A season focused on the subcontinent's music, starting with a six-part look at Indian folk music, plus films on Ravi Shankar, Zakir Hussain and Wynton Marsalis's collaboration with Pakistani musicians
Two Londoners, virtuoso sarod player Soumik Datta and his brother Souvid, an award-winning photojournalist, visit six Indian states to investigate and celebrate the country's rich folk music heritage. Their journey starts in West Bengal, where they track down the travelling minstrels known as Bauls, who are driven by deep faith and extraordinary spiritual resilience. Channel 4, Thu 13 April at 1.05am
In Ajmer, Soumik meets a qawwali group who invite him to play inside the spectacular Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the shrine to the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti. He also crashes a wedding, jams with tribal drummers and discovers a group of women singers who have never left their village but want to travel and take their songs to the cities. Channel 4, Thu 13 April at 1.35am
High in the eastern mountains in a remote corner of India, Soumik encounters the Naga tribes. They teach him about their mysterious customs, including their chicken dances and head-hunting traditions, which are all part of a unique identity that's on the brink of extinction. The Nagas explain how they want to both preserve their regional identity and be part of the national map of India. Channel 4, Thu 20 April at 2.55am
On Christmas Eve, Soumik arrives in the former Portuguese colony of Goa. Now seen as a global party hub, the coastal state also retains its traditions. An ambitious young fado singer and a wise old violinist exemplify the struggle many Goans feel between their colonial past and modern future, their laid-back lifestyle and the challenges of tourism. Soumik also explores pre-colonial ghumat arti music and the unique Portuguese/Goan fusion called mando. Channel 4, Thu 20 April at 3.25am
In tropical Karnataka, Soumik meets some of the state's renowned dancers, whose performances are impressively colourful and energetic. Atop the region's mountains and deep in its forests, music and dance are an enduring and ancient way of life, inspired by religion and the natural environment. But the dancers also explain how India’s archaic caste system has had a negative impact on their lives. Channel 4, Thu 27 April at 2.55am
In the final episode in the series, Soumik visits the ancient city of Varanasi, where he explores a neighbourhood that has produced five generations of Indian classical masters. He also meets widowed women singers who have committed their lives to the Hindu god Shiva, and a young drummer who has the talent to make it big. Channel 4, Thu 27 April at 3.30am
This film from 1971 documents sitar master Ravi Shankar during the late 1960s. It follows his return to India to revisit his guru, the Bengali multi-instrumentalist and composer Allauddin Khan; explores Shankar's life as a musician and teacher in the US and Europe, where he helped to introduce Indian classical music and culture; and looks at his influences, including his dancer brother Uday Shankar, and his work with Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison. Transmission details tbc.
Zakir Hussain is the greatest living exponent of the tabla. Starting as a child prodigy playing traditional music, Hussain expanded the scope of his instrument through ground-breaking experiments in both Indian and Western idioms. Today he is celebrated internationally as a star performer and composer. Director Sumantra Ghosal's 2003 documentary charts the growth of this living legend through a series of concerts and interviews. Transmission details tbc.
(2015) Music once thrived in Pakistan but it was banned under Sharia law in 1977. When the restrictions eased in the 2000s, some ageing musicians began playing folk and classical music together at Lahore's Sachal Studios. And after hearing one of their tunes, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis invited them to perform with his band at New York's Lincoln Center. This film follows their triumphant return after so many years of inactivity. In Punjabi/Urdu/subs and English. Transmission date tbc.