Rāgs of Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib

Celebrating 400th Prakash Purab of Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib, 9th Guru of the Sikhs, Nad Music Institute released the Sabad Kirtan album – “Rags of Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib” on May 1, 2021. The Kirtan album is freely available on Nãd Music Institute website as well as online platforms Gurbani Media Center, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music,  JioSavn, Pandora andDeezer.  

 

The webinar launch event held on May 1, 2021 was attended by viewers from five different countries. The release event video recording is available on YouTube. Listening to snippets from the album, during the event, Manpreet Kaur from California commented, “Each Sabad composition and its singers are truly unique. We are so glad to be part of this group to have access to this musical Sabad Kirtan journey. This feeling is too good for words”. 

 

Dr. Manjit Singh, Founder of Nãd Music Institute sharing his views on the project mentioned “We are trying to preserve the originality of the Sikh Kirtan by recording the Sabad compositions on Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib’s favorite instrument – Pakhawaj. Moreover, the use of string instruments has further expanded the melodiousness of the Sabads.” 

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The album contains 17 Sabads of Guru Teg Bahadar Sahib sung in 17 Rags based on centuries old tradition of Sikh Kirtan. These Sabads (hymns) were recorded based on the age-old tradition of doing Sikh Kirtan, wherein the artists have sung Sabads from Guru Granth sahib with accompaniment of centuries old percussion instrument - Pakhawaj - and string instruments - Taus, Sarangi, Rabãb, Dilruba and Tanpura.   

 

Out of 17 Sabads, 9 are sung by female vocalists and 8 are sung by male vocalists. Among the female Kirtanis, Avtar Kaur, Jasnoor Kaur and Gurdev Kaur performed the Kirtan.  

Below are the brief biographies of these Kirtanis. 

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🔹 Avtar Kaur - Hailing from "Shrutinandan", India's finest institute of Indian classical music, Avtar Kaur’s dynamic singing style in her unique voice texture imparts the true essence of Indian classical music. This acknowledges the training she got from her Guru, Pt. Ajoy Chakarborty.  

🔹 Jasnoor Kaur - Jasnoor Kaur’s ambition is to devote her life to music and promote Sabad Kirtan written in Guru Granth Sahib. She wants to carry her music passion throughout her life, serving people spiritually and using music as a tool to heal.  

🔹 Gurdev Kaur – Gurdev Kaur started learning Indian classical music and Sabad Kirtan from Avtar Kaur from a young age. We are grateful to have her part of this project as our youngest Kirtania. 

 

Professor Harbhajan Singh, Dr. Manjit Singh and Prabhmeet Singh did Kirtan among the male Kirtanis. Below are the brief biographies of these Kirtanis. 

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🔹 Prof. Harbhajan Singh - Prof. Harbhajan Singh is an expert percussionist and has developed a deep understanding of Indian classical and folk music traditions under the guidance of Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen in the last thirty years. 

🔹 Dr. Manjit Singh - Dr. Manjit Singh is a student of traditional forms of Indian classical music including Dhrupad, Khyal and Gurbani Kirtan. He teaches vocal as well as instrumental Sikh Music to students of all ages across North America. He holds a PhD in Acoustics and Masters degree in Gurmat Sangit.  

🔹 Prabhmeet Singh - Prabhmeet Singh has been learning Dilruba, Taus and vocal from Ustad Surjeet Singh and Dr. Manjit Singh. He holds a special interest in listening to Dhadhi’s (traditional Sikh Bards) and wants to preserve Gurbani Kirtan and Dhadhi forms. 

 

The NMI team worked with accomplished musicians across the globe to complete this project. Specifically, Ustad Surjeet Singh, the world-renowned Sarangi player, and Professor Harbhajan Singh, Pakhawaji-Lahore Baaj (Punjab Gharana) made huge contributions to this project.   

Among the instrumentalists, Professor Harbhajan Singh and Jatinderpal Singh played Pakhawaj, Ustad Surjeet Singh played Sarangi, Amandeep Singh accompanied on Taus and Dilruba and Jaita Singh played Rabãb. Below are the brief biographies of these Instrumentalists. 

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🔹 Ustad Surjeet Singh - As a Senior Advisor at Nad Music Institute, Ustad Surjeet Singh is leading sarangi player and a senior disciple of Pandit Ram Narayan. He has led several workshops, camps and has taught students of all age groups across the globe. Ustad Surjeet Singh has played extensively across the world at various important festivals giving solo recitals.  

🔹 Prof. Harbhajan Singh Dhariwal – Prof. Harbhajan Singh is an exponent of Pakhawaj and Tabla from the Panjab Gharana (Lahore Baj) and is a senior disciple of Ustad Lachman Singh Seen. With a Masters Degree in Music, he is an expert percussionist and researcher, who has published several articles on the importance of rhythm, Tabla and Pakhawaj.  

🔹 Amandeep Singh - An Assistant Professor in the Department of Gurmat Sangeet, Punjabi University, Amandeep Singh has contributed to revive traditional Sikh string instruments in the field of Hindustani sangeet as well as Gurmat sangeet.  

🔹 Jaita Singh - Jaita Singh started his music career as a rabab player in 2011 and continues to learn from legendary Amjad Ali Khan. Jaita Singh has also studied tabla under the guidance of Pandit Ramakant Ji. He’s performed in concerts worldwide from India to New Zealand.  

🔹 Jatinderpal Singh - Jatinderpal Singh took advance training of Pakhawaj under the tutelage of the world renowned tabla player, Ustad Allah Rakha Khan Sahib. He also took four years of tabla training under Pandit Ramakant Ji.  

 

With the blessings of Guru, the NMI team has tirelessly worked for one year to complete this project, and that is reflective in the following comments from community members. 

The impeccably produced recordings are clearly a labor of love and are infused with the passion that the entire team at the Nãd Music Institute has for the musical traditions of the Sikh faith.”, quoted Sarbpreet Singh (Writer and Podcaster, Boston, USA). 

 

The Guru’s message is not for just listening and learning but also for meditating, and that has been made possible by the young voices presenting his teachings in the traditional Gurmat Sangit genre” mentioned Manmeet Singh, Filmmaker and Musician from Maryland (USA). 

 

The sangat has generously donated for this cause and helped the NMI team to bring this project to life. NMI would like to recognize the major partners for their support and contribution. Dasvandh Network provided a strong support and launched this project on their website. We would like to acknowledge the generous financial support of several individuals, which acted as fuel in realizing this project.    

  

NMI has several projects in pipeline to revive, preserve and share the rich Sikh Kirtan heritage. You can support NMI by either volunteering or donating funds. All donations are 100% tax-deductible in USA. Contact info@nadmusic.org for any information.  

 

The Press Releases for this event are available on following links: 

Sikhnet Website: https://www.sikhnet.com/news/release-sabad-kirtan-album-%E2%80%93-r%C3%A3gs-guru-teg-bahadar-sahib  

Sanjha TV Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQYo3UlgkI&t=1911s  

PTC USA News: https://fb.watch/5XRhC9jP-y/