South Asian Music Forum is aimed at creating a platform for young, talented artists actively pursuing South Asian Music, to gain performance opportunities and experience, and develop as artists. The project aims to ensure that young musicians have the support and opportunities they need in order to succeed as artists of South Asian music within the UK. It also serves to bring some of the most promising talent in this field to lovers of South Asian music and the wider public.
Kirit initially underwent a western classical music training and studied to play the piano from the age of 9. He then became interested in Indian classical music in his teens. He took up playing the Sarangi and went on to study Indian classical music and Gurbani Kirtan from Ustad Gurdev Singh and, later, with Ustad Harbhajan Singh of the Namdhari tradition.
The genres of Dhrupad & Dhamar, however, had a particularly profound effect on him, in particular when he met his guruji and a leading torchbearer of the Dhrupad tradition, Pt. Uday Bhawalkar. Over the past few years he has been spending considerable time in India studying music with his guruji.
Kirit also has strong academic interests in the field of Dhrupad and Gurbani Kirtan and having completed a master’s, with distinction, in Ethnomusicology, he is now working, together with the help of Jasdeep, towards a PhD in music based around the history of Gurbani Kirtan.
Jasdeep Singh began his musical training in Tabla and Jorī from the world-renowned Grammy award winning, Ustad Sukhvinder Singh 'Pinky' at the tender age of 13.
And has had much interaction with one of the greatest percussionists of our time, the Punjab Gharana exponent, Pandit Yogesh Samsi, from whom he is expanding his approach to rhythmic aesthetics.
Jasdeep is also actively involved in research within the fields of Gurbani Sangeet and the percussive tradition of Punjab, mentored by internationally recognised musicologist Saqib Razaq.
Saqib’s initial musical training commenced at the age of 10 under Bhai Seetal Singh Sitara. In 1986, he formally became the disciple of tabla maestro Ustad Faryad Hussain ‘Bhulli’ Khan and thus began a lifelong passion of learning the tabla. His training was further supplemented by Delhi gharana’s maestro, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Ustad Bashir Khan of Karachi and Kasur based Ustad Nazeer Hussain Khan.
Keeping his passion to promote the arts, Saqib founded Sadarang Archives in 2001, one of the first online resources promoting classical music in Pakistan. In the same year, he attained a Master’s in Ethnomusicology from SOAS. This equipped him with the requisite tools to carry an extensive and ambitious research project to document and safeguard traditional compositions of the Punjab Gharana of percussion. This unique audio- visual archive has resulted in over 2000 traditional compositions to be scribed from over 400 musicians from Pakistan and India.
In 2011, Saqib co-founded the Lahore Music Forum, the organisation in a short space of time has become one of Pakistan’s leading organisations promoting classical music. He continues his interest in South Asian percussive arts by studying the Pakhawaj under Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma.
Karanveer’s musical journey commenced from the age of 6, learning Gurbani Kirtan accompanied by his younger brother, Arjan Singh on Tabla. He went on to learn Indian classical violin and Dilruba during his teens.
In 2014, Karanveer’s passion of Gurbani Kirtan inspired him to establish a charity organisation know as ‘Dgn Sounds’ (Dhan Guru Nanak Sounds), which is committed to spreading the divine message of the Sikh Gurus, through high-quality audio and video recordings of Kirtan and inspirational talks/Katha from all around the world.
This has led him to collaborate with and support many esteemed organisations such as Basics of Sikhi, Nihung Santhia, Dhrupadamar, Sadhana Arts and now SAMF.
Karanveer is currently supporting Kirit Singh and Jasdeep Singh with the filming of a documentary about the history of Gurbani Sangeet in India and Pakistan.