Tabla maestro counts Paul McCartney among his fans

A PERFORMANCE to a packed Alexandra Palace later this month should be water off a duck s back to musician Sandip Chakravarty, after playing two private performances to Sir Paul McCartney. Tabla drummer Sandip – aka Sandyman – was booked by the ex-Beatles

A PERFORMANCE to a packed Alexandra Palace later this month should be water off a duck's back to musician Sandip Chakravarty, after playing two private performances to Sir Paul McCartney.

Tabla drummer Sandip - aka Sandyman - was booked by the ex-Beatles' then wife Heather to play at Macca's private 60th birthday party at his mansion in St John's Wood in 2003.

And the star liked Sandip's drumming so much that Heather booked him again to play for Sir Paul at a homecoming gathering when he returned from a world tour two years later.

Sandip, of Seven Kings, told the Recorder: "Mr McCartney made me feel so comfortable. He came over and put his hands together in the style of a namaste greeting and bowed his head, and then sat on the floor, with crossed legs, in front of me, listening to me play.


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"It was the most amazing experience to perform in front of such a legend.

"I was told that he loved the music so much and that's why Heather booked me to play again for him at the house."

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Sandip, 32, was born in Plaistow and went to Curwin Junior School until the age of seven when his family relocated to Calcutta so he could specialise in Indian music, after he had become fascinated with the tabla drum as a five-year-old.

When Sandip was 14, the family returned to Plaistow, and Sandip completed his education at Rokeby School in Stratford, going on to study a diploma in computer science at the University of East London.

But music was always going to be Sandip's vocation. He performed at the Royal Albert Hall when he was 16, representing Newham's Asian community.

He worked with legendary Bollywood music director Bappi Lahiri and performed at numerous concerts and on various recordings with him.

The Alexandra Palace show on March 21 is for Kumar Sanu, a Bollywood playback artist performing theme tunes from well-known films.

Then Sandip is off to Stockholm with Sanu the week after for a Swedish version of the show, before returning to organise the Tower Hamlets Mela in Brick Lane in May, in his capacity as international artist organiser for the annual celebration, attended by 40,000 people.

Sandip, who also runs a shop, Guru Soundz in Fanshawe Avenue, Barking, which specialises in hand-made instruments from his own factory in Calcutta, adds: "The east London area is very close to my heart. It has given me so much and I will never leave this place."

- MATT TROLLOPE

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