Sukhvinder Singh “Pinky” is one of India’s most dynamic percussionists who is recognized worldwide for his unique style of playing, technical prowess and stage presence.
Hailing from the holy village of Sri Bhaini Sahib (Ludhiana, Punjab), Sukhvinder excelled from a young age beginning his musical journey playing the Dholak and Jorhi in the Namdhari Sangeet tradition.
At the tender age of 5, he became a disciple of Jorhi Samrath, Ustad Nihal Singh who himself was a student of Bhai Nasira hailing from the Rababi tradition and a leading exponent of the Punjab Gharana. Aged 13 Sukhvinder gave his first major public performance in the 1978 Satguru Pratap Singh Sangeet Sammelan (3 day Hindustani classical music festival) at the Birla Mateshwari Hall, Mumbai. In attendance were artists such as Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, M.S.Gopalakrishnan, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Ustad Allah Rakha, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt. Kishan Maharaj, Ustad Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Mohinder Singh Thumri. His performance left such an impression on these artists that Ustad Allah Rakha urged Satguru Jagjit Singh to place Sukhvinder under his guidance. However, Satguru Jagjit Singh had already promised Sukhvinder to the doyen of the Benares Gharana, Padma Vibhushan Pt. Kishan Maharaj.
Soon after, Sukhvinder left for Varanasi where he spent many years with Pt. Kishan Maharaj in Seva and Riyaz. It was during this period that the great Pt. Kishan Maharaj having observed the potential and dedication of the young Sukhvinder gave him meticulous attention and Tabla tutelage. He took pride in mentioning Sukhvinder among his senior most students including the likes of Nandan Mehta, Puran Maharaj, Kumar Bose, Sandeep Das and Vineet Vyas.
Through his spontaneity, power, virtuosity and above all his inimitable ability to captivate the audience, Sukhvinder became one of the most sought after accompanists leading him to travel extensively across India, Europe and the USA with leading artists such as Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. His collaboration, ‘A Meeting by the River’, with Ry Cooder and Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt led to him receiving a Grammy award in 1994.
As a solo artist Sukhvinder has received wide acclaim and is regarded as an adept performer of both the Punjab and Benares repertoires and has also been a featured soloist with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. His Jorhi performances have led to a meteoric rise in respect and appreciation for the rare art of Jorhi playing. Recently Ustad Zakir Hussain proclaimed Sukhvinder to be the foremost exponent of the Jorhi worldwide after his unparalleled performance at the 2016 Ustad Allah Rakha memorial concert.
Sukhvinder Singh bases himself in England, Canada and India.