Main stage entertainment
Thursday 28th July
Roopa Panesar (Sitar)
Accompanied by: Upneet Singh (Tabla), Pirashanna Thevarajah (Percussion)
Roopa Panesar is considered one of the finest sitar players to emerge on the Indian Classical Music scene from the UK. She is a disciple of the renowned educationalist and leading musician of the UK, Ustad Dharambir Singh ji MBE (a disciple of the late Ustad Vilayat Khan), and was recognized as a talent for the future. She began her training at the age of seven, under her Guru until present day. She also learnt from the senior most disciple of the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pandit Arvind Parikh ji. Her musical vision has been enriched while receiving guidance from other outstanding musicians visiting the UK including Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt Buddhaditya Mukherjee and Ustad Bahauddin Dagar.
Roopa has toured extensively in the UK, Europe and USA performing at prestigious venues and festivals and released her debut album “Khoj” in 2011. She performed in her debut tour of India in 2014 where she played to vibrant audiences in Delhi, Mumbai and SRA Kolkatta. She had a highly successful tour in USA in 2017 and has played in major festivals like Darbar Festival and Womad.
Aside from touring Europe, US and India she has made numerous BBC appearances, collaborated with Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh and the Belgian Symphony Orchestra. Roopa also played at the VJ75 memorial, in the presence of HRH Prince Charles, which was broadcast on BBC 1 and performed with Sir Simon Rattle for the CBSO 100 programme. Also qualified as a Chemical Engineer, Roopa made her choice to follow her musical passion and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional Sitarist. She is among a very small number of Indian females, worldwide, who have launched their careers as full-time touring Sitar players.
Upneet Singh is a talented Tabla player based in Leicester, who began learning Tabla from a young age. He comes from a musical family and is the son of the eminent Sitar maestro Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE. Upneet is a disciple of Pt Sanju Sahai Ji, the 6th generation of the Benares Gharana lineage. Upneet began learning the Benares Gharana after being initiated by Pt Sharda Sahai Ji. This Gharana was founded by Pt Ram Sahai Ji in the 18th century bringing to Tabla a creative versatility of both a delicate and powerful style.
Upneet's musical journey has taken him across the world, working with many great musicians. His upbringing with music and playing the Benaras style of Tabla, enhances his musicality and understanding with accompaniment alongside many styles and genres including; Western Classical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Folk and Dance. Upneet has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals such as Darbar music festival, BBC Womad festival, BBC Radio and Musicport festival to name just a few. Upneet is also an associate member of Trinity College London.
Pirashanna Thevarajah is senior disciple of Vidwan Sri M. Balachandar, of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, UK, and is recognised by the world music and Indian classical community as an extremely versatile percussionist with great command over various instruments especially Mridangam, Kanjira, Ghatam, Morsing, and equally versed in the art of Konnakol (Indian spoken rhythm). He has performed across the world with some of the world’s most renowned artists such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, Mandolin Shrinivas, Aruna Sairam, Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh, dancer Akram Khan and many more
Friday 29th July
Manish Vyas (Vocals, Harmonium)
Accompanied by: Alok Verma (Tabla, Percussion), Kumae Raghunathan (Violin, Vocals), Kajal Seth (Vocals)
Manish Vyas is composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and teacher (tabla, santoor, harmonium, swarmandal, keyboard and other percussion from india.) along his lifetime musical path, he has composed hundreds of songs, mainly in the devotional, mystical, folk, instrumental and sufi genres. He has released 20 albums until the present, of original music and has also contributed to dozens of other musicians with his compositions, voice and instruments. Almost eight hours of his music are also available in the popular meditation app, silencefinder available worldwide.
His gatherings, retreats and concerts offer the perfect blend of indian genuine sounds merged with a touch of fusion, which makes his music so accessible and appreciated by all type of listeners in the search of authentic Indian sounds.
Saturday 30th July
Radhika Das and friends (Kirtan)
In 2007 Radhika Das first reflected on a world that he felt was in the most part frustrated in its search for happiness and deeper truth.
The solution, he discovered was the practice of Bhakti Yoga, the path of love and devotion. He decided to dedicate more time to absorb himself in the ancient practice of Kirtan and discovered the beauty of mantra.
Radhika is devoted to helping people, whether it be from an existing yoga or spiritual background or to those with limited or no exposure to the practices. His aim is to help you to feel more fulfilled through mantra meditation and a holistic way of living; deeply connecting the mind, body and soul. He has shared in a variety of spaces including The British Museum, with well known Yoga teachers such as Emma Henry, Jules Febre and Charlie Kelly as well as in corporate and popular student spaces.
"Every human being has a beautiful light within that is just waiting to shine, but our false ego can often block us from unlocking our full potential. As a Bhakti practitioner, I want to serve you to dive deep and explore, unleashing your true vibrancy and joy."
Radhika Das also helps to run ‘Kirtan London’, a project which aims to make sacred mantra music accessible and relevant to a wider audience, including schools, mental health institutions and outdoor events.
Vibha trained in Bharatanatyam from a very early age from her mother Kiran Ratna. Her outstanding talent has propelled her onto the international dance scene. She is regularly invited to perform at the NADA Nrityotsava at the VRC Academy of Music & Dance in India as well as performing throughout the UK. She has been highly praised for the choreographic innovation shown in her works such as Nayika and experimental collaborations with The Fusion Project. Vibha has co-choreographed and performed in many productions with India Dance Wales, most recently taking the lead role in the dance drama “Shakuntala”. She heads India Dance South West (a branch of India Dance Wales est. in 1993) and continues to choreograph and perform regularly and is involved with collaborations to explore her art form further.
Sunday 31st July
Adrian Atma (Sound journey)
Nikki Slade and friends (Kirtan)
Adrian atma it’s an orchestra in one body, a travel in the whole world in one song, a whisper from the soul.
The concert "Mystic Loop" is a very touching experience and the audience often report to have been carried away and elevated. We dive deep into the multilayered auditory experience of the loopstation, acoustic instruments, beatbox groove and voice.
Like no other, Adrian blends with virtuosity the sounds of Indian Sitar, Guitar, indian bansuri(flute), Violin and duduk. He takes you on the journey in his mystic universe with flavours of Indian classical, flamenco, shamanic, mantras, middle eastern..
The Idea of this project is base on improvisation, spontaneity and channeling. Therefore the performance is always unique. The same seed songs are performed but always with variations specific to the moment and the audience.
Nikki Slade is a leading pioneer in the field of chanting, core voice and sound work in the UK. Nikki has inspired thousands of individuals to chant and has led chanting workshops for many corporations including M&C Saatchi, Deutcshe Bank and Cisco. She has also taken her cutting edge approach to working with the voice into Wandsworth men’s prison and she is the resident voice facilitator at the Priory hospital in North London where she has impacted the recovery of hundreds of addicts over the past 15 years.
Nikki has recorded four highly popular chanting CDs: Nectarine, Monsoon, Soundscape and her latest double album Epiphany. She is the resident Kirtan (Chanting) leader at Triyoga in London and has travelled the world with her work to places including California, Singapore, NYC, Europe and Melbourne. She has led chants for over 2000 people at the Mind, Body, Spirit show and at the Oneness ceremony in London.
Maryam Shakiba is a performing artist dedicated to sharing the beauty and richness of odissi. Her practice focuses on the experience of inhabiting the body through dance and movement, and the process of developing emotional sensitivity and personal growth through rigorous immersion in dance.
Maryam performs regularly as a soloist and as part of the Odissi Ensemble, the UK’s leading professional odissi company, and has travelled to India extensively to deepen her understanding of the cultural context from which Odissi has grown. She has performed at venues such as the Southbank Centre, British Museum, MAC Birmingham, Wembley Stadium, Rich Mix and the Hat Factory Arts Centre. She is also a certified yoga teacher.
Odissi is a form of Indian classical dance from the state of Odisha; a dance that began life over 2000 years ago as a sacred offering within temples. The dance in its original form saw it danced by Maharis; women who lived in the temple complex and devoted their lives to dancing for the divine. The dance was offered then, as it is now, to Lord Jagannath – the principal deity in Odisha. Odissi was nearly lost during India’s history of foreign occupation, but following independence the dance was revived and given the classical form we see today.
Odissi is distinct in its striking grace and elegance; embodying sculpted forms, lyrical movements and intricate footwork. It also embodies the interior philosophical framework of achieving liberation through concentration, stilling the mind and focusing on the divine.
Indian culture recognises dance as one of the highest offerings that can be given to god. Uniting the mind, body and spirit, devotional dancing is a connection to the divine presence that is around us.
Arachai & Joe
Drum Happy with Elk Burland
Inspired by their travels around the world, Arachai and Joe bring together the instruments of Handpan, Didgeridoo, Guitar and voice to create a sound experience that will not only get you moving, but also thinking.
Elk Burland leads the Drum Happy drum circle workshops which are a big hit with all ages! Elk has been a keen musician since the eighties, when he began playing the saxophone in groups and as a street musician. Since then, he has worked on all manner of projects and currently spends much of his time working as a sound engineer and producer. He also has a passion for personal development and the positive psychology movement, he trained as a councillor in 2007. Elk now runs Drum Happy where these two worlds meet and the therapeutic benefits of music are made accessible to all. Join us in a joyous, rhythmic romp, playing hand drums and percussion in an awesome rhythm jam! No prior knowledge or experience is necessary as we will briefly instruct you on how to hold and play the instruments, and empower you to channel your inner musician. Experience the buzz of creative collaboration in this relaxed, fun and invigorating session. There are few guarantees in this life, but we feel confident that you will leave happier than when you arrived. Instruments are provided.
Gong Voyage created by Omar Aziz. A multi-Instrumentalist - sound practitioner from Colchester, UK, specialising in Gongs, Handpan, Flutes, Djembe and other world instruments to provide a powerful and diverse Sound Bath experience.
Over the years, Omar's journey into sound meditation has taken him on a voyage of self discovery, healing and connection. He has spent time with many great teachers along the way including Sheila Whittaker, Don Conreaux and Robert Horwell, to name just a few.
For the last year, Melanie Swire has been working alongside Omar as his apprentice in sound alchemy, bringing with her, her love of the Didgeridoo. Omar and Melanie offer a live musical transmission where participants are enveloped in multi-harmonic vibrations as the resonance of the Gongs and other instruments travel into the very fabric of our cells.