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Music Editorial

hashmat20.jpg Put a spring in your step

If you’re looking for a mini-festival designed to finally banish those winter blues then grab yourself a load of ‘Indian Spring Colours’, which will be lighting up Durham and Gateshead this February and March.

Holi is coming! The most spectacular of Indian festivals is celebrated on 9 March this year and in the build up to it GemArts are bringing us the ‘Indian Spring Colours’ festival. And how better to kick it all off than with a performance from Apoorva Gokhale? This rising star of the Indian music scene brings to the stage her own interpretation of her rich family legacy of khyal singing with its combination of dignity, grace and lyricism. She will be accompanied by two of India’s premier performers on harmonium and tabla, Seema and Vishwanath Shirodkar.

And this pair will be back the next day in their guise of the Swar-Tala Duo. The harmonium and tabla are often seen as accompanying instruments but this extraordinarily talented pair will be pushing their instruments up front and centre for some truly beautiful and energising sounds. After they have done their stuff there will be a khyal presentation by Chiranjib Chakraborty. A native of Kolkata, and currently based in London, he blends elements of different khyal gharanas which he has absorbed from his eminent teachers.

Finally, Hashmat Sultana (pictured) are the most sensational contemporary Sufi and Punjabi singers to emerge from India recently. Propelled into the limelight in 2016 as part of a major TV talent show, the duo received rave reviews. The talented 'Sufi sisters' have become a YouTube sensation with their song 'Rang' receiving over 25 million views, appealing to a new generation of audiences globally with their powerful vocal performances and incredible versatility that shows maturity beyond their years.

Apoorva Gokhale, Saturday 29 February, Durham University, 7.30pm, £10 (students £4, under 18s £1); Chiranjeeb Chakraborty + Swar-Tala Duo, Sunday 1 March, Durham University, 11am, £5 (students £2, under 18s free); Hashmat Sultana, Monday 2 March, Sage Gateshead, £13.60-£19.10 (family ticket available). gemarts.org