Instrument: Tabla

Ravinder Partap Singh was born in West Patel Nagar, New Delhi on September 30th, 1962. While his home was filled with the transcendent sounds of Indian classical music, Ravinder initially pursued a sporting life, playing cricket, running, and bodybuilding. Growing up in an observant Sikh family with eight brothers and sisters, Ravinder’s early days were filled with joy and productivity. He was 28 when he took up the tabla, the rhythmic backbone of Indian classical music. Upon discovering the tabla, Ravinder practiced diligently, finding inspiration in tabla masters like Ustad Tafu Ji, and formal instruction from his father, Sant Partap Singh Ji and his uncle, Ustad Ram Singh Ji. His truest and most lasting musical influences, however, are his brothers, Davinder and Mohinder, who as young men pursued the violin and the tabla, respectively. Music is a means of keeping the Partap Brothers close, an unspoken language only they can speak, but everyone can understand.

His style is marked by the Kanar Tabla, in which the index finger is dominant. When performing and practicing tabla, Ravinder strives for perfection in every moment, and in every note. Ravinder feels that while there are infinite ways of expressing the same sound, tone, or thought, perfection comes when he can balance his physical ability with the audience’s desires and expectations. Ravinder is mindful, however, that perfection is unattainable—only god is perfect—but its pursuit is noble. The same applies to knowledge. As Ravinder says, “the more you learn, the more you feel like a kindergarten student.” For Ravinder, the pursuits of perfection and knowledge are social acts. He believes that when people join together to hear music, enjoy food, and pray, their expressions of emotion—whether it be sorrow or joy—are at their most pure.

Ravinder followed his heart to the United States in 1990, eager to experience the true beauty of American life. In 1994, he married Meenu Singh, with whom he has two wonderful and successful children.