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Music Editorial

junglegem18.jpg A whole fistful of gems

The award-winning GemArts provided us with plenty of cultural highlights over the summer months but as the nights begin to draw in they’re not resting on their laurels with lots to keep us entertained throughout the remainder of the year.

The Riverside Ragas at Sage Gateshead – in which some of the world’s greatest musicians have brought us wonderful music from the Indian classical tradition and beyond – have been one of the real jewels in GemArts’ crown and they’re continuing apace over the next couple of months with some stand-out shows.

In October they will be welcoming Jasdeep Singh Degan who is fast establishing a name for himself as a rising star of the scene. In the first half of the show he will present a traditional Indian classical solo, accompanied on tabla by Upneet Dhadyalla, while in the second half he will perform a contemporary set featuring music from his debut album where he will be joined by Glen Sharp on guitar, Liz Hanks on cello and Abhiram Sahathevan on mridangam. 

In November they will have the official launch of the GemArts supported ‘Trikala’, a double album by Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti. Recorded over three years in the UK and India, the epic sets a new benchmark for Indo-Western collaboration. Classical guitarist Thacker’s deep lifelong immersion in the folk, classical and spiritual forms of the Indian subcontinent will be very evident as will his ability to propel traditions forward.

On the theatrical side of things, families shouldn’t pass up the chance to see Jungle Book (pictured). You may think that you know this classic tale but Indigo Moon Theatre’s astonishing shadow puppetry really injects some magic into the story in which Mowgli, the ‘man cub’, finds fun and friendship despite learning to live by the Law of the Jungle.

And the annual Diwali Celebrations will once again be marked in November with delicious Indian food and entertainment from regional performers, as well as Bollywood and Bhangra tunes, henna artists, arts workshops and more.

Jasdeep Singh Degun, Friday 19 October and Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, Friday 9 November, both Sage Gateshead, 8pm, £13.10 (family tickets available). Jungle Book, Wednesday 24 October, Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Central Library, 11.30am and 2pm, £6/£4. Diwala Celebrations, Saturday 17 November, Bewicks, Gateshead Civic Centre, 7pm, £5 (or £15 for four people). gemarts.org