Overview

Kirit Singh and Jasdeep Singh are two artists who specialise in the genres of Dhrupad & Dhamār. They perform Gurbānī Kīrtan in this traditional style, staying true to the vocal and percussive lineages to which they belong. Kirit is a disciple of the world renowned Dhrupad torchbearer, Pt. Uday Bhawalkar ji, and Jasdeep is one of the few disciples of the world's leading exponent of the Jori tradition of Punjab, Ustad Sukhvinder Singh 'Pinky' ji. The style and musicality which they bring to the sacred tradition of Gurbānī Kīrtan is both rare and yet timeless, and their determination and devotion to it represents their individual, inspired musical journeys to date. With the blessings of their gurus, they present their art through humility and hard work, striving for excellence and spontaneity at every moment.

Dhrupad & Dhamar

Dhrupad & Dhamār constitute one of the oldest surviving forms of North Indian classical music which traces its origins to the spiritual and devotional forms of music employed in the temples of premedieval India. It is characteristically majestic in nature and tends to be syllabic in style, meaning the shabd, i.e., sound and word, are of utmost priority. It is typically heard in sacred contexts, such as in the traditions of Havelī Sangīt and Gurbānī Sangīt, but also enjoyed popularity amongst the royal courts of India where it was willingly patronised as an art form in the medieval period. Dhrupad is considered to have given birth to all the other modern classical traditions of North India.

Gurbani Sangit

Once upon a time, Sacred music of the Sikhs, or Gurbānī Sangīt, was widely sung in the style of Dhrupad & Dhamār. The sacred poetry of great saints and gurus of the medieval period is naturally suited to a style of music in which the word maintains utmost priority and sanctity. Today, however, Dhrupad & Dhamār are rarely heard in the domain of Gurbānī Sangīt, a sad reality which inspires us to bring about change. The effective nature of Dhrupad and the power of its sound, the ras and bhāv evoked by Rāga music and the beautiful and universal truths expounded in Gurbānī, when combined, offer a unique and uplifting experience.

The Artists

Jasdeep Singh

Jasdeep began his musical training in the Khayal style of singing under Ustad Surinder Saund, and then later went on to learn the Dilruba from Ustad Gurdev Singh.

He started his training in Tabla and Jori from the world renowned Ustad Sukhvinder Singh 'Pinky' at the tender age of 13.

In order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the Benares style of Tabla he spent 3 years studying from Pandit Sanju Sahai, the head of the Benares Tabla tradition.

More recently, he has been studying Gurbani Sangeet, from the Sangeet Natak award winning Ustad Harbhajan Singh Namdhari, and Pakhawaj, from 13th generation Pakhawaj Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar Upadhyay.

Jasdeep is also actively involved in research within the fields of Gurbani Sangeet and the percussive tradition of Punjab.

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Kirit Singh

Kirit initially underwent a western classical music training and studied to play the piano from the age of 9.

He then became interested in Indian classical music in his teens, through his encounter with the Raj Academy. He took up playing the Sarangi and went on to study Indian classical music and Gurbani Sangit from Ustad Gurdev Singh Namdhari and later with Ustad Harbhajan Singh Namdhari.

The genres of Dhrupad & Dhamar, however, had a particularly profound effect on him, in particular when he met his guru and a leading torchbearer of the Dhrupad tradition, Pt. Uday Bhawalkar. Over the past few years he has been spending considerable time in India studying music with his guru ji.

Kirit also has strong academic interests in the field of Dhrupad and Gurbani Sangit and having completed a masters in Ethnomusicology he is now working, together with the help of Jasdeep, towards a PhD in music.