We are a dedicated team working 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.

We are looking for new trustees. If you thing you are suitable then please download our Trustee Pack and the Trustee Role and Person specification Nov 2022 and contact us at kanwal@darbar.org

Patrons

Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE KSG Patron

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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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Patron

Trustees

Harmeet (Raj) Virdee Chair and 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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Chair and Trustee

Gillian Newson Safeguarding Trustee

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

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Trustee

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

Sabine Kindel Trustee

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Sabine Kindel, a dedicated International Communications Manager, brings expertise in fostering global connections. With a focus on effective communication, she excels in building bridges across diverse cultures.

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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

Esther Trienekens Head of Programmes & Partnerships

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With a background in international development, youth work and documentary filmmaking, and a big love for India, Esther brings a range of skills and lots of enthusiasm to the Darbar Team. In her free time, she is often off exploring new places.

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Head of Programmes & Partnerships

Manjit Singh HR Manager

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A consummate professional and supports the team to be the best it can be. Loves her work and children just as much

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HR Manager

Simi Lall Festivals and Events Manager

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Simi delivers the annual Darbar Festival and all live events. She carries herself with compassion and integrity in both her personal and professional life. In her spare time her passion is running her Indian fashion business LAAL.LONDON.

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Festivals and Events Manager

Depesh Patel Audience Development & Events Manager

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Brings his passion and enthusiasm to Darbar's Leicester live events and in is pastime, he loves to make the team jealous with his amazing pizza making skills

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Audience Development & Events Manager

Nirmal Singh Academy Digital Learning Manager (Live)

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The brainchild for establishing the Darbar Academy - our flagship education project to help people sing and play instruments.

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Academy Digital Learning Manager (Live)

Harpal Manku Academy Digital Learning Manager (Online)

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Harpal learnt tabla from Bhai Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee and he became a tabla peripatetic teacher in Leicestershire from 2003. In his spare time he dabbles in his stationery shop with his daughter.

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Academy Digital Learning Manager (Online)

Divya Kulkarni Darbar Academy Course Administrator

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Divya’s got some mad people skills with her easy-going style and impressive skills in remembering faces and conversations with returning customers.

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Darbar Academy Course Administrator

Gurwinder Soor Content Creator and Platform Manager

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Avid photographer and film maker from the famous East West Photography company. Joined to bring his skills to bring joy through more passionate content for Indian classical music. When no one is looking he loves to rush to the 9 hole golf course lol.

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Content Creator and Platform Manager

Aysha Imtiaz Senior Content Writer

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A freelance journalist and K-12 Language Arts teacher, Aysha's journalistic work has appeared in BBC Travel, BBC Future, BBC Worklife, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Business Insider, Al Jazeera, interfaith websites such as Patheos or JustPreachy and vegan platforms such as Tenderly.

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Senior Content Writer

Freelance Contractors

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

Pritpal Sagoo Film Maker

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A film maker working with Darbar as a consultant, Pritpal brings expertise in video editing.

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Film Maker

Sukhpal Bhogal Editor

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A creative video producer and editor, Sukhpal brings his decades of video editing experience to transforming the way Indian classical music is being viewed.

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Editor

Volunteers

Kanwal Ahluwalia Volunteer Governance Officer & Festival Yoga Teacher

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Kanwal 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

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