about gurdain

Ustad Harkirat Rayatt

Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee

Pandit Shankar Ghosh


Gurdain started his journey at the age of 3 under the guidance of his father Ustad Harkirat Rayatt and grandfather Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee under the Punjab and Benares gharana traditions, Growing up in a household of musicians and music lovers, Gurdain was enthralled by his father’s and his grandfather’s passion for performing and teaching within the community and with their dedication to helping all students develop to the best of their ability. His grandfather promoted Tabla Solo concerts through his organisation TAAL and later his father also promoted Tabla Solos, Indian Classical Concerts, Ensemble Performances and Workshops and Summer Retreats through his organisation CHAKARDAR. At the age of 16. Gurdain became a disciple of the tabla legend Guru Acharya Pandit Shankar Ghosh (Farukhabad Gharana), leading to extensive advanced development and training in India including in-depth experience with some of the best performers in India for accompaniment, such as Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya (santoor), Pandit Kushal Das (sitar), Indrani Mukherjee (vocal), Pandit Alok Lahiri (sarod) to name a few.

His extensive one to one experience travelling with Pandit Shankar Ghosh in France, Germany, UK and India opened his eyes to the ‘sadhana’ of Hindustani Classical Music and his guru’s spirited determination to see the addictive fascination of the tabla subject – from composing, to counting, to improvising with a very strong focus on aesthetics and dynamics of tabla playing.

Gurdain has been fortunate to learn from some of the other greatest tabla players on the stage today through workshops and individual taleem sessions including Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, Pandit Kumar Bose and Pandit Yogesh Samsi to name a few.


Gurdain Rayatt is one of the leading tabla players in the UK/Europe performing regularly as an international artiste. He excels both within the classical traditional realm as an apt soloist and sensitive accompanist to Hindustani Classical instrumental, vocal and dance performances, as well as a versatile and expressive musician in cross-cultural, folk and world music projects and groups.


He has been fortunate to have toured, performed and collaborated with some of the most proficient performers currently onstage including Anoushka Shankar, Niladri Kumar, Kala Ramnath, Purbayan Chatterjee, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Kushal Das and Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya.

In the UK, he has performed alongside all the major performers on the scene including Roopa Panesar, Jesse Bannister, Jasdeep Degun, Kaviraj Dhadyalla, Giuliano Modarelli and more.


His experimental work into multiple genres has led him to become a prominent member of many multi-genre groups and bands within which he has performed internationally and toured on a regular basis…

– “Kefaya” with guitarist Giuliano Modarelli, keys player Al MacSween, drummer Joost Hendricks and singer Elaha Soroor
– “Michael Messer’s Mitra” with American Blues slide guitarist Michael Messer and indian slide guitarist Manish Pingle
– “Attuned” with guitarist Jack Jennings and indian slide guitarist Manish Pingle
– “Seven Eyes” with brazilian guitarist Paolo Vinicius and singer Tanya Wells
– “Shez Raja and Co” with bass guitarist Shez Raja, drummer Sophie Alloway and saxophonist Tony Kofi

He has recorded on a number of music releases and albums including:
– “Call of the Blues” by Michael Messer’s Mitra
– “Ether” with sitarist Anupama Bhagwat
– “Beyond Rhythmscape” by Bickram Ghosh
– “Groove Maker” as a tabla solo release
– “Songs of our Mothers” by Kefaya and Elaha Soroor


He has performed and recorded at the famous Abbey Studios and Westminster Hall alongside the UK Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia. He has performed in major indian classical music festivals including Saptak, Harivallabh and Darbar as well as major world music festivals including WOMAD. He has frequently performed on BBC Radio with the BBC and Sky Arts and at venues including London Southbank, The Royal Albert Hall, V&A Museum, Leeds International Music Festival, Songlines Encounters Festival, Latitude Festival, WOMAD Festival, The NEC Arena, House of Commons and Westminster Abbey, The Sage Gateshead, Brighton Dome.

He has been honoured to perform for HRH The Prince of Wales in Royal Albert Hall and the V&A Museum as well as performances at the House of Commons in front of distinguished MPs.


Gurdain is dedicated to preserving the heritage of his musical tradition and conducts workshops, lecture demos, group and one-to-one classes to individuals across all musical abilities and around the globe online. He is passionate about passing on his enthusiasm and knowledge of tabla, music and drumming to his peers and students in exciting and innovative ways.