Bhai Balbir Singh Ragi

Bhai Balbir Singh Ragi is one of the last remaining links to the original Gurbāni Kīrtan Paramparā of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where he sang for 36 years between 1955 and 1991. Born in 1933 to Bhai Santa Singh, a famous Tabla and Pakhāwaj exponent who taught at the Gurmat Vidyalaya in Taran Tarn, he received his initial training in Gurbāni Kīrtan from his father, his grandfather, Bhai Kundan Singh, and great-grandfather, Bhai Hira Singh. He was fortunate to learn Dhrupad from the legendary Pandit Nathu Ram, a student of Ustad Bhai Boota Singh and Ustad Baba Shardha Singh. Bhai Balbir Singh learnt Gurbāni Kīrtan from his elder uncle, Bhai Sohan Singh Ragi of Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar.

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He was also fortunate to study under the legendary Ustad Bhai Arjan Singh Tarangar, Pandit Krishnarao Pandit (Khayāl), Ustad Habibuddin Khan (Tabla) and Gyani Gyan Singh Almast (Jal-Tarang). Bhai Sahib is additionally a talented Dilruba player, having studied from his father. He also considers Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Pandit Dilip Chandra Vedi as his mentors. Bhai Balbir Singh remembers nearly three thousand Shabads and can sing in over two hundred ragas. In 2012, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his contributions in the field of Gurbāni Kīrtan.