In this magical performance, Sahai begins with a dazzling Uthaan in pure Benares style, a prolonged rhythmic structure that is transposed over a cycle of 16 beats, displaying umpteen varieties of patterns and variants.
“Performing a solo gives me the opportunity to express myself through the compositions of my forefathers, some of whom lived almost 300 years ago and have left behind a rich legacy of amazing stuff of their own,” says Sahai. He points out that during his travels to some of the most remote corners of the world, he has seen the tabla being used across genres because of its versatility as a musical instrument.
The delicate, diversely complex and fast-paced compositions are played with extraordinary clarity and focus – a virtue that makes Sahai undoubtedly, one of the leading tabla players of Britain today.
Deochake provides ace support to the recital, elaborating the nagma during the leisurely bols and focusing on a fixed refrain during the fiery moments that Sahai delivers.
Precise, powerful, and intricately funky, Sahai embodies the Benares tabla gharana. As the sixth generation of his family’s illustrious rhythm lineage, 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 is mindful of diluting classical tabla styles, but this has not stopped him taking them into a breath-taking 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, and travels the globe as a star accompanist and soloist.
Deochake received preliminary lessons from his grandfather Gopalrao Deochake. He took advanced training in Harmonium from Pramod Marathe and at present he is taking lessons from Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar & Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. Tanmay is a talented and well established and makes for a great accompanist in demand.
Sanju Sahai (tabla)
Tanmay Deochake (harmonium)
Tabla solo in Teentaal