Back to the Blues | Aruna Sairam & Soumik Datta

15 March 2018, St John’s Smith Square


On 15 March 2018, the Bagri Foundation in association with Soumik Datta Arts presents Back to the Blues, a world premiere concert exploring connections between South Indian music, North Indian music and contemporary jazz.

The concert brings together for the very first time two of Indian Classical Music’s finest cross-cultural collaborators, legendary Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam and sarod virtuoso and composer Soumik Datta.

UTSAV (translated in Hindi, as festival and celebration), transformed from the concert Back to the Blues, is born from the first collaboration between legendary Carnatic songstress Aruna Sairam and leading sarod artiste and composer Soumik Datta

Aruna Sairam is one of the most esteemed Carnatic classical singers, and this collaboration is her latest of many – including Sufi, jazz and Gregorian chant. She champions the status of female musicians, and the role of technology in classical music.

Soumik Datta is a leading sarod player from the younger generation, and performs classical Hindustani ragas as well as working with musicians from Korea to Congo, and has organised a recent project with the Bagri Foundation, Tuning 2 You, to preserve unrecorded Indian folk music. He has recently reimagined and performed a new score to Satyajit Ray’s King of Ghosts (1968) with Cormac Byrne (see below).

Aruna Sairam’s voice and Soumik Datta’s sarod will be accompanied by ganjira (South Indian frame drum), mridangam (Carnatic two-headed drum), bodhrán and piano, from a host of outstanding musicians from diverse musical backgrounds.

Read more about the musicians here.