Shahbaz Hussain

Shahbaz Hussain has an ease for making you at the centre of his rhythms and brings his wide tabla repertoire and dynamism to both classical and fusion.

Gifted with a sweet melodic sound, his playing is a confluence of styles learnt from his father and other maestros. Shahbaz Hussain is fast emerging as one of the most promising tabla virtuosos of his generation. He has received numerous accolades for his captivating performances, including receiving the prestigious “Son of Lahore” Award from the Government of Pakistan in 2008.

Shahbaz began his grooming in the art of tabla at age five with his father, the late Ustad Mumtaz Hussain – a prominent vocalist. He later went on to study with tabla legends Ustad Faiyaz Khan from the Delhi Gharana (school), the late Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan from the Punjab Gharana and finally the late Ustad Allah Rakha Khan.

Shahbaz is an extremely versatile tabla player. He has mastered all the traditional skills as well as the ability to project those skills to more contemporary styles. His solo performances have gained great recognition all over the world. He is also much sought after for his accompaniment skills by many of the great masters musicians of India & Pakistan – including Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Rais Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and ghazal legend Ghulam Ali to name but a few.

Shahbaz regularly travels across the world to present performances, including throughout Europe, North America & the Asian subcontinent. He has performed in many prestigious venues, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center in New York and London’s Royal Albert & Queen Elizabeth Halls. His band, Indus, has received critical acclaim for their debut album Firefly and they continue to tour the UK & internationally.

He is a dedicated teacher and regularly teaches across the country, including at the University of Newcastle and the University of Huddersfield. Shahbaz is based in Rochdale, England.

Divyanand Caird

Divyanand Caird plays the ancient lute-like Saraswati Veena of South India. His blend of mastery and enthusiasm enables him to bring the rich tones of his instrument with its idiosyncratic ornamentation to any musical mix.

Divyanand is a professional South Indian (Carnatic) Classical musician of the Saraswati Veena based in London. He hails from an Indo-Scottish Heritage. He is a prime student of Veena maestro Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian, a ninth generation musician from the illustrious Karaikudi Veena Tradition and founder of Brhaddhvani.

Divyanand has extensively toured North America and Europe with his guru. He has been a faculty and cultural coordinator at the research institute Brhaddhvani since 2010 and has supported the Veena craftsmen and curated several music festivals in Chennai. His interests also extend to cross-cultural collaborations with world musicians, Ethnomusicology, sound engineering, archiving music & heritage.

He is the founder of ‘Brhaddhvani Global Centre for Music’ in the UK to spread the Karaikudi Tradition and his gurus pioneering methodology COMET (Correlated Objective Music Education and Training.

Dheeraj Sahai-Mishra

Dheeraj hails from Varanasi which has been a cultural centre of North India for several thousand years. Also known as Ashish, he is one of the exciting dynamic young Tabla players of his generation and brings a laid back modern groove to the eight generation old Benares Gharana tradition he represents. At the age of 7, Dheeraj became a disciple of his grandfather the legendary Pt Sharda Sahai, the founder of PRSSV and the direct descendant of Pt Ram Sahai ji the founder of the Benares Gharana.

Dheeraj’s debut performance was at ‘Gritma’ at the age of 13 and since then he has performed in many festivals across India and Europe. He has accompanied many leading artists including Padma Vibhushan Girija Devi (vocalist), Amar Nath Mishra (sitarist), Ravi Shankar Mishra (Kathak dancer) as well as many upcoming young artists.

Dheeraj is a versatile artist equally at home with the formalities of the Tabla solo and classical accompaniment, the lighter forms of Thuri and Ghazal, and is developing new fusion works with Blues, Greek, Celtic and other artists. He has a Master’s Degree in Music from Benares Hindu University and is a gold medallist. He is currently resident artist and teacher at PRSSV in London.

Clem Alford

Clem Alford, born in Glasgow, is called a ‘Scottish Pandit’ for his knowledge of Indian classical music tradition.

Although he initially studied bagpipes, Clem took to the sitar in the mid-1960s after being inspired by Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan. He went to India in 1968 to study classical sitar with Pandit Sachindranath Saha and had his first album recorded in 1969 with guitarist Jim Moyes and tabla player Keshv Sathe. This set him on the path to study Indian traditional sitar in India for many years.

Clem has made a name for himself in the world of Indian music and has performed in the major cities of India and several times in Japan and other Asian countries. He has also collaborated with leading musicians in India and is acclaimed in Indian newspapers for his detailed and mellifluous expositions of ragas.

He has composed music for film and won several accolades in India and the West. Clem has also been associated with the famous John Williams (classical guitar), John Mayer (composer/ Indo Jazz Fusions), Maurice Jarre (film scores), John Dankworth (jazz), Hemmant Kunar (vocalist) and a host of other striking personalities in the world of music.

He has taught hundreds of people over the years in London at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and in PRSSV where he is presently a resident artist. He is a graduate of Midnapore Music College in West Bengal (India) and has written a guide book to explain his philosophy and how to play the sitar.