Music: StringFEST – Festival of Bowed, Plucked & Hammered Instruments

Ustad Dharambir Singh
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Dharambir Singh is one of the most prominent Sitar/Surbahar 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).

Before becoming a disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan he was fortunate to have his initial guidance from Professor Sita Ram of Amritsar in Punjab, India. He then moved on to be introduced to the Gayaki (vocalised) style of Sitar playing by Professor Narinder Nirula of Patiala in Punjab. Prof Narinder Nirula is one of the prominent student of Ustad Vilayat Khan and has a unique style of playing the Sitar with a strong Punjabi cultural influence.

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 Singh was awarded an MBE in 2011 for his services to music.

Upneet Singh has an innate musicality as a Tabla player. Being born into a musical family, he has developed a fine balance between the art of accompaniment and technical skill. Upneet practices the Benares Gharana (style or school) of Tabla, and had the privilege to be trained under the tutelage of the late Pandit Sharda Sahai Ji. Upneet is now a disciple of Pandit Sanju Sahai Ji who is the 6th generation and torch-bearer of the Benaras Gharana lineage.

In association with SAMA Arts Network Ltd.