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Easter Ragas

Roopa Panesar
Roopa Panesar

By Amit Roy

An exceptionally rich festival of classical and contemporary Indian music is being put on by Tara Arts in partnership with the Sama Arts Network from April 6-8, 2018.

Mehtab Malhotra

Over the three days, some 50 musicians are expected to perform at the Tara Theatre in Tooting, south London.

Once upon a time, almost all classical musicians arrived either from India or Pakistan but, according to Jay Visvadeva, Sama’s founder, a number of talented British Asian musicians have made their mark in recent years.

They include Roopa Panesar (sitar), Mehtab Malhotra (Ghazal), Abi Sampa (Qawwali, Carnatic and western music) and Shahbaz Hussain (table).

Abi Sampa

Since he established Sama in 1977, Visvadeva has curated more than 1,350 events with acclaimed artists from India, the UK and other parts of the world.

Tara Arts, meanwhile, started 40 years ago by its artistic director, Jatinder Verma, is generally credited with starting British Asian theatre in the UK.

Specially recommended during the forthcoming festival are such events as: In Praise of Khusrau; Konnakol / Songs of the Tanjore Quartet; Taal Vaadya Katcheri; Ancestral voices; and Songs of Love and Separation.

Easter Ragas: A festival of classical and contemporary Indian music; presented by Tara Arts with Sama Arts. Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lane, London SW18 4ES; April 6-8, 2018
Box Office: 0208 333 4457 or online: