Bhai Mardana was the founder of the Sikh musical tradition, also known as Gurmat Sangeet. Gurmat Sangeet was started in the fifteenth century when Bhai Mardana started accompanying the first guru of the Sikhs on Rabab (String instrument). Guru Nanak, first Guru of the Sikhs, sung his writings accompanied by Bhai Mardana. Bhai Mardana was a scholar of Indian classical music of his time.
Since then, singing classical music and playing string instruments has become a tradition in the Sikh community. It is not only part of religious practice to sing and play but has a strong cultural connection. This program will feature traditional instruments such as Rabab, Sarangi, Tabla, Jori, Pakhawaj together with Gurbani Gayan in the traditional Raagas of Sikh Music. Bhai Mardana Music Festival will be the first ever Gurmat Sangeet program in New Zealand. It will help the wider community to learn about the Sikh community and their cultural heritage.
The programme will feature one of the best Singers and Musicians in the world of this Genre.
Rajwinder Kaur is a highly skilled Gurbani singer from the holy city of Amritsar. She is the third generation of Kirtan singers in her family of musicians. Rajwinder won India’s most prestigious Gurbani Sangeet Competition in 2014 named Gavoh Sachi Bani on PTC channel. She has performed on the most famous Gurbani sangeet and Raag Darbar stages of India such as Raag Darbar, Harmandar Sahib. She will be the leading vocal artist in this music festival.
Satwinder Pal Singh is a second generation Sarangi player from Mukatsar. He is the son and disciple of famous Sarangi player Ustad Shaminder Pal Singh of Punjab, disciple of legendary Sarangi Player Ustad Sabir Khan. Satwinder Pal Singh is a highly talented young musician who has Grade from Prasar Bharti Doordarshan and All India Radio. He has played with many legendary musicians including Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Fazal Qureshi. He will be playing solo Sarangi and accompanying Rajwinder Kaur and other artists.
Rhythm School of Indian music:
In the realm of South Asian music, when it comes to percussionists, vocalists and instrumentalist emanating from the New Zealand the name Rhythm School of Indian Music is inseparable from Indian Classical Music in NZ. School was formed by Manjit Singh and his wife Daljeet Kaur in 2009 with a vision to train the New Zealanders with high quality art. Manjit Singh started to learn Tabla under one of the most well established and renowned Tabla players in Punjab, Ustad KulwinderSingh, traditional disciple of legendary Ustad Allah Rakha Khan; Manjit Singh upholds the essence of traditional Punjab Gharana style of Tabla playing and Singing. He has performed in many famous classical music concerts in India, England, Singapore, America and New Zealand. He has performed with many internationally famous musicians like Ustad Fazal Qureshi, Ustad Dilshad Khan, Ustad Taufiq Qureshi, Ustad Tari Khan, Pt Purbayan Chatterji, Dhanashree Pandit and many more. In his recent achievements, he has composed and recorded the opening ceremony music for ICC world cup2015. The other Gem of the school Daljeet Kaur, a Masters in Hindustani vocal music with a distinction in practical, and a vocal expertise that ranges from Classical and Thumri to Gurmat Sangeet (Sikh traditional music), Kaur is a vocal par excellence. She has won many competitions and awards over the years and is respected by her peers for her sublime tonal quality and vocal skills. She has done many music albums and participated in many reality singing shows in India.
She is teaching in Auckland from 6 years. Manjit Singh, Daljeet Kaur and the talented students of Rhythm school will be participating in the program.