experiences of bringing different musical traditions on the same stage. Sunev featuring Bikram Ghosh on Tabla, Djamel Benyelles on Electronic
Rai Violin, Jesse Bannister on Saxaphone and Pete Locket on Drumand Dharbuka. Sunev is a Chakardar creation.

Sunev is the harmonious synthesis of four great artistic traditions: Jazz, Indian, Western and Arabic. The music is compellingly beautiful and infinitely creative. Four great artists come together for this creative venture that weaves musical melodies across space and time.

Session 6: 7.00pm

Bhupinder Singh Chaggar – Tabla Solo

Schooled in one the famous Benares gharana, Leeds based Bhupinder Chaggar’s Tabla repertoire reaches beyond his classical training. He’s mixed Tabla playing with Flemenco, Western percussion, soul and hip-hop. Tonight, he plays solo with Sarangi exponent Dilshad Khan.

Kaushiki Chakrabarty – Vocal

“Kaushiki Chakrabarty is one of the very few classical vocalists who will make a mark in the 21st century….” An assessment made by Bhimsen Joshi, one of India’s greatest classical vocalists of the modern era. It is said that at the age of two she could carry a phrase perfectly. Her fourth release “Pure” bagged her a BBC World Music Award in 2005. Daughter of revered vocalist Ajoy Chakrabarty, Kaushiki’s performance is one not to be missed from a star in the making.

Accompanied by Sanju Sahai on Tabla and Ajay Joglekar on harmonium.

There are 30 minute breaks between items and about 2 hours for lunch.

Sunday 06 April 2008

Session 7: 10.00am

Kaviraj Singh – Santoor

A rising UK musicial talent, son of eminent musician Dharambir Singh, he has a talent for playing Santoor, Tabla and singing. The Santoor, which Kaviraj plays this morning, is the Indian version of hammered dulcimer, the delicate, shimmering sounds of which conjure up visions of Kashmir and foothills of the Himalayas. A wonderful way to welcome
in Sunday morning. Upneet Singh, an up-and-coming musician,
accompanies him on Tabla.

Session 8: 3.00pm

Pandit Nayan Ghosh – Sitar

For those of you who saw Pandit Nayan Ghosh playing Tabla solo, here is your chance to see him with his other chosen instrument the Sitar. His playing reflects artistic brilliance, rich repertoire and a fluid sparkle that
only the most accomplished of musicians reach. UK-based Sanju Sahai, from the Benares gharana, provides the excellent rhythm on Tabla.

Session 8: 3.00pm

Audience with Nayan Ghosh – Discover the Heritage of Tabla

Pandit Nayan Ghosh talks about his rich musical upbringing in a family steeped in artistry, how he took up both Sitar and Tabla and the heritage of Tabla and Indian percussion.

Uday Bhawalkar – Dhrupad vocal

Dhrupad: ancient, spiritual, austere and sublime is believed to be the oldest surviving form of North Indian classical vocal music, dating back to the 15th century. Uday Bhawalkar is one of the finest exponents of this genre. He is accompanied by Shrikanth Mishra on Pakhawaj.

Session 9: 7.00pm

Shashwati Mandal Paul – Tappa Vocal

A not to be missed opportunity to hear Tappa – a lighter form of high energy, brisk, rhythmical classical music that has its origins in the folk songs of the camel drivers of Punjab and Sind. Hear Shashwati Mandal Paul, a renowned exponent of Tappa, give a virtuoso performance
few others could carry off. She is accompanied by Ajay Joglekar on Harmonium and Shahbaz Hussain on Tabla.

Purbayan Chatterjee – Sitar

Listening to Purbayan Chatterjee one would think that this a musician who has been at the top of his profession for many years, such is the level of maturity and technical competence in his playing. In a very short time this young maestro has established himself as an artist of great invention who is poised to take the Sitar to new heights. Accompanying him on Tabla is Yogesh Samsi, one of the foremost players of our generation.

There are 30 minute breaks between items and about 2 hours for lunch.

South Asian Music Festival 2008 (21/11/2007 @ 01:01:29)

Darbar South Asian Music Festival 2008

It gives us great pleasure to invite you to attend Darbar’s third music festival.

South Asian classical music is a living tradition, it needs both old and new to be truly realised; both performer and audience to reach the heights of artistry. Be part of the experience as the intensity builds and new ideas are exchanged over a full three days of music.
In the 2008 festival, Darbar welcomes more than 35 artists from Britain and overseas representing some 20 traditions in South Asian Music. Exchange ideas with fellow music lovers, talk to the artists as they mingle with the audience and be part of the experience.

Established artists include the multi-talented Pandit Nayan Ghosh on Tabla and Sitar, Surbahar maestro Irshad Khan and Uday Bhawalkar representing the ancient tradition of Dhrupad, a form that traces its ancestry back to the recitation of the Vedas before the dawn of recorded history.

Rising stars include the versatile vocal virtuoso Kaushiki Chakrabarty and Purbayan Chatterjee, carrying forward Nikhil Banerjee’s lyrical Sitar tradition.

British artists, many being given a first to perform in a major setting, share the stage and rub shoulders with the greats. Tarun Jasani on Sarod opens this year’s festival. Bhupinder Chaggar brings a British sensibility to the Punjab and Benares Tabla traditions. And we have Kaviraj Singh on Santoor and Upneet Singh on Tabla – two products from Tarang, The National South Asian Music Ensemble, which has done much to develop the musical careers of young British musicians. New musical forms are also emerging. Check out the Su–ev ensemble, which brings together the Tabla, the electronic Rai violin, Saxophone and various drums as they create innovations from age-old musical traditions.

Darbar is taking on fresh challenges. In 2008, Darbar is working with London’s Victoria and Albert museum to bring three days of taster musical sessions. 2008 also sees a major exhibition on Indian Music at the Horniman Museum in South East London. Darbar is collaborating here to bring short concerts, workshops and educational sessions to accompany the exhibition. Details of both events, which showcase UK artists in some of this country’s most important cultural spaces and reaching out to new audiences, are in this brochure.

2008 also continues Darbar’s work to develop the musical careers of selected UK artists by bringing them into contact with leading Indian musicians in a hothouse learning environment. The musical retreat, or Shivir, is an effort to adapt the traditional South Asian Guru Shishya method of musical learning to the UK environment. The Shivir, itself, is part of the Darbar’s wider educational aim of enabling UK artists to gain the skills they need to cope with the professional demands of the music circuit and ensure that their artistry is not exploited or wasted.

Once again, Darbar invites you to enjoy and experience another exciting year of south Asian music here in the UK!

Darbar Team

Ashok Patel, Sandeep Virdee, Kulbir Natt, Alpesh Patel, Derek Robertsand Rajen Mistry

(Source: Darbar Lounge – News | Darbar Festival 2008 Press Release (03/02/2008 @ 20:42:51))

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