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NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS • Mumbai's premier cultural venue, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) boasts both an eclectic programme of events and a wide range of performance spaces – from the 285-capacity black-box Experimental Theatre to the regal Jamshed Bhabha Theatre. Considered the hub of western classical music in the city, the NCPA founded the Symphony Orchestra of India in 2006. Under the directorship of Kazakh violinist Marat Bisengaliev, the SOI stages two sets of "celebrity" concerts – featuring such big-ticket names as Karl Jenkins and Tamas Vasary – every February and September. The NCPA is perhaps even better known for its Indian classical music recitals, and in addition to weekly concerts it also hosts a number of annual festivals, including Aadi Anant every January and Bandish every July. Their most recent success, however, is the Sufi music festival, Sama'a, held in November.


BONOBO •

Ever since hipster hangout Zenzi shut last October, this Bandra bar and restaurant has become the den of choice for the city's art set. Fridays and Saturdays are the gig nights here, and past performers have included genre-hopping multi-instrumentalist Shri and British beatboxer Testament. Bonobo is also home to Wobble, a monthly night of "bass heavy" sounds like drum'n'bass and dubstep, which has featured such Indian electronica heavyweights as Bandish Projekt and BREED. The air-conditioned performance room can only hold about 80 people, which means you're likely to find the majority of the crowd sipping on cocktails around the mushroom-shaped tables in the rooftop bar. It's located somewhat incongruously in a lemon-yellow building, alongside a KFC.


HARD ROCK CAFÉ • ocated in a former mill, the Mumbai outpost of the US chain of resto-bars has a mixed reputation among the city's musicians. In the first couple of years after opening, in 2006, indie rock acts were often asked to include a stipulated number of cover songs in their set lists. These days, Hard Rock Café, which hosts gigs every Tuesday and Thursday night, sticks mostly to cover bands, with a couple of dates a month spared for indie groups. Skip these gigs, and come here only for the ticketed events, when one of the seating areas is cleared


• to make room for a larger stage, for performances by Indian indie icons (folkfusion veterans Indian Ocean, electro-rock superstars Pentagram), international chart toppers (Wyclef Jean, Jay Sean) or club-packing DJs (Bob Sinclair, Paul van Dyk). Be warned, though: the waiters break into a synchronised jig every time the Village People's "YMCA" comes on.


SHANMUKHANANDA AUDITORIUM •

On most weekends, the 60-year-old Sri Shanmukhananda Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Auditorium is where you head to catch a performance of Carnatic (or South Indian classical) music. However, Mumbai's largest auditorium – with a seating capacity of 2,763 spread over three floors – is also a perennially popular venue for the city's biggest gigs. In the past couple of months, master percussionist Trilok Gurtu and Grammy-winning mohan veena player Vishwa Mohan Bhatt have staged performances here. Shanmukhananda also hosts the annual tribute concert that tabla maestro Zakir Hussain organises every year in memory of his father, Allah Rakha Khan, on 3 February. A red-letter date in the city's concert calendar, the event has featured some of the world's finest Indian classical, jazz and fusion music talent.

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NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS  

• Mumbai's premier cultural venue, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) boasts both an eclectic programme of events and a wide...

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS  

• Mumbai's premier cultural venue, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) boasts both an eclectic programme of events and a wide...

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