Pandit Sanju Sahai

Profile Image

Precise, powerful, and intricately funky, Pandit Sanju ‘Vishnu’ Sahai embodies the Benares tabla gharana. As the sixth generation of his family’s illustrious musical lineage, he was born into rhythm. His talent was recognised early - at age 9 he was playing major festivals, and completed his music degree at 13 with a Masters following at 18. He has spent a lifetime immersed in rhythm, taking his tabla around the world.

He is mindful of diluting classical tabla styles, but this has not stopped him taking them into a breathtaking array of contexts. Alongside accompanying top Hindustani musicians he has collaborated with artists spanning flamenco and jazz to opera and Gregorian chant. He has played in schools and prisons as well as for the Queen, and tutors tabla at SOAS in London. Today he lives in the UK, but travels the globe as a star accompanist and soloist.

“Once I was asked to perform with the Sugababes. The manager wanted me to sit on stage and mime rather than play. I told them ‘you’ve got the wrong guy - I practice this music 12 hours a day. I love it and this way does not allow me to respect it’.”

Darbar believes in the power of Indian classical music to stir, thrill, and inspire. Explore our YouTube channel, or subscribe to the Darbar Concert Hall to watch extended festival performances, talk and documentaries in pristine HD and UHD quality. 

Other artists you may like

Ojas Adhiya

Ojas Adhiya combines extraordinary technical aptitude with a vast knowledge base, playing with a fluency that belies...

read more

Vinod Lele

Vinod Lele, hailing from the illustrious Banaras gharana of tabla playing and mentored by the esteemed Kashinath...

read more

Yashwant Vaishnav 

The cadence of a frolicking deer.  

Brash disputes between husband and wife—the husband’s domineering voice almost...

read more

Sukhvinder Singh ‘Pinky’

Sukhwinder Singh (affectionately known as ‘Pinky’) is a singular percussionist, specialising in low-tuned tabla and...

read more

See Full Festival concerts from our extensive archive,
and hundreds of other exclusive performances with
Darbar Player

Download our app and watch on the go
New exclusive releases every month
Watch anytime, anywhere


Free for 3 days. Cancel anytime.
Pay £9.95/month

Follow us

Keep up to date with the latest news, events, music and musings across our social channels

YouTube latest

For hundreds more clips and shorts, vist our YT page here