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Sage Gateshead



Gem Arts and Sage Gateshead present

Riverside Ragas: Roopa Panesar and Shahbaz Hussain

Riverside Ragas Stitch

Part of Riverside Ragas


Roopa Panesar (sitar)

Considered one of the finest Sitar players to emerge on the Indian music scene in the UK, Roopa Panesar has received accolades from audiences and peers alike for her outstanding ability and quality of music.

Her soulful and unique style of playing has left her listeners captivated, touching the hearts of audiences far and wide and received blessings from many eminent musicians in the world of Indian classical music.

Roopa remains firmly within the Hindustani classical idiom, but brings a distinctive style to sitar performance. Born in Leicester, she trained under UK-based maestro Dharambir Singh MBE. Additionally, she has received informal instruction from others including Pandit Arvind Parikh, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, and Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. Her sitar’s design is modelled closely on those from the Imdadkhani gharana, and she takes inspiration from the greats of that region including Ustad Vilayat Khan.

Aside from touring Europe and the US, she has made numerous BBC appearances, collaborated with Talvin Singh and the Belgian Symphony Orchestra, and recorded on the soundtrack of the film West is West. Her debut album, Khoj (‘discovery’) was met with critical acclaim, and her promising career continues on an upward trajectory. She is currently a student of Pandit Arvind Parikh.


Shahbaz Hussain (tabla)

A thrilling and versatile player, regarded as the leading tabla virtuoso of his generation. Shahbaz began Tabla with his father, the late Ustad Mumtaz Hussain – a prominent vocalist, and went on to study with Tabla legends Ustad Faiyaz Khan from the Delhi Gharana (school), the late Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan from the Punjab Gharana and finally the late Ustad Allah Rakha Khan.

Shahbaz is an extremely versatile Tabla player, and his solo performances have gained great recognition all over the world. He is highly sought after for his accompaniment skills by many of the great master musicians of India and Pakistan. He has performed in many prestigious venues, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center in New York and London’s Royal Albert & Queen Elizabeth Halls.

Shahbaz is also passionate about passing on his knowledge, and regularly teaches across the country, including at Newcastle University and the University of Huddersfield.



GemArts is an award winning arts organisation based in the North East of England.  A nationally recognised leader in the South Asian and diversity arts sector, GemArts creates and programmes high quality concerts, events, festivals, workshops and commissions with regional, national and international artists across all art forms.

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7.30pm Doors
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