Category Archives: News

Zakir Hussain performing

Bristol Concert with Zakir Hussain

We presented a highly successful concert with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain at St George’s Bristol on November 23rd 2021.

One of the world’s most esteemed musicians, Zakir Hussain, performed in Bristol with a world class ensemble: Marcus Gilmore (drums), Abbos Kosimov (Doyra and Uzbek percussion) and Sabir Khan (Sarangi).

This concert was a once in a life time opportunity for Bristol and nearby audiences to  witness the iconic Zakir Hussain perform and see the musical interactions spark amidst the unique group of musicians.

Bringing live music back on stage after the series of lockdowns and uncertain times we have all endured has been an uplifting experience for our audiences.

The concert had a spectacular turn out.


Selected audience comments below:

Fantastic event! Thank you Asian Arts Agency for bringing these world class musicians to Bristol!

Words fail to describe the magical journey- and the graciousness of the artistes to end with a surprise vocal rendition

This gig was nothing short of marvellous and Hussain is one of the most exceptional talents of our time. It’s no surprise that along with his equally talented musician cohorts on the night, that a truly memorable and exhilarating experience was felt by an audience who gave more than one standing ovation and clapped with heartfelt appreciation…

Beyond description. Such a privilege to be there. Well done Asian arts agency.


Check out our selected photographs from this wonderful event here.

View the event page here.

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Innovate Music Commissions

Breaking Barriers is a pioneering project conceived and developed by Asian Arts Agency to create opportunities for South Asian musicians/individuals to try out new approaches to performance.

We know that musicians and other creatives have had a difficult time during Covid restrictions and the Agency wants to support musicians to revitalise their music-making and find new outlets for their music.  The programme will have different strands to support musicians at varying stages of their careers.

The Innovate strand of this pilot project will create exceptional opportunities for experienced musicians to develop new career opportunities via new music commissions, training and development opportunities.

Innovate Music commissions

In our first series of ‘Innovate’ we are offering two new music commissions to support a group of individual South Asian musicians or bands to work with a world class industry-leading recording studio. This exceptional opportunity with a value of up to £15,000 per commission (for groups) includes:

two residency placements/commissioning opportunities for established musicians at Real World Studios in Wiltshire

free access to studio time, accommodation, recording equipment & technical support for musicians to create and record new and innovative music ready to release or tour in future

dissemination of new digital work created via the Agency website/social media and partners

The possibility of future live performances promoted by the Agency in partnership with some of our leading venues

Who Are the Innovate Project Commissions For?

Innovate is designed for established artists with a proven track record in touring, releasing music and regular performance at leading venues and festivals. The central focus of this programme will be on creating new work via commissions with support for new ways and opportunities for dissemination of work.

Innovate is the first strand of the project, we will be offering more commissions for mid-career and emerging artists very soon. If you do not fulfil the criteria for this commissioning programme, keep an eye on our website for other opportunities.

The project is open to South Asian musicians of all types, traditional and contemporary, including individual and groups.

Commissioning/Residency dates

Commission 1:              5th– 9th September 2021

Commission 2:              25th– 29th October 2021

Please note, these dates are already reserved at Real World Studios and are fixed.

Applicants must be permanently based in England.

For more information please download the full brief.

Download full brief

Download application form

The closing date for the application submission is 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 24th August by email to: music [at]

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Veena Concert With Durga Ramakrishnan

We released our first digital concert in our new “Breaking Barriers” music commission.

On 20th of August 2021, our digital Carnatic concert  was performed by Bristol based veena player Durga Ramakrishnan who was accompanied by RN Prakash (mridangam) and Prathap Ramachandra (ghatam).

The veena is an ancient Indian string instrument dating back to the first millennium BC. The veena would traditionally be played at temples to accompany the chanting of hymns. The mridangam is a South Indian classical drum used particularly in South Indian music and dance. The ghatam originates from South India and this unique clay pot is played using the fingers and breath.

The concert was available online for 5 days.

View the event page here.

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Breaking Barriers

We are delighted to receive a grant from the National Lottery Project Grants programme through Arts Council England for our new project Breaking Barriers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hugely challenging for the arts and culture sector. Within our work, the South Asian artists and freelancers  that we work with have suffered the negative impacts of Covid disproportionately with serious impacts on their livelihoods and careers. Our new project Breaking Barriers is specifically created to address some of the challenges being faced.

It will create new music commissions and digital performance opportunities for artists and provide training and development support.

We will be announcing further information soon.

Phil Gibby, South West Area Director, Arts Council, said:  

“We are delighted to confirm support for Asian Arts Agency through our National Lottery Project Grants programme, towards Breaking Barriers. A project that will support freelancers and individuals, especially those who have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 crisis. It is fantastic to see an organisation put artists and musicians at the front and centre of their work, as we start to ease out of the pandemic and look towards the new normal. They have secured some brilliant local and national partnerships, and it will be great to see the talent emerge and build new career prospects over the coming year”.

Jaswinder Singh, Director of Asian Arts Agency, said:

We are really delighted to receive this grant and thank you to the Arts Council England for their support. The pandemic has been really challenging for us and the sector with loss of income and opportunities for artists. Through this project, we are looking forward to creating new opportunities for artists and freelancers through new music commissions, digital performances and training and development opportunities. Over the next few months, we will be closely monitoring the situation, to create balance between online and live performances for our artists and audiences.”

Breaking Barriers will be delivered in partnership with leading arts venues and specialist music industry organisations, including Arnolfini, BPI, Bristol Beacon and Real World Studios in Bath.

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Bursaries for Artists

We are aware that, due to the pandemic, learning opportunities for children and young people have been seriously affected. The Agency supports the development of South Asian music and is keen to respond to this challenge.

In response the Agency is pleased to offer a number of bursary places for teachers and artists working in South Asian music education and would like to offer support for teachers and artists towards work in creating and providing digital educational sessions for children and young people.

What are the bursaries for?

The bursaries are to support the provision of online South Asian music learning opportunities for children and young people based in Bristol and the South West.

The funds can be used for:

• preparing and delivering online teaching/learning sessions

• developing digital infrastructure

• subsidising fees for online learning sessions based on normal rates

• promoting and advertising online learning opportunities

• increasing the number of children and young people you currently engage with through digital learning.

However, the above list is not restrictive and we are open to other ideas to increase the spread of digital work to children and young people

Bursaries are only available for activity from March – June 2021.

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must:

• Be a teacher or musician already working with young people.

• Be resident in Bristol/South West – Asian Arts Agency is based in Bristol and whilst we work nationally, this opportunity is specifically aimed at supporting children, young people and artists based in Bristol and the South West where our educational work normally takes place.

• Have a proven track record of running classes for children and young people before the COVID 19 pandemic which have been affected due to the pandemic.

• Have a bank account in their name – successful applicants will be requested to supply online banking details for BACs payment.

• Be able to provide proof of DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) registration.

Applicants must show a clear plan of how the sessions will work, how they will engage with children and young people and what the final outcomes of the project might be.

Amount of Bursary

The bursary is for a maximum sum of £500. This can include artist fees, digital technical costs and essential expenses.

How to Apply

Application status: Closed

Applicants will be notified of our decision by Monday 15th March 2021.

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Love Bristol Arts

#LoveBristolArts – Please Support

We are taking part in #LoveBristolArts, a new collaborative campaign launched by the Bristol Arts Marketing Network (19 – 23 October).

At this time of year, we would usually be taking part in the anticipated Culture Flash Sale.  However, due to the current world circumstances this is not possible.

As you may be aware, the pandemic has seriously effected the arts sector. The #LoveBristolArts campaign is an important campaign to support arts and culture. And you play a vital role.

So, please read on to see how you can support.

How you can support

Each organisation taking part has highlighted top three ways you can show support.

Three ways to support Asian Arts Agency:

1.Please support us by following on social media – Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

2. Please consider a donation to help us through these challenging times

3.Please support us by sharing our live music content created and performed in Bristol.

Check out the entire list of all organisations taking part.

Share your love for Bristol arts using #LoveBristolArts hashtag.

What do you love most about Bristol arts and culture?

Let us know!

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COVID-19 Support

Funding and support for artists and individuals

We hope you are coping amidst the challenging circumstances of COVID-19. As an arts organisation we do understand the pain you are experiencing. With many events cancelled and uncertainty around the future, the arts sector is going through difficult times and is worried about its survival.  In response Government and other funding bodies have announced various grant and support schemes specifically for the arts sector and artists to enable us to get through these times.  On this page we have collated information on funding being offered by Arts Council England and from other sources.

Arts Council England

Develop Your Creative Practice

The fund supports creative practitioners thinking of taking their practice to the next stage to research, have time to create new work, travel, training, develop ideas, network or find mentoring. The next round of DYCP opened on 11 January 2021 and closes on 12pm (midday), 18 February 2021.

Find out more here.

Bristol City Council

The Originators Fund 2021-22 is now open.

Applications can be for £500 to £5000 for events, arts and cultural activities taking place between June 2021 and May 2022. Deadline for applications: midnight on Monday 8 March 2021.

Find out more here.

Other funds / support available:

Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

PRS Foundation Funding

PRS Sustaining Creativity Fund

Musicians Union Fund

Government Schemes

If you have never applied for arts funding before and are feeling the impact of COVID-19, you may still be eligible for some of these schemes.  Please read the funding guidelines at the above mentioned links.

Another excellent resource is through Help Musicians who provide information on a range of topics including support on health issues and mental well being.

We are here to support artists with any questions regarding funding. Please contact us at

We wish you all the best with your applications and in getting through this period.

Jaswinder Singh


Asian Arts Agency

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Rizwan-Muazzam UK tour at St George's Bristol

Support Us Through These Challenging Times

Your support matters.

Asian Arts Agency is a non-profit making organisation. We rely on events, grants, donations and ticket sales to deliver our work. We have lost the majority of our events income for this year. We are requesting our supporters for their contributions to support our work so we can carry on developing new ideas and presenting the best of South Asian music when we are able to do so.

Make a Donation

If you would like to consider a donation please click here.

We would like to thank our audience and our friends for all the support shown through donations and engagement on our digital channels.

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Stay Tuned. More Events To Be Announced Soon

We are delighted that venues are now able to open their doors to safely welcome audiences in accordance with COVID-19 regulations. We are currently working on a number of projects. Stay tuned for further announcements.

Stay Connected Digitally

Subscribe to our YouTube channel. Watch our selected footage from our live music events. Our performance footage includes high calibre artists such as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Sain Zahoor, Debashish Bhattacharya, Harshdeep Kaur,  Malkit Singh, PunjabTronix and more. We will be releasing content from our upcoming projects soon.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and new content.

Donate to Support Us

Asian Arts Agency is a non-profit making organisation. We rely on events, grants, donations and ticket sales to deliver our work. We have lost the majority of our events income for this year. We are requesting our supporters for their contributions to support our work so we can carry on developing new ideas and presenting the best of South Asian music when we are able to do so.

If you would like to consider a donation please click here.

We would like to thank our audience and our friends for all the support shown through donations and engagement on our digital channels.

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