Meet the team

Home Meet the team

We are a small team working as a family to push the boundaries of Indian art. Our team combines creative, technical and strategic talents and are passionate about the work we do.

You can find out a bit more about us below.

Patrons

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE KSG OBE

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The spiritual leader and Chair of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha, UK, a charitable organisation headquartered in Birmingham with affiliate organisations in Leeds, London, India and Kenya.

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OBE

Trustees

Sandeep Virdee OBE Founder Trustee

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Abandoning a successful career in accountancy, Sandeep curated his first Indian classical musical festival in honour of his late father, Gurmit Singh Virdee, in 2006 and has never looked back since.

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Founder Trustee

Nishant Bhaskar Chair

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A management consultant turned banking executive with a background in corporate development, strategy, and investments across UK, US and India.

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Chair

Clare Hanford Trustee

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A creative and executive producer in factual and documentary programming, Clare has worked at Sky TV, the production companies Nutopia and Tiger Aspect Productions and Talkback Thames. An Arsenal supporter and a fan of the late David Bowie, she also enjoys Indian classical music.

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Trustee

Gillian Newson Safeguarding Trustee

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With a background in the arts from management of the Kings Singers to working for IMG to manage and produce touring productions and artists including the Hampton Court Music Festival, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Company, Sylvie Guillem, English National Ballet.

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Safeguarding Trustee

Hasan Bhakshi Trustee

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With degrees in economics from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Hasan has worked at the Bank of England, Lehman Brothers and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is currently the Director of Creative Economy in Policy and Research at Nesta. He enjoys cinema and flamenco.

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Trustee

Raj Virdee Trustee

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Having worked in motor retail since 2003, starting as a sales manager Raj is now Head of business at Mercedez-Benz of Slough. Son of Tabla guru, Gurmit Singh Virdee, Raju took up Sitar at the age of eleven with the famous British based sitarist Dharambir Singh, protégé of world-renowned maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan.

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Trustee

Ashwin Desai Trustee

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Ashwin manages Formula One’s digital and experiential licensing programmes, leading the sport’s efforts to create digital, interactive and immersive experiences based around the Formula One World Championship.

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Trustee

Team on the ground

Sandeep Virdee OBE Artistic Director

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Abandoning a successful career in accountancy, Sandeep curated his first Indian classical musical festival in honour of his late father, Gurmit Singh Virdee, in 2006 and has never looked back since. He is currently Artistic Director for Darbar and can often be found, headphones on, listening to up and coming artists on YouTube.

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Artistic Director

Simi Lall Head of Operations

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Manages the operations of the organisations and ensures that everyone is doing what they should be doing.

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Head of Operations

Nirmal Singh Head of Digital

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An experienced digital content creator with 20 years' experience in producing TV programmes and setting up and increasing income through digital platforms.

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Head of Digital

Jaya Chatterjee Digital content writer

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Jaya is passionate about Indian classical music. Writing comes naturally to her, and Darbar gave her the most ideal platform where she can express herself and promote this art form to its highest and best.

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Digital content writer

Rehmat Rayatt Photographer and Film Director

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An award-winning Commercial, Editorial and Documentary Photographer and Filmmaker. I love meeting people and creating innovative digital content and my day-to-day work allows me to do that. I am also a Yoga Teacher and a Reiki Master

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Photographer and Film Director

Christoph Bracher Head of Sound

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A Sound Engineer and consultant with over 15 years’ experience.

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Head of Sound

Stuart Pring Lighting Designer

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Freelance television & event lighting director with over 20 years experience in the business. My television work is varied, not only covering music performances but also chat shows, festivals and location studios, and I have lit shows for all the major broadcasters.

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Lighting Designer

Trevor Davison Live Sound Engineer

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Managing live sound is my passion says Trevor, who brings his 16 years of knowledge working at London's most prestigious venues, the Barbican Centre and Southbank Centre.

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Live Sound Engineer

Pritpal Sagoo Digital Content Creative

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Pritpal is a film maker working with Darbar as a consultant.

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Digital Content Creative

Music Education

Bhindarjit Waiwala Music teacher

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Bhindarjit is one of the leading exponents of Tabla in the UK. A sensitive yet dynamic accompanist and soloist he has performed and accompanied many artists from South Asia. He is currently teaching for Darbar and the Leicestershire Music Service.

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Music teacher

Volunteers

Kanwal Ahluwalia Volunteer Governance Officer & Festival Yoga Teacher

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Has over 20 years’ experience of working within the non-profit sector on women’s rights and provides support to Darbar on governance issues. Kanwal is also the resident hatha yoga teacher for the Darbar festivals.

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Volunteer Governance Officer & Festival Yoga Teacher

Jagdeep Shah Volunteer

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Jagdeep has a background in business and has been involved in Indian classical music for some 40 years. He has been working with Darbar since 2015

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Volunteer

Priti Shah Volunteer

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Priti is lover of Indian classical music and has attended every Darbar Festival since 2006 when it was founded.

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Volunteer

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