Sheffield musician helps reveal the last untold Beatles story

editorial image

A concert revealing new insights into how George Harrison and The Beatles were influenced by Indian music is being held this evening (Friday June 9).

The biographical concert, organised by John Ball, a World Musician in Residence at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music, reveals new stories and rare images from the recording of The Beatles’ legendary album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The event also features two surviving musicians who played on the album.

Research led by Sheffield’s John Ball and Dr Mike Jones from the University of Liverpool has led to the discovery of an Indian musician who featured on Sgt. Pepper, but until now has not been credited for his contribution to the recording.

The musicians who contributed to the album are the late Anna Joshi, Amrit Gajjar, and Natwar Soni. However, research led by Sheffield’s John Ball and Liverpool’s Dr Mike Jones has revealed that Indian musician Buddhadev Kansara also played on Sgt. Pepper.

Working as Musical Director on the project, John Ball has been working closely with the musicians to incorporate their stories and music into the script of the show. He has also worked with a group of contemporary British-based Indian musicians who have devised original, Indian music inspired versions of Beatles songs performed on instruments such as the sitar, dilruba, table and mdringam.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper, the concert, which is being held at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, has many surprises including a performance of an instrument played on the recorded album as well as images and stories from George Harrison’s encounter with Indian music and musician Ravi Shankar.

John Ball, who has been World Musician in Residence at the University of Sheffield since 2008, said: “This project gives fans of The Beatles as well as students in Sheffield’s Department of Music a rare opportunity to be a part of a Beatles story that has never fully been told.

“It features stories from British-based Indian musicians which will be shared partly through film and partly through personal anecdote on the night. These stories create a whole new picture of the ‘quiet’ Beatle George Harrison and show just how significant Indian music was to George and how his experience infused The Beatles as a whole with new ideas and fresh inspiration.”

Following the concert in Liverpool, the stories and findings from the project can be shared with music students at the University to help them with their own studies, particularly those with an interest in exploring Indian music.

For more information on the concert and to book tickets, please visit:

Nick Clegg among biggest casualties on night of election shocks

What is a hung parliament? What happens next? Who will be PM? - Everything you need to know

LIVE: General Election 2017 - live results and reaction from South Yorkshire

‘Greatest privilege’: Nick Cleggs’ 12 years in Sheffield Hallam comes to an end

James Reed: Theresa May’s reputation in tatters after election gamble fails

Jeremy Corbyn’s future looks safe with Labour set to avoid another summer of infighting

BREAKING: Three injured in coach crash carrying Sheffield school children

Judgement due today over decision to sack ex-South Yorkshire Police chief constable

BREAKING: Sheffield woman dies after taking Ecstasy on night out in city

Tributes paid to much-loved young mum killed in early morning crash