Bhattacharya is one of the emerging, promising talents in Indian classical music. In this concert, she gives a deft recital of Raag Jhinjhoti. Her detailed exploration of this instrumental raga is commendable and her bright tonal quality brings the delectable shades of this raga to life in the lower and middle octaves. She begins with a jod, building it up to a dexterous jhalla. The composition in faster tempo teentaal is played with typical as well as explorative phrases. She ends her recital with a beautiful dhun (lighter piece) in Mishra Bhairavi.
Discovering young and emerging talents is a forte of Sandeep Virdee, Artistic Director of Darbar – one of the reasons that people get to see and listen to not just seasoned, great performers but also the young, promising talents in Indian classical music. “I think the Youtube has been a leveler; Technology has made it possible for us to explore and find veritable talents across the world and I have been in this space since the last 30 years,” he informs.
Rayatt is the grandson of Bhai Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee in whose memory, the Darbar Festival was started. In a short interview, he recalls what a prolific teacher his grandfather was and the work he had done in the UK in spreading awareness about the tabla and Indian classical music. He gives a laudable accompaniment to Bhattacharya with flashes of tayyari and a combination of subtle and powerful bols calibrated with the sarod’s journey.
Bhattacharya is one of India’s finest young sarod players, representing the rich musical tradition of her native Kolkata. Her style blends the expansive mindset of modern musicians with an old-school patience. She began learning with her sarodi father Debashish Bhattacharya, then entered the tutelage of the late maestro Buddhadev Das Gupta. She made an acclaimed UK debut in 2017, and continues to demonstrate that gender should be no barrier to instrumental mastery. “[The sarod] is considered as a male dominated instrument…I accepted the challenge and every morning I try to prove myself by improving my playing...music has no boundaries...it is only for the human.”
Rayatt is one of Europe’s finest young tabla players. Though UK-based, his style incorporates a vast expanse of ideas from the Punjab, Benares and Farrukhabad gharanas. He trained under his father Harkirat and grandfather Bhai Gurmeet Singh Ji Virdee. He went on to take further instruction from Shankar Ghosh and his son Bickram, and moved to Kolkata for a year to refine his style. Today he has a busy and varied schedule, accompanying UK-visiting artists including Shahid Parvez and playing with fusion groups such as Kefaya and Michael Messer’s Mitra. Other projects include frequent BBC appearances and working with the UK Philharmonia Orchestra. Gurdain also also has two bachelor’s degrees, in English with Film and Music with Composition. Still young, his career goes from strength to strength.
Debasmita Bhattacharya (sarod)
Gurdain Rayatt (tabla)
Raag Jhinjhoti, Mishra Bhairavi