Indian Classical Music Evenings
to celebrate the 5oth Gurgaddi Annivarsary Of Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji

A series of Indian Classical Music evenings have been organized by Namdhari Sikh Sangat Southall to celebrate the 5oth Gurgaddi Annivarsary Of Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji.

SITAR recital
The first evening took place on Saturday 13th Feb 2010. Ustaad Dharambir Singh performed a recital on the sitar. He was accompanied on the tabla by Tarsem Singh. In his first solo performance at the Namdhari Sikh Community Center, Dharambir paid gratitude and homage to Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji's great effort and devotion to revive and maintain the gurmaat sangeet as practiced by the earlier Sikh gurus. The evening started with an hour of naam simran followed by a shabad, performed by Raagi Jagir Singh (with Ustaad Kiranpal Singh on tabla). Before the main presentation, Shaam Kaur introduced the two artists to the sangat. Dharambir played raga Malkaus.


Shabad by Raagi Jagir Singh

Sitar recital by Ustaad Dharambir Singh 

Who is Ustaad Dharambir Singh? 
Dharambir Singh is one of the most prominent Sitar player and Indian Music educator based in England. Disciple of the legendary Sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan, Dharambir has truly imbibed the sound of the rich Imdad Khani and Vilayat Khani Gharana (style). Dharambir was guided by his uncle Sardar Avtar Singh, an eminent tabla player and disciple of Harbhajan Lal and Pandit Shamta Prashad of Benares. Avtar Singh was instrumental in introducing Dharambir to many prominent musicians and also giving him initial musical guidance. It was the blessings and the love of Satguru Jagjit Singh, the spiritual master of the Namdhari Sikh sect that Dharambir was introduced to Ustad Vilayat Khan. Satguru Ji has been one of the  most important catalysts to have given Dharambir a strong spiritual persona and karma. 

Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb generously provided access to the rich musical style of the Imdad Khani Gharana. Dharambir got immense love and guidance from the Ustad and as a result of his dedication and the blessings of the masters he was invited for Ganda Bandhan (traditional initiation ceremony) in Bombay in 1979.

Dharambir moved to England in 2009 and has since been active in his portfolio career performing, teaching, advising, organising, mentoring, composing and passionately laying a strong foundation for Indian classical music in England. Dharambir is a tutor, artistic director, advisor and founder  to many music organizations in the UK.

Dharambir Singh received the National Endowment For Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) fellowship from 2006 to 2010. He has researched into many aspects of Indian Classical Music and has created valuable technology solutions for the teaching of Indian Music. The fellowship has given him extraordinary insights into Indian Music and he has created some pioneering concepts in trying to make the music more accessible to the students and the audiences. The software’s he has developed will help to place the rich heritage of Indian Classical Music on a strong scientific footing. He has traveled regularly to India to introduce and get feedback on his new approaches to music teaching.

Santoor and Tabla Recital
The next musical evening was on Saturday 14 August 2010. Santoor maestro Ustad Kiranpal Singh and tabla genius Pandit Sanju Sahai played to a packed congregation. The evening began with kirtan performed by Ustad Harbhajan Singh. He was accompanied by Ustad Gurdev Singh, Raagi Jagir Singh and New York youngster Rohan. Sarabjit Singh was on the tabla.

In the santoor and tabla performance, Raag Puriya Dhanashri was on offering. Both artists exhibited the skills and command which makes them leading artists of classical music in the UK. The performance was well received and appreciated, leaving the sangat & musicians surprised at the standard attainable in this country.

Shabad by Ustaad Harbhajan Singh - man mere harke Kiranpal Singh & Sanju Sahai perform raag puriya dhanashri
Speech by Ustaad Gurdev Singh

Who is Pandit Sanju Sahai? 
Sanju Sahai is an outstanding tabla player who has accompanied many senior artists, including acclaimed vocalist Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra, sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj and guitarist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

He comes from a very eminent percussion lineage. He is a direct descendent of Pandit Ram Sahai, the founder of the Benares Gharana. Sanju was trained by his guru, Pandit Sharda Sahai, the virtuoso player. He began playing at the age of four, demonstrating his prodigious skills and at the age of nine, he gave his first public performance at the Sankat Mochan Temple in Benares.

Beyond his classical tradition, he has gone on to work within genres as diverse as Egyptian, Spanish, Jazz, Folk and Blues Music. He is based in London and promotes concerts and musical education with Parampara Arts Network. Currently, he teaches tabla at the London University and in many schools throughout London. 

Who is Ustad Kiranpal Singh?
A leading SANTOOR player born in Dar-es-Salaam,Tanzania, EastAfrica, on 13th December 1957 and subsequently educated in England, Kiranpal Singh's first music study was the tabla, which he pursued under the guidance of Shree Ripudaman Singh of Panjab Gharana from 1970 to 1977.

His potential as an artiste of the highest calibre was recognised by His Holiness Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh Ji Maharaj, spiritual guide and leader of the Namdhari Sikhs, on a visit to the UK, and His Holiness bountifully arranged for Kiranpal to be sent to Bombay to study Santoor in the traditional way under Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.

Kiranpal has settled in England since 1987 and has gained respect and admiration for his various perfor-mances in the UK, Europe and beyond, in recitals, festivals and lecture demonstrations. Admired by both audiences and critics, his mastery of the advanced techniques of the instrument, combined with a creative flair and spontaneous imagination, has developed a recognisable individuality in his performances. This, in turn, has led him to be sought after as a co-leader of groundbreaking develop-mental and cross-cultural projects, whilst continuing to advance the presentation of Indian Classical music to ever widening audiences through his solo work.


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