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Khiyo is a London-based British-Bengali band that gives Bengali heritage music a modern acoustic sound.
The band is named Khiyo after a letter of the Bengali alphabet. It is a unique letter that, whilst being a combination of two letters, has an identity of its own. Similarly, though the band members have backgrounds that include Western classical, rock, jazz, blues, Nazrul Sangeet, Bengali folk and Indian classical, the amalgamation of the whole has a singularly identifiable sound.
Oliver Weeks studied composition at Clare College, Cambridge with Robin Holloway and has recently completed a PhD in composition at the Royal Academy of Music. He has conducted fieldwork in West Bengal, writing his dissertation on Baul Gaan and Rabindra Sangeet in Bengal in the 19th century. Several of his classical works also centre on Bengali texts. He co-founded Parapar with Moushumi Bhowmik and works with numerous bands, including Astrohenge, for which he plays piano and live electronics.
Sohini Alam is a British vocalist of Bangladeshi descent whose musical repertoire includes folk, patriotic, modern and traditional Bengali songs with a specialisation in Nazrul Sangeet. She has branched out into multi-lingual music in bands, for dance, and for theatre. A third generation vocalist, Sohini trained in music with her mother, Hiron Alam and then her aunts, Jannat Ara and Ferdous Ara. She is the lead vocalist for Kishon Khan's Afro-Cuban-Bengali jazz band, Lokkhi Terra.
Ben Hillyard plays mostly upright and sometimes electric bass in Moushumi Bhowmik’s band, Parapar. Ben has a wide musical range both as a composer and performer, covering styles from western orchestral music to jazz and rock, taking in funk, electronica and folk along the way. He performs with Annalie and writes music for theatre and cabaret. He has created music for several theatre projects in Australia. In the UK, he has been busy mainly as a performer, including playing support for pop legends Take That.
Derek Scurll started playing orchestral percussion aged 11, after musical beginnings on piano and violin (later cello). He persuaded his parents to buy him a drum kit aged 14 and has subsequently studied at RAM and with Bob Armstrong. Derek's drumming covers many musical bases, such as jazz, funk, salsa and folk. He is in demand not only for his playing, but also for his arranging and teaching. Career highlights include appearances on Top of the Pops and Children in Need.
Hassan Mohyeddin is a tabla artist, multi-percussionist, composer and music producer. He hails from the Punjab School of Tabla, having trained for several years from his mid-teens with tabla maestro, Acharya Pandit Lachhman Singh Seen. Hassan has a degree in music production and sound engineering from the London School of Sound and has worked as a professional musician for the last ten years. He has toured many countries, collaborating with artists including Nahid Siddiqui, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan and Baluji Srivastav.
Danyal Dhondy is a composer and arranger who works across a diverse range of genres. He also plays the violin, viola and piano, and works extensively in theatre, composing, recording and performing as an M.D. in London. His critically-acclaimed arrangements of Puccini's Madam Butterfly and Lenocavallo's Pagliacci for OperaUpClose brought a nomination for an Arts Fellowship Award in Opera Composition.