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Jasdeep Degun: Contemporary + Classical Sitar

16 Aug, 2018

Jasdeep Degun: Contemporary + Classical Sitar


Jasdeep Singh Degun is heading to Hawarden to play two sitar shows in one weekend at The Good Life Experience!

Awarded the Yuva Sangeet Ratna 'Musician of the Year' at the National Indian Arts Awards 2016, Jasdeep is fast establishing a name for himself as a rising star of the Indian classical and contemporary music scenes. Jasdeep acquires a deep insight into the art of Indian Classical music through his teacher, Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE, and continues to develop his skills in performance, composition, and production.

An active musician and sitar player, Jasdeep has performed internationally in many high profile productions and prestigious venues, including Buckingham Palace, the Amphitheatre in Doha, and the Royal Albert Hall at the 2014 BBC Proms to name a few. 

A keen composer, Jasdeep has written, arranged, and produced music for a diverse array of projects and soundtracks, including music for string quartets, contemporary classical ensembles, prolific dance pieces, and high profile music productions. 

Jasdeep was recently awarded a Sky Academy Scholarship, worth £30,000, to work on a debut album of contemporary and classical music. As part of the scholarship, Jasdeep is currently mentored by the illustrious multi-instrumentalist and producer, Nitin Sawhney.  
Performing alongside Jasdeep will be:

Gurdain Rayatt.
Born and bred in the UK, Gurdain Rayatt is one of the finest young tabla players in the country today. His rigorous training from his father and grandfather and also the late Pandit Shankar Ghosh has resulted in a varied and rich lineage of repertoire and style from the Punjab, Benares and Farukhabad gharanas. He studied both English with Film and Music with Composition at King’s College London and University of West London, gaining two Bachelor Degrees.

Gurdain began his tutelage from his father Harkirat Rayatt at the age of 3 with guidance from his father’s guru and grandfather Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee. Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee had learned the Punjab style of tabla playing from Ustad Bahadur Singh (a disciple of Mian Fakir Baksh who was a gurubhai of Mian Qader Baksh, the guru of Ustad Alla Rakha) and the Benares style of tabla playing from Pandit Samta Prasad.
Gurdain quickly became inspired by performing maestros of the time including Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Kumar Bose and Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. Through his father’s efforts in promoting high quality tabla performances, Gurdain was fortunate to learn from and play for these maestros at close quarters. He has had interactions and taleem from other great tabla players and teachers including Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, Pandit Yogesh Samsi, Pandit Subhankar Banerjee, Satyajit Talwalkar and Pandit Nayan Ghosh.

His main professional development came from his extensive taleem with the late maestro Pandit Shankar Ghosh and his son, Bickram Ghosh who both tirelessly dedicated their time to nurturing Gurdain’s talent. After a year-long stay in Kolkata, India to strictly develop his playing and technique, Gurdain spent time with professional musicians such as Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya, Pandit Kushal Das, Pandit Debjyoti Bose, Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, Niladri Kumar and has been performing with a wide range of musicians and dancers ever since.

Pirashanna Thevarajah.
Acknowledged by Presto Classical as being a “percussion wizard”, Pirashanna Thevarajah is recognized by the world music and Indian classical community as being an extremely versatile percussionist, with great command over instruments such as Mridangam, Kanjira, Ghatam and Morsing, as well as being equally versed with the art of Konnakol (Indian spoken rhythm). Passionately embedded in the Indian classical tradition, his career has been built upon strong foundations due to extensive study of his art with his guru Sri M. Balachandar, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK. He had his Arangetram (‘official’ debut performance of a musician after undertaking years of training in the Carnatic system) in September 1999 in Chennai. Guests included the late Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna.

Despite making his international debut performance at the age of 11 in Barcelona, the turning point came in 2002, when Pandit Ravi Shankar invited him to perform in the “Concert for George” at the Royal Albert Hall alongside artists such as Anoushka Shankar, Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynn and Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. A concert that later became a Grammy® award winning album. This was a significant moment in Pirashanna Thevarajah’s career and led to him being an integral ensemble member in Ravi Shankar’s world tours up until his final concerts in India, America and Europe. To this day he performs and records regularly with Anoushka Shankar, including in her most recent Grammy® nominated albums “Traveller” and “Traces of You”.

Pirashanna has performed in such prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Carnegie Hall, Barbican Centre, Vienna Konzerthaus, Salle Pleyel, Hollywood Bowl, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Palais des Beaux-Arts, KKL Luzern and at the Verbier Festival, Prague Spring Festival, WOMAD, Glastonbury Festival and London’s BBC Proms.
These performances have been as a result of his numerous collaborations with classical and contemporary artists such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Mandolin U. Shrinivas, Aruna Sairam, Nitin Sawhney, Prof.T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Ganesh & Kumaresh, Talvin Singh, Karsh Kale, MIDIval Punditz to name a few.

Recent highlights include a European tour with British Indian musician Susheela Raman, performing at London’s Globe Theatre in Anoushka Shankar’s festival celebrating Rabindranath Tagore and a collaboration with composer/ producer Sam Mills’ project, ‘Sacred Imaginations’, which premiered in London in June 2015.

Today, from his home in London, Pirashanna’s career echoes his desire to continuously nurture his artistry. He is persistently investigating new sound worlds and opening his mind to different culture’s musical traditions whilst staying true to his Indian Carnatic heritage.

Glenn Sharp.
Glenn is a session musician, composer and producer on the world music scene. He is a session guitarist who specialises in traditional acoustic music (flamenco and arabic in particular), but has also worked on projects including Latin, Indian, African and ancient Greco/Roman music. He has performed and studied traditional music worldwide, playing instruments including guitar (flamenco, classical, acoustic and electric), oud and saz. Glenn composes and performs production music for film, TV and other media.

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