Sheema Mukherjee absorbed North Indian classical music and the western tradition side-by-side, studying sitar and Indian classical music under the tutelage of her uncle, the late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and then with the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Brought up between Britain and India, she has a rich background to draw on in her own compositions and collaborations. Sheema works across many styles and genres from eastern and western classical music to jazz, pop and dance music.
She has collaborated with internationally renowned artists such as Sir John Tavenor, Martin Carthy, Bobby Mcferrin, Boris Grebenshikov, Natacha Atlas, Noel Gallagher & Cornershop, Mercan Dede, the Bulgarian Folk singer Yanka Rupkina. Another significant collaboration is with UK saxophonist Courtney Pine and Sheema has been featured on his albums Back In The Day and Devotion and was a guest artist on the ‘On Track’ tour – a project for the UK Commonwealth Games.
Sheema has toured the world with a variety of ensembles and key performances include The World Music Festival (Chicago), Montreux Jazz Festival and the Olympia-Halle (Munich), supporting Jimmy Page and Robert Plant throughout their European tour (1998), the Olympics Arts Festival for Sydney 2000 and also makes regular appearances at WOMAD (UK) with her own ensembles.
A versatile and creative musician, Sheema Mukherjee is evolving both as a composer and as a collaborator. Recent work has included an Indian Classical performance for Elton John’s Black Tie & Tiara Ball, an improvisation with Australian recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey in Westminster Abbey for The Queen on Commonwealth Day, and a creative development role in composition and song writing in Beijing, Hong Kong and Gateshead as part of the PRS Foundation and Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Creative Exchange Project. Larger scale work has included composition for full orchestra, for theatre, including Wuthering Heights (Tamasha), The Cornershop Project (Black Country Touring & Foursight), West Yorkshire Playhouse (Northern Exposure).
Page and Plant European tour with Transglobal Underground, November 1998
Olympic arts festival, Sydney 2000, full tour of Australia following year
Various performances with Courtney Pine, including the launch of the Commonwealth Games, 2002
Barbican Jazz festival with Courtney Pine in honour of John Coltrane, 2002
12 week tour of USA, Canada and Europe with Cornershop, 2002-3
Performance, live with Mercan Dede
Solo, jazz and dance/club music performances worldwide, including Tunisia, Norway, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Mexico and Sarajevo
Guest artist for Bobby McFerrin at Royal Festival Hall, May 2006
Performing in Beijing, with several Chinese composers, for a cross-cultural project
organised by PRS Foundation and CASH
Performed for HRH Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day, 2006
Performed at Elton John’s house for the Annual ‘White Tie and Tiara’ Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation, July 2006
Currently touring with the Imagined Village Project, featuring English folk legends Martyn and Eliza Carthy, Paul Weller, Benjamin Zephenia, Billy Bragg, Chris Wood.