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Women In Music A festival of women in art

Women In Music

As a progressive, cosmopolitan organisation, SAMA believes that artistic opportunities and participation catalyse equality and human development. The arts of South Asia are exceptionally male-dominated, given the inherently patriarchal framework of sub-continental cultures. This necessitates the occasional intervention, plainly put; to give women artists their due. SAMA are proud that the efforts of several UK-based organisations, themselves included, has resulted in a visibly increased role for women artists of South Asian arts worldwide.

Being a logical extension of the first two editions of the festival, the proposed activity ensures continuity and consistency in SAMA's artistic agenda. The theme of empowering women in the South Asian arts sector in and through the visual and performing arts reflects the cosmopolitan and democratic ethos of SAMA. SAMA are strong believers in an integrated, cosmopolitan Britain. Their work has delivered results in bringing people together despite perceived barriers.

The SAMA Women In Art festival has become an annual feature. It has helped them grow a niche but engaged audience of diverse demographic composition and created a positive perception of South Asian arts and artists by UK audiences. Continued programming in this sphere will help SAMA develop further as a leading proponent of equality and progressiveness in the sector.

While the theme of women in the arts has taken root across the South Asian arts sector in the UK, SAMA have consciously privileged artistic quality above all other considerations. They endeavour to provide artists and audiences with a nurturing and sustainable ecosystem, which, consistent with the improvisatory nature of these arts, leads to spontaneous and organic leaps of creativity.

24 May / 6:30pm / £ Free Shephali Frost
Sufi Songs from 16 - 21st Century / Prelude event - Women in the Arts Festival
Nehru Centre, London
12 June / 6:30pm / £ Free Chinmayi Tripathi – Poetry Project
Songs of Hindi Poets (Neo Romanticist Poetry)
Nehru Centre, London
12—17 June / 11am-7pm / £ Free Madhubani Painting Exhibtion
Seema Singh
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
16—17 June / 10am / £27.54 Madhubani Painting Workshop
Seema Singh
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
Saturday 16 June / 8pm / £12-15 Mystic Songs & Sufi Qawwali
Abi Sampa with support from Chinmayi Tripathi
Rich Mix, London
18 June—11 July / 11am to 7pm / £ Free Women in Khyal Music - Music and Imagination
A multimedia exhibition
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
19 June / 6:30pm / £ Free A Talk by Dr Laura Leante - Khyal Exhibition
Khyal Music - Dr Milind Malshe
Nehru Centre, London
20 June / 6:30pm / £ Free A Talk by Dr Laura Leante - Khyal Music & Visual Art
Book Launch Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta launched a fictitious musical story on Khyal between a 15th Century blind poet saint and Mughal Emperor Akbar.
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
19—23 June/ 10am to 6pm / £ Free Songs of Spring
Sara Riaz Khan•Vinita Khanna•Sudipta Modi
Asia House, London
24 June—13 July / 11am to 7pm / £ Free Songs of Spring
Sara Riaz Khan • Vinita Khanna • Sudipta Modi
Transferred from Asia House
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
Tuesday 26 June / 7pm / £7.50 Talk on Music of the Agra Gharana
Priya Purshothaman
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
Friday 29 June / 7pm / £15 Priya Purshothaman—Khyal Vocal
With Amritpal Singh—Tabla
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
6 July / 7.30pm / £ Free Deepa Hattangady Karnad
Khyal Music
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
10 July—13 July / 11am to 7pm / £ Free Exhibition of the Baul Tradition
Papia Das Baul
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
Sunday 8 July / 6:30pm / £10 Indrani Datta — Kathak
Katrina Rute — Bharatanatym
Pallavi Anand — Odissi

Bhavan Centre, London
10 July—13 July / 11am to 7pm / £ Free Exhibition of the Baul Tradition
Papia Das Baul
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
12 July / 6:30pm/ £ Free Sanjukta Mitra
Khyal Vocal
Nehru Centre, London
13 July / 6:30pm/ £ Free Yan White
Flute recital - Khyal Exhibition
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
Thursday 19 July / 6:30pm / £ Free Sunita Avani Amin— Dhrupad Vocals Nehru Centre, London
Saturday 21 July / 7:30pm / £15

Amrit Kaur Lohia — Sarangi/Voice
KauRAS/ Deepa Nair Rasiya — Songs of Sufi / Sikh Tradition

Watermans Art Centre, London
Sunday 22 July / 3pm / £15

Sangeeta Datta — Tagore & Baul
Papia Das Baul — Baul Songs

Watermans Art Centre, London
Sunday 22 July / 7pm / £15

Shepali Frost – Sufi Mystics / Contemporary Poets
Vandana Somai – Bhakti Poet

Watermans Art Centre, London
Saturday 28 July / 7:30pm / £13 Sindhu Vee: Sandhog — A night of comedy with Sindhu Vee Tara Theatre, London
Friday 3 August / 6:30pm / £ Free Urmi Chakraborty — Semi Classical /Hindustani Vocals Nehru Centre, London
Monday 13 August / 2:30pm / £10 Women in the Arts Conference —
Keynote Speech / Panel discussions / Business of Music
Music Publishing / Talent Development & Artist Management
Finance & Fundraising
Wilton's Music Hall, London
Monday 13 August / 7:45pm / £17.50 Nicki Wells —
Wilton's Music Hall, London
Tuesday 14 August / 7:45pm / £17.50 Zoe Rahman —
Jazz / Contemporary
Wilton's Music Hall, London
Wednesday 15 August / 7:45pm / £17.50 Patricia Rozario —
Soprano/ Western Classical ::
Naresh Sohal / John Taverner / Vijay Anand
Wilton's Music Hall, London
Thursday 16 August / 7:45pm / £17.50 Calcutta —
English Baroque meets Indian Music
Wilton's Music Hall, London

KhyalFEST 2018
Festival of Music and Imagination

Tuesday 19 June / 6:30pm / £ Free Pandit Milind Malshe — Khyal Vocal
With Shabaz Hussain — Tabla
Nehru Centre, London
21 June-13 July / 11am-7pm / £ Free Khyal: Music and Imagination Multimedia Exhibition
Martin Clayton and Laura Leante
M.P. Birla Gallery, Bhavan, London
Thursday 12 July / 6:30pm / £ Free Sanjukta Mitra — Khyal Vocal Nehru Centre, London

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Easter Ragas A festival of classical and contemporary Indian Music

Easter Ragas

Presented by Tara Arts with Sama Arts

Friday 6 April / 7:30pm In Praise of Khusrau: Sitar & Mystic Sufi Songs
Roopa Panesar and Abi Sampa
Saturday 7 April / 2pm Agra Ragas
Deepa Hattangady Karnad
Saturday 7 April / 4pm Konnakol (Indian scat) & Carnatic Vocal / Songs of the Tanjore Quartet
Konnakol and Vamshikrishna Vishnudas
Saturday 7 April / 7:30pm Songs of Love and Separation
Amrit Kaur Lohia and Mehtab Malhotra
Sunday 8 April / 2pm Rhythms in the Landscape
Taal Vadya Kacheri and Kirpal Panesar
Sunday 8 April / 4pm Voice of the Kirana School
Vijay Rajput
Sunday 8 April / 7:30pm Ancestral Voices
Arnab Chakrabarty, Yogesh Samsi & Gundecha Brothers

A Weekend of Indian Contemporary & Classical Music

Two of London’s oldest and most successful presenters of the arts of South Asia, Tara Arts and Sama Arts, have come together to conceptualise and curate a three-day festival of music, both contemporary and traditional, at Tara Arts’ own mini-theatre in southwest London. Aptly titled the Easter Ragas Festival, this weekend features a mix of high quality UK and international acts.

The festival opens on Friday the 6th of April with a sitar performance by Roopa Panesar. followed by a Sufi qawwali performance by Abi Sampa, best known for her appearance on BBC’s The Voice. Saturday’s programmes feature khayal vocalist Deepa Karnad, Carnatic singer Vamshikrishna, ghazal poetry singer Mehtab Malhotra and the folk sounds of Amrit Kaur Lohia. Sunday the 8th of April opens with a percussion ensemble led by Shahbaz Hussain on the tabla, featuring several drums from across the subcontinent and the bowed tar-shehnai played by Kirpal Singh Panesar. The afternoon slot features khayal Singer Vijay Rajput in a solo performance. The festival closes with sarod (multi-stringed fretless lute) maestro Arnab Chakrabarty and the world-renowned Gundecha Brothers, singing the ancient vocal form, dhrupad.

Tickets are £15.50 - £30.

Day Passes are available on Saturday and Sunday, at £54. Book all three events to avail of the Day Pass rate.

356 Garratt Ln, London SW18 4ES

Nearest Tube Station - Wimbledon Park - District

stringFEST 2018
Festival of Bowed and Plucked Instruments


Presented by Sama Arts with Nehru Centre

Wednesday 21 March / 6:30pm Ameen Ali Khan - sarod/ Sanju Sahai - tabla
Wednesday 11 April 2018 / 6:30pm Jasdeep Singh Degun - sitar

8 South Audley Street, Mayfair,
London W1K 1HF

Nearest Tube Station
Marble Arch - Central / Green Park - Jubilee, Picadilly, Victoria / Hyde Park Corner - Piccadily

KhyalFEST 2018
Festival of Music and Imagination


Presented by Sama Arts with Nehru Centre

Wednesday 28 March 2018 / 6:30pm Budhaditya Bhattacharya - khyal vocal
Wednesday 04 April 2018 | 6:30pm Ramneek Singh khyal - vocal

8 South Audley Street, Mayfair,
London W1K 1HF

Nearest Tube Station
Marble Arch - Central / Green Park - Jubilee, Picadilly, Victoria / Hyde Park Corner - Piccadily

Back to the Blues - Aruna Sairam and Soumik Datta
Thursday 15 March / 7:30pm

Kaleem Sheikh

In a special performance, one of the greatest classical music voices of India, legendary Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam collaborates with leading British Indian composer and sarod virtuoso Soumik Datta to explore the connections between Carnatic and Western musical traditions. Leading on his signature instrument, the sarod (19 stringed fretless lute), Soumik weaves an intriguing, global soundscape around Sairam’s majestic voice to evoke a haunting and sensory world.

Aruna and Soumik will be accompanied by a team of virtuoso improvisers: Pirashanna Thevarajah on kanjira, mridangam and morsing, Cormac Byrne on bodhrán and percussion, and Al MacSween on piano.

This unique concert is presented by the Bagri Foundation in association with Soumik Datta Arts.

For tickets: https://www.sjss.org.uk/events/back-blues

St John’s Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HA

Nearest Tube Station
Pimlico / Vauxhall- Victoria

14 September - 8 December


Presented by SAMA in association with the Nehru Centre

An in-depth exploration of one of the foremost vocal genres of South Asia Concerts, Workshops & Seminars

KhayalFEST Music & Imgination - Prelude events.

14 September Deepa Hattangady Karnad - Agra
15 September Swati Natekar - Kirana / Gwalior
10 October Samrat Pandit - Patiala
17 October Satninder Singh Bodal - Khayal Vocal

KhayalFest Music & Imagination - Part 1

2 November Madhumita Ray - Rampur Sahaswan / Gwalior
7 November Smt Shobaa Joshi - Khyal Vocal
5 December Vijay Rajput - Kirana
8 December Krishna Chakrabarty - Kirana

Additional Concerts, Workshops, Seminar and Film Screening to be announced shortly.

Free Entry: Registration via links above.
All concerts are at The Nehru Centre and start at 6.30pm

8 South Audley Street, Mayfair,
London W1K 1HF

Nearest Tube Station
Marble Arch - Central / Green Park - Jubilee, Picadilly, Victoria / Hyde Park Corner - Piccadily

21 November

Kaleem Sheikh

Kaleem Sheikh is a London based singer and writer. Trained by the Late Ustad Sultan Khan in the tradition of vocal music, Kaleem also received extensive knowledge in musicology from Ustad Sultan Khan. He has worked as a music journalist for BBC radio and provided consultancy advice to arts organisations and lectured on Indian cinema at the home of The Guardian, Kings Place.

Kaleem performed for the Hollywood producer, Ismail Merchant and also for the foremost singer in Iran- Shajarian. In 2016, he sang in a highly successful tribute concert in memory of Ustad Sultan Khan at the Nehru centre. Kaleem has been described as a ' great artiste ' and ' sureela ' and able to create a ' good musical atmosphere' by historic musical Families.

Surjeet Singh - Sarangi
Krishan Mohan - tabla

8 South Audley Street, Mayfair,
London W1K 1HF

Nearest Tube Station
Marble Arch - Central / Green Park - Jubilee, Picadilly, Victoria / Hyde Park Corner - Piccadily

Strauss Reflected
4 November

Strauss Reflected

Strauss Reflected presents an exciting and compelling story that reveals the emotionally charged lives and music of the Strauss family.

With his contagious enthusiasm and extraordinary storytelling skills, John Suchet unravels the family’s tensions, dramas and triumphs and provides the audience with key elements to appreciate their music.

The concert sheds fresh light on the shared roots of western and eastern musical traditions with Sinfonia Verdi performing some of the most famous orchestral scores of the Strauss masters interspersed with improvised reflections and interpretations of their inner turmoil, by acclaimed Hindustani Classical vocalist Meeta Pandit.

John Suchet - Presenter
Meeta Pandit - Vocalist
David Murphy - Conductor
Sinfonia Verdi

Presented by the Bagri Foundation.


£35, £28, £20, £10 / Buy Online

5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia,
London SW1X 9DQ

Nearest Tube Station
Sloane Square - Circle/District

JULY 2017 TOuR

Indian Contemporary Music Fusion Band

Presented by SAMA in association with the Nehru Centre, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and with support from the Arts Council England.


Mrigya is one of India’s most premier and prodigious World-Fusion bands, hailing from New Delhi. Formed in 1999, the band has blossomed into a fascinating contemporary world music band venturing to stretch the boundaries of Indian classical music becoming the harbinger of a unique fusion band offering a rich blend of Blues, Funk, Folk, Latin, Indian Classical and Jazz. The band has toured extensively around the globe winning accolades and representing India at various international festivals. Mrigya shows range from international performances around the world for elite audiences, and the most exclusive shows ever performed. Their music shares and introduces an audience to the new, modern, contemporary sound fused with classical Indian music. The music of Mrigya carries the legacy of thousands of years, of not only music, but also the heritage of Indian culture.Mrigya aims to evolve, share the cultural nuances, and promote the Indian ethos through its music in a global way – drawing attention and inviting one to explore the Indian heritage. Inspire, get inspired, educate and most importantly, continue to pass on, the legacy of Indian and western fusion for further generations.


Friday 18 August / 6pm

£15 Eventbrite - MRIGYA: Indian Contemporary Music Fusion Band

Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Road, London N7 9AH

Saturday 19 August / 7:30pm

£15 Eventbrite - MRIGYA: Indian Contemporary Music Fusion Band

The Bushey Academy, London Road, Bushey, WD23 3AA

Sunday 20 August / 7:30pm

£15 Eventbrite - MRIGYA: Indian Contemporary Music Fusion Band

mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH


Gandharva Choir
6 July / 7pm University of Salford, Salford
7 July / 7.30pm Great Hall, Hope University, Liverpool
8 July / 7.30pm Brahmakumari Spiritual University, London
11 July / 6.30pm Seminar/Talk - Chants, Chorus & Choirs: Nehru Centre, London
12 July / 7.30pm MAC, Birmingham
13 July / 7pm Choir Workshops: Harrow Art Centre, London
14 July / 7.30pm Bhavan Centre, London
15 July / 7.30pm Arnolfini, Bristol
18 July / 6.30pm The Sage, Newcastle

SAMA Arts Network Presents

Women in Music Festival

Artists from UK, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran & etc

Women in Music 2017
Part 1
20 April / 6.30pm // Gauri Pathare - Hindustani Khyal Vocal // Nehru Centre
29 April / 7.30pm / Dr Lalitha / N Nandini - Carnatic Violin // Bhavan Centre
07 May / 6.00pm // Papia Das Baul - Sufi Baul Songs / Shemonty Monjari - Songs of Rabindra Baul // Rich Mix
11 May / 6.30pm // Ramya Mohan - Raga Moods // Nehru Centre
16 May / 6.30pm // Jayeeta Ghosh - Ghazals & Geets // Nehru Centre
30 May / 6.30pm // Amita Sinha Mahapatra - Dhrupad Vocal // Nehru Centre
Part 2
05 June / 6.30pm // Shanta Acharya // Nehru Centre
09 June / 7.30pm // Double Bill: Chloe Goodchild - Naked Voice / Quest Ensemble // Tileyard Studios
11 June /  3.00pm // Deepa Hattangadi Karnad // Khyal Vocal // Tileyard Studios
11 June / 7.00pm // Double Bill: Misagh Moradi / Alif Laila // Tileyard Studios
16 June / 6.30pm // Women in Music Symposium + Music // Brunei Gallery SOAS
18 June / 7.30pm // Amita Sinha Mahapatra / Aliya Rasheed - Dhrupad Vocal // Tara Arts
25 June / 10.30am // Amita Sinha Mahapatra - Dhrupad Vocal / Anuja Borude - Pakhawajl // Tileyard Studios
01 July  / 7.30pm // Tanya Wells - Contemporary Songs / Ghazals // Tileyard Studios
02 July  / 6.00pm // Double Bill: Roopa Panesar / Amrit Lohia // Tileyard Studios

Festival supported by the Arts Council of England & the PRS Foundation

SAMA Arts Network Presents

Festival of Plucked & Bowed Instruments

1 FESTIVAL - 13 concerts - 17 sessions - 20 Instruments - 35 artists - 6 Venues
10 March - 23 April 2017 - various venues throughout London


Saturday 25 March 2017 / 7:30pm :: Dhruba Ghosh - sarangi / Kiya Tabassian - setar :: Cafe Inageles, London
Tuesday 28 March 2017 / 6:30pm :: Clem Alford - sitar :: Nehru Centre, London
Saturday 1 April 2017 / 7:30pm :: Jyotsna Srikanth - violin / Vindla string quartet :: Tileyard Studios, London
Friday 7 April 2017 / 6:30pm :: Gayatri Ajay - saraswati veena / Shri Kirupakar - mridangam / Bangalore Prakash - Ghatam :: Nehru Centre, London
Saturday 8 April 2017 / 7:30pm :: Attab Haddad - oud :: Tileyard Studios, London
Tuesday 18 April 2017 / 6:30pm :: Raginder Singh - violin :: Nehru Centre, London
Friday 21 April 2017 / 7:30pm :: Tunde Jegede - kora & cello / Zayn Mohammed - guitar :: Tileyard Studios, London
Saturday 22 April 2017 / 7:30pm :: Arnab Chakrabarty - sarod :: Tara Theatre, London
Saturday 22 April 2017 / 7:30pm :: Gurdev Singh - dilruba / Surjeet Singh - sarangi / Manjeet Singh Rasiya - tabla :: Dominion Centre , London
Sunday 23 April 2017 / 10:30am :: Ashok Pathak - surbahar - Morning Ragas :: Tileyard Studios, London
Sunday 23 April 2017 / 3pm :: Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury - sitar :: Tileyard Studios, London
Sunday 23 April 2017 / 7:30pm :: Arnab Chakrabarty - sarod/sur sringar with Talvin Singh - tabla :: Tileyard Studios, London

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Event Archive 1981-2012


Sama Arts Network is one of the UK's oldest and most influential arts organisations in the genre of traditional and contemporary South Asian arts. It also presents Orchestral, Jazz and World Music.

Established in 1977, Sama has curated more than 1,000 events with acclaimed artists from the UK and other parts of the world. They have included tours, concerts, festivals, educational talks, workshops, seminars, lecture-demos, film screenings, and visual and performing arts. Many concerts were filmed, recorded archived and released through both on the physical and digital platforms.

Sama’s area of work is in the field of curating festivals, project commissions of new works, label management, consultancy, recording, music publishing and securing intellectual property rights.

Sama's new website is under construction and will launched in the Autumn 2015.


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Funded by the Arts Council