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.