Jesse Bannister

Profile Image

Jesse Bannister deviated from the constrictions of his jazz school curriculum to delve deep into Hindustani music, working tirelessly to adapt its subtle inflections and swooping melodies to the saxophone. He studied with British sitar maestro Dharambir Singh, and also received instruction from Benares vocal legends Pandits Rajan & Sajan Mishra.

Over the years he has developed an idiosyncratic approach to Indo-jazz, overflowing with fine-lens dynamic control and divine rhythmic phrasings. His career has seen him write for Bollywood, synchronised swimming performances, and the Rugby World Cup, and collaborate with musicians including Aruna Sairam, Bickram Ghosh, Talvin Singh, and the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

He teaches at Leeds College of Music, leading a course called IMOWI (Indian Music on Western Instruments), and has launched innovative projects including raga playing cards and the Groove India iOS app. He regularly tours with his jazz quartet, but the purity of unamplified acoustic sound is at the heart of his approach (recent videos include solo ragas recorded in the complex acoustics of Cumbrian caves). Pandit Jasraj once described him as ‘the future of Indian classical music’.

 


"I learned music on the dance floor when I was 15-16 years old. I used to go out dancing to Camden, Dingwalls, and to reggae parties. My taste was a reflection of the eclectic mix around me which included reggae, hip hop jazz, blues, soul and pop...my mum was Indian. Even though she didn’t listen to Indian music I had the culture of that Indian upbringing there as well."



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

Alam Khan

Alam Khan was born in California in 1982. He studied sarod under his father, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in the guru-shishya...

read more

Harjinderpal Singh Matharu

Harjinderpal Singh Matharu is among Europe’s leading santoor players. He studied Punjab gharana tabla in his youth,...

read more

Roopa Panesar

Roopa Panesar remains firmly within the Hindustani classical idiom, but brings a distinctive style to sitar performance....

read more

Sahana Banerjee

Sahana Banerjee is an esteemed sitarist. Her mother Chhabi Banerjee, a famous singer, and her father Pandit Santosh...

read more

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

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


START FREE TRIAL

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

Subscribe to our newsletters

Be the first to hear before events go on sale. Get the latest news and articles from Darbar