Leeds-based Project 12 to bring ancient vibe to city

Leeds-based Project 12 have become the unlikely stars of an emerging 'carnatic' music scene.
Leeds-based Project 12 have become the unlikely stars of an emerging 'carnatic' music scene.
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A group of talented musicians called Project 12 will perform in Leeds for the first time on Friday January 16 - members of Project 12 took time out to talk to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Jasdeep Singh Degun was born and bred in Leeds, grew up in Moortown and has just graduated in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, University of London.

He is not only an accomplished sitarist, but he also contributes and composes the music of the band, he explains; “Project 12 was born a year ago, but some of us have known each other for over 10 years.

“We have all grown up enjoying a mix of music styles, from Western R&B and hip-hop to classical Indian ragas, but in all our situations there was very little space for composing our own music, therefore Project 12 is a product of our past experiences and our urge to create something exclusive and new.”

The band is comprised of 11 young British musicians from diverse backgrounds, aged 20 – 30 years old.

They all share the artistic ambition to create and perform world music that best represents them. Being both self-taught and classically trained, each musician has been pursing Western Classical, Carnatic [melodic and rhythmic] or Hindustani styles of music. This eclectic mix of styles has never been heard in Leeds before and this unique performance will take place at Leeds Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen.

Organised through SAA-uk (South Asian Arts-uk) this is a rare opportunity for the musicians to share their love of classical Indian music influenced by their Western upbringing, with the people of Leeds.

Project 12 isn’t a band made up of professional musicians playing pre-composed music, but a group of talented individuals coming together from varied lifestyles.

This isn’t the first time the 11 strong group have performed, they have also played across the country at concerts and festivals including London’s International Arts Festival, Birmingham Symphony Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Darbar Festival, to name just a few. For the first time ever, they have been asked to perform this year at the prestigious Alchemy festival, which is being held at the vibrant Southbank Centre in London.

Jasdeep added: “We never imagined we’d be touring the country.”

The concert will take place at 7pm at Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen, 1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP. Tickets cost £9/£5 concessions. Visit www.saa-uk.org for tickets.

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