Category Archives: News

New role: Education and Learning Manager

Asian Arts Agency (www.asianartsagency.co.uk) is a dynamic music and arts development agency that develops and promotes international, contemporary and traditional South Asian music and arts nationally and internationally.

With increased investment from Arts Council England we are building a new team to take forward the Agency’s ambitious plans.

Are you passionate about the arts and experienced in devising and delivering high quality education and learning programmes for a variety of audiences?

This vacancy is perfect for someone with at least 3 years experience in a similar role in the arts or music sector who has proven experience of liaising with artists and venues to to create educational programmes to engage with schools, community organisations and and the wider arts sector.  This role reports directly to the Director of Asian Arts Agency and is a key role to help us grow our reach whilst also encouraging more people to learn about and understand South Asian music.

The full job description and the application form are linked below.

Job description: Education and Learning Manager May 2024

Application form: Education and Learning Manager May 2024

Closing date for application: Monday 27 th May 2024

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Join our team: Talent Development Co-ordinator

Asian Arts Agency (www.asianartsagency.co.uk) is a dynamic music and arts development agency that develops and promotes international, contemporary and traditional South Asian music and arts nationally and internationally.

With increased investment from Arts Council England we are building a new team to take forward the Agency’s ambitious plans.

If you’ve got three or more years experience in the music sector, working directly with artists and venues, and understanding about talent development initiatives, we’d love to hear from you.

This role will be perfect for someone who has an in-depth understanding of the music sector and how musicians operate within it and who can also speak to the particular issues South Asian musicians may face whilst developing their careers.

 

The successful candidate will report directly to the Director of Asian Arts Agency and will be responsible for creating a strategic plan that helps us grow our network of South Asian musicians.

The full job description and application form are below.

Job description: Talent Development Co-ordinator May 2024

Application form: Talent Development Co-ordinator May 2024

Closing date for application: Thursday 30th May 2024

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NEW DATES ADDED: Rakesh Chaurasia and Shashank Subramanyam, February 2024

PLEASE NOTE: BRISTOL DATE CHANGE AND LONDON DATE ADDED

We are delighted to be collaborating with St George’s Bristol to bring two of the most prominent Indian flautists to the UK on 17th February 2024. We are also presenting these two talented artists at Cadogan Hall, London on 18th February 2024.

The Indian flute players will be collaborating with UK based artists Shahbaz Hussain on tabla and another Carnatic percussion musician. Presented by St George’s Bristol in partnership with Asian Arts Agency.

Rakesh is a child prodigy and the nephew of flute maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. Just like his legendary uncle, Rakesh possesses the right balance of strength and serenity, very critical factors for an exceptional flautist. His dextrous blowing technique coupled with his training of ‘Swar’ and ‘Tala’ exudes adeptly in his emotions through the hollow piece of bamboo. Rakesh has enthralled audiences at classical and semi-classical concerts worldwide.

Trained by father Subramanyam and legendary vocalists Palghat K.V. Narayanaswami and Pandit Jasraj in Hindustani Music, Shashank is presently considered one of the best Bamboo Flute artists and is hailed so by the Indian and international media alike. The BBC World TV telecast a documentary on Shashank titled Destination Music in 2006.

This unique Indian flute concert will feature two of the most prominent Indian flute players in the world collaborating with UK based artists Shahbaz Hussain on Tabla and Bangalore Parkash on Carnatic percussion.

For a taste of their performance, click here 

To book tickets for St George’s, click here (if you have booked tickets for the previously announced date, please contact the venue) 

To book tickets for Cadogan Hall, click here

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Full New Soundz line up announced!

With just over three weeks to go, we’re excited to announce that our full New Soundz festival line up is confirmed!

There’s something for everyone taking place at Arnolfini, from classical sitars, nature inspired fusion and immersive soundscapes as well as talks, workshops and DJs.

There’s no better time to get your New Soundz tickets! You can purchase individual headline event tickets or a festival weekend pass which offers a saving of £10 on buying each event separately. Additionally, many events are free to enter but may need registration – you can find relevant links below.

On Friday 10th November the incredible Jason Singh, in collaboration with tabla player Aref Durvesh, multi-instrumentalist Tamar Osborn, and keys player,  Al MacSween will be opening the New Soundz festival at Arnolfini. This performance promises to explore a broad spectrum of soundscapes, drawing inspiration from Indian classical ragas, jazz, ambient, avant-garde hip hop, dub, and the natural world. His show will be followed by a DJ set, performed by Jason himself.

Saturday 11th November sees a full day of activities, kicking off with Roopa Panesar celebrating the morning with ragas from her subliminal 2022 album, Subha. Following her performance, she will undertake a short Q&A from the audience so come with any questions you have about her creative, classical expertise in sitar.

During the day at Arnolfini, visitors will have a chance to participate in a free North Indian vocal workshop with Ranjana Ghatak – two time slots (2pm and 4.30pm) are available, and it is recommended that you book in advance. These events are suitable for all ages so come along with your friends and family to learn how to sing in a North Indian style.

There will also be free DJ sets taking place between performances from some of the UK’s leading South Asian DJs in various spaces at Arnolfini, so if you’re passing by, pop in!

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be the opportunity to experience live Indian music performances via VR headsets. Our prototype films have been created as part of our commitment to exploring ways to make performances accessible to all audiences and we’d love you to check it out and hear your views.

Saturday night closes with an exciting first chance to see a brand new immersive work from Soumik Datta, called Mone Rekho, which means remember in Bengali, this performance promises to engage all your senses.

Sunday 12th November is Diwali and we’re delighted that veena player and South Indian musician, Durga Ramakrishnan will be performing a free concert in the gallery at Arnolfini to help us see in the festival of lights and close the New Soundz festival. This event is not ticketed and will be open to all to drop in and enjoy.

We hope you’ll join us at one or many of the events taking place at Arnolfini over the weekend and we can’t wait to celebrate contemporary South Asian music.

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New acts announced for New Soundz Festival at Arnolfini

**NEW ACTS ANNOUNCED**

With just over five weeks to go, we are delighted to announce further acts as part of the line up for the New Soundz Festival at Arnolfini, Bristol, on the 10 – 12 November 2023.

To get your pulses racing as we head into the weekend, there will be an exclusive DJ set from headliner, beatboxer and sound artist, Jason Singh on Friday night.

During the day on Saturday 11 November, Indian and Hindustani vocal specialist, Ranjana Ghatak will be delivering two 1-hour workshops, providing an introduction to the key concepts of North Indian Vocal music rooted in the classical tradition.

On Sunday 12 November, Bristol based veena virtuoso and leading artist on All India Radio, Durga Ramakrishnan will be giving off chilled Sunday vibes performing in the gallery at Arnolfini. The veena is an ancient Indian string instrument, dating back to the first millennium BC, that would traditionally be played at temples to accompany the sound of hymns.

To gain access to all of these events, additional workshops, immersive experiences, talks as well as well as our three headline acts (Jason Singh, Roopa Panesar and Soumik Datta), we’ve just launched a festival pass for £35pp.

So, what are you waiting for?

Book your tickets now

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Asian Arts Agency announces New Soundz Festival on 10th-12th November in Bristol

Asian Arts Agency is delighted to present New Soundz Festival, a celebration of contemporary South Asian music, in collaboration with Arnolfini in Bristol. The event is set to unfold from 10th to 12th November 2023, promising an unforgettable auditory experience. 

Arnolfini, a long-standing supporter of South Asian arts and a leading arts venue in Bristol, will host this dynamic music festival. New Soundz aims to showcase the vivacity of contemporary South Asian music through live performances and immersive spaces. 

The festival starts on Friday, November 10th, with a captivating performance by beatboxer and sound artist, Jason Singh, in collaboration with tabla player Aref Durvesh, multi-instrumentalist Tamar Osborn, and keys player,  Al MacSween. This performance promises to explore a broad spectrum of soundscapes, drawing inspiration from Indian classical ragas, jazz, ambient, avant-garde hip hop, dub, and the natural world. Jason Singh’s ability to craft immersive soundscapes, drawing from nature’s diverse sounds, has earned him the moniker “the human sampler” by BBC Radio 6 Music. 

 On November 11th, New Soundz will present a new work titled ‘Mone Rekho’ (meaning ‘remember’ in Bengali) by Soumik Datta Arts. Performed by sarod player and composer Soumik Datta, this immersive concert layers ragas, voices, spatial audio, and memories to pay homage to the past, present, and future of Indian music. 

The festival will also feature the remarkable British sitar virtuoso, Roopa Panesar, who will unveil the latest ragas from her 2022 album, “Subha”. The album is a celebration of Morning Ragas, portraying contemplative melodies that gradually build from the gentle hues of dawn to the light of day. 

Jaswinder Singh, Director of Asian Arts Agency, expressed excitement about producing the inaugural edition of this contemporary and new music festival. The festival aims to introduce Bristol to contemporary South Asian artists and incorporate immersive sessions and workshops to truly engage audiences with the festival atmosphere. 

 Alongside the artist performances, attendees can look forward to captivating discussions with the performers and workshops. During these sessions, artists will provide insights into their journeys and shed light on the creative processes that shaped their recent masterpieces. 

 To get tickets for New Soundz, click on the link below. Tickets can be purchased for individual events as well as a festival pass that allows for access to all events.  

https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/asian-arts-agency-presents-new-soundz-at-arnolfini-2645459 

For further enquiries, please contact Asian Arts Agency at hello@asianartsagency.co.uk 

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In Memory of Mr. Shivranjan Singh MBE.

Asian Arts Agency Statement In Memory of Mr. Shivranjan Singh MBE.

We are very saddened to hear of the death of Asian Arts Agency’s Board member and ex-Chairman Mr. Shivranjan Singh MBE who sadly passed away on Friday 30th September 2022. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Singh’s family and friends.

Mr Singh was an iconic figure in Bristol and a huge supporter of the arts and culture. He made an enormous contribution to equality and the arts in the City across a period spanning over five decades.

The Asian Arts Agency Director and Board members have shared their thoughts on Mr. Shivranjan Singh’s contributions to our work and the wider cultural sector.

Jaswinder Singh, Director, Asian Arts Agency said

‘Shivranjan Singh MBE, or ‘Shiv’ as we would call him with love and respect, leaves behind a massive legacy for Bristol City through his enormous contributions to RACE, equalities, diversity but above all the arts and culture scene in Bristol since the 1970s.  As the Chair of Asian Arts Agency and under his leadership with the support of all our Trustees, the Agency grew into a nationally and internationally significant organisation emerging from and based in Bristol. Personally, I learned a lot from him.  It would be fair to say he was one of the most influential figures in my career.  Shiv was a highly intelligent and visionary person who supported the Agency and its team in delivering some outstanding work in Bristol for the City’s local communities. His passing is a big loss to the City. However, he leaves behind a massive legacy for the thriving South Asian arts and music scene in Bristol and the UK.’

Tim Corum, Chair, Asian Arts Agency said

‘I first met Shiv when I came to Bristol in 2006 to work in the Museums and Galleries Department. I remember we talked about the history of the South Asian community in the city and how this should be represented in the museum. Shiv was gentle but insistent and effective, a great advocate both for Bristol and his community. 

When I became a board member at the Asian Arts Agency a few years later I got to know Shiv better as a colleague and friend. Shiv was passionate about supporting artists and sharing the music and dance that he loved with the wider community. He made an enormous contribution by developing the Asian Arts Agency which is now a thriving international arts organisation rooted in Bristol.’ 

Sandeep Marwah, Trustee and longest standing Board member of Asian Arts Agency said

‘Shivranjan Singh MBE, or Shiv to everyone who knew him, was instrumental in bringing Classic Indian Music and Dance to a wider audience in Bristol during the late 70’s and 80’s. 

He brought such artists as Hariprasad Chaurasia, Alla Rakha and Ravi Shankar as well as the world’s foremost exponents of Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and Kathak dance to the Southwest.

He was a warm-hearted man with a ready smile and good sense of humour who made many friends throughout Bristol & beyond.

He will be missed.’

Lyn Porter, Trustee of Asian Arts Agency said

It was very sad to hear that Shiv has passed away. He had been a Trustee for many years for Asian Arts Agency and was instrumental in steering its course towards becoming the successful organisation it is today, we will miss his guiding hand.

For decades Shiv had been very active in the Bristol charitable and not for profit sectors. A strong voice that championed the voice of the BAME communities in Bristol, working with the statutory agencies  to raise issues that impacted on their lives.   A wise and knowledgeable man he will be missed.’

Abdul Ismail, Trustee of Asian Arts Agency said

‘Very sad to hear of Shiv passing away. We knew him since 1980s. Helped a lot in set up our shop after being expelled from Uganda. Always helpful and a very pleasant man. He made me a member of Asian Arts Association board and I learned a lot from him. Will miss him a lot too. ‘

For further enquiries, please contact Asian Arts Agency at info@asianartsagency.co.uk

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UK Tour with Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan

We presented acclaimed sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan on a UK tour in June 2022.

Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan was accompanied by Pandit Sanju Sahai on tabla.

The tour began in Birmingham (Midlands Arts Centre), proceeding on to London (Kings Place), Southampton (Turner Sims) and Bristol (St George’s Bristol).

Despite visa issues almost cancelling the tour, we are pleased the tour went ahead and was a success.

Selected Audience Comments

 “Sharing a magical evening with this wonderful sitar player, whose work I have only been able to listen to on CD – for many years – up until now. Thank you for bringing him to St. George’s, and please persuade him to come again.”

“Transported to another world. Magnificent. Thank you.”

“Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan’s sitar recital, with Sanju Sahai’s virtuoso accompaniment on tabla, was a very special event, and this was a rare opportunity to hear an artist of such calibre perform in the UK. It was a privilege to be there.”

“A truly sublime concert.”

“It was a fantastic experience and an honour to hear such incredible musicians play.”

 

Watch concert snippets on our social media here.

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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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Emerge Programme

Are you a musician, artist, singer-songwriter, or record producer or looking to build a career in the music industry?  Do you want to develop your music skills, receive specialist training, and be awarded a bursary to fund your professional development?

You could be a part of our Breaking Barriers Programme, Emerge.

The final strand of the Asian Arts Agency Breaking Barriers programme will provide individuals with new opportunities and a platform to support emerging musical talent.

Following the first two strands of the commissioning programme, we are delighted to announce the third strand of Breaking Barriers, the Emerge programme for developing musicians.

What is Breaking Barriers?

Breaking Barriers is a pioneering project conceived and developed by Asian Arts Agency and funded by Arts Council England to create opportunities for South Asian musicians/individuals to try out new approaches to performance. The project aims to increase skills and confidence in using online platforms and finding new ways to approach the live music/recording industry.

What we’re offering?

We are offering 10 bursaries of £1,000 each to entry level musicians, artists, record producers and to those who are thinking of starting music companies but have limited information about how the industry works.  The agency has established relationships with WOMAD, BPI and Real-World Studios.

The programme will include:

A £1,000 bursary award for each participant.

Music industry-related training sessions.

Bespoke digital and social media training and webinars in music and digital skills development.

Talks and webinars with music industry programmers and festival organisers.

A tour and demonstration of an industry level music studio providing insight into the workings of a professional recording studio.

Follow-up support from Asian Arts Agency with the possibility of opportunities for live performance or projects in future Agency programmes. 

Timeline and Bursary

The programme will run between March – April 2023.  Each participant will receive a £1,000 bursary plus additional access support where needed (if applicable). In addition, the Agency will cover studio hire/use costs.

Who is this Programme for?

The project is open to South Asian Musicians of all types, traditional and contemporary, including individuals based in England.  We want to maintain a strong focus on gender balance; and to strive to reach and encourage disabled artists and artists from disadvantaged backgrounds including deaf artists.  In selecting the group of successful applicants we will therefore ensure that there is balance and a fair representation of key factors, in particular:

Diversity (including race, gender, and other protected characteristics).

Geography to ensure the targeted areas are represented esp. Southwest.

Different aspects of the music industry (e.g., musicians, singer-songwriters, record producers, etc.).

Applications are open to all entry level individuals/artists who identify as ethnically diverse; Deaf; disabled; neurodiverse; LGBTQ+; and/or who are from working-class/low-income backgrounds, or who have identified as such in the past. We are seeking applications from individuals regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, religion and/or belief.

How to Apply:

Download full brief here

Each applicant must complete an online application form.

Download application pack here

Closing date for application: Thursday 02 March 2023, 9.30am.

Notification of decisions:

All applications will be notified whether they have been successful or not by email by Wednesday 01 March 2023. We are sorry that we cannot offer individual feedback.

If you feel you have any barriers in applying, require additional support to apply or/and have any questions relating to the project, please email us at music@asianartsagency.co.uk

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