Moving my blog over to

Dear friends,

With the recent update of my website, I now have the ability to integrate the blog directly into the website, so that is what I am doing; it just makes sense. I will no longer be posting updates here. Thank you to all of you for your interest in my musical adventures. Please click along to my website for the continuation of this blog in the future! If you would like to update your RSS subscription, this is the new RSS URL:

I hope to see you over at!


Thursday, 13 November 2008

X-Mas in Goa video

Just in time for the holiday season! X-Mas in Goa is a duo for pandeiro and tabla, and was composed by Randy Gloss (of the group, Hands On'Semble) on one of his trips to India. This performance took place in September, 2007. Sorry for the delay in posting the video!

The tabla writing is mainly traditional, while the highly virtuosic pandeiro part makes use of both traditional and extended techniques. The piece opens with an improvised pandeiro solo, followed by two composed sections. After a short improvised tabla solo, the piece ends with a third composed section, based on the traditional Indian concepts of kaida and palta (theme and variations).

Fernando Rocha is playing the pandeiro part. Fernando is an incredibly talented percussionist, based in Minas Gerais (Brazil), where he is professor of percussion at Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG). It was Fernando who first introduced me to this composition and some of the other Hands On'Semble repertoire. It makes for a great fusion of percussive cultures; traditional musics combined with some modern elements.

Monday, 3 November 2008

NAFDA North Frame Drum Fest 2008

This past weekend, I drove down to Brattleboro, Vermont where N. Scott Robinson and Todd Roach hosted the NAFDA North - Cooperman Frame Drum Fest 2008. It was great to meet so many talented musicians, and get to see various frame drums performed in both traditional and innovative ways.

Of course, I brought my tabla along (though they're definitely not frame drums!), and was fortunate to be able to sit in, and perform in a couple of pieces at the Friday night concert in Grafton, VT.

The first piece that I participated in was an original composition by Carnatic singer K.S. Resmi, accompanied by N. Scott Robinson on frame drum, and myself on tabla. We had just met only 30 minutes prior, but Scott and Resmi are such great musicians, everything flowed naturally. I wonder what the performance would have been like had we actually practiced the piece before. :)

I was also really happy to play in one of Marla Leigh's compositions. I had met her a few years ago at PASIC, but never had the chance to play together. She played flute and frame drum, and was joined by Patrick Graham on kanjira and caxixi, Mac Ritchey on oud, Todd Roach on ghaval and bendir, and myself on tabla. 

The next day was loaded with great workshops, and followed by a concert featuring all the workshop clinicians (minus Patrick, who had to return to Montreal for a gig). For more photos from the event, click here.

The event was sponsored by the Cooperman drum company. Patrick Cooperman was on hand with a selection of amazing drums for sale. It took great self-control for me to only purchase one drum; I could have easily bought at least three or four!

There is talk of hosting an event such as this somewhere in Canada. I will certainly try to attend, and will pass on word as soon as I hear anything. In the meantime, there is the upcoming NAFDA festival in New Jersey.

Friday, 3 October 2008

A blast from the past...

Well, it certainly took some time before I transferred these videos to my PC! Here are a couple of clips from a performance given on August 5, 2006 as part of the gala concert that ended the 25th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai. You may remember that I had previously posted the links to clips from the second half of this concert; Pt. Sharda Sahai's tabla solo.

The concert opened with a performance of Bob Becker's Palta. As far as I know, this is the first piece to feature the tabla in a Western classical music setting. This was a very special performance, as Gurujee (Pt. Sharda Sahai) was in the audience (and he has played this piece many times in the past), Bob Becker was playing the piano part, and the audience was full of guru-bhais, tabla students, and Indian music afficionados.

The piece opens with a few moharas, followed by improvisations on an angrusthana.

Next on the program was Payton MacDonald's 1st Concerto for Tabla and Percussion Quartet. This piece continues in the tradition of Palta, and is the only of Payton's tabla concertos that wasn't written for me (I have since commissioned the 2nd and 3rd, and Samsara, a concerto with wind ensemble); an oddity in the repertoire! :) In this clip, I play variations on a well known Delhi kaida.

Payton was kind enough to conduct for this performance. With him at the helm, I know that I can get away will all kinds of things in my improvisations. :) Like Gurujee always says, "the train can only roll if the tracks are straight."

Next on the program was Bob Becker's Mudra, for solo snare drum and percussion ensemble, performed by Bob. I don't have the clip for this one ready yet. Maybe next year. :)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Tabla Solo Audio Clip

Hi everyone,

I decided to post up a very short tabla solo on MySpace. Please have a listen!

It was from a concert I gave in March, where I was asked to play a tabla solo that demonstrated the full range of Benarsi tabla repertoire, but in under 10 minutes! For a tabla solo, that's very short; I normally would have liked to play for at least 30-40 minutes. And no Benarsi theka if you can believe that ... 

A quick analysis: bhumika, uthan, moharas, kaida, rela, Punjabi gat (in rela), gat-fard (in rela), farmaishi tukra, tukra.


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Video clip of Pt. Sharda Sahai in Montreal

For those of you who were unable to attend Pandit Sharda Sahai's amazing performance in Montreal this past summer, here is a video excerpt from the performance. It's about eight-and-a-half minutes long, so you get a pretty good feel for the concert.

Pt. Sharda Sahai, tabla; Pt. Ramesh Mishra, sarangi; Ravi Singh, tabla; and me on tanpura!

Thanks to Ravi Singh for posting this video on YouTube!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Summer Tabla Workshop with Pt. Sharda Sahai

Dear friends,

In my last post, I spoke about Pandit Sharda Sahai's performance in Montreal. Now it's time for a small report on his tabla workshop that I hosted at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. This was the 26th edition of the Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai, and the second one that I have organised, in Montreal. Like last time, Guruji was assisted in teaching by Dr. Frances Shepherd (London, UK), Niel Golden (Victoria, BC), and myself. The workshop took place from June 22 through to July 5.

The workshop included group classes, group practice sessions, a series of three lectures, and two listening sessions. The lectures were open to the public and I was happy to see a few people from outside the workshop in attendance.

Niel Golden opened up the lecture series with a presentation of the tabla in various fusion settings. He is a very experienced tabla player, and over the years has participated in numerous fusion projects. He played recordings of a number of pieces from a variety of artists and styles, ranging from the Beatles to Steve Wonder (!), as well as some of his own compositions.

The next day, we had Todd Hammes, who is a tabla player and Western-trained percussionist, presenting a lecture on Pandit Sharda Sahai and his influence on contemporary Western compositions for tabla. The lecture demonstrated the connection between traditional tabla repertoire and the newly composed repertoire from such composers as Bob Becker, Payton MacDonald, and Robert Aldridge. Rather than use recordings of the pieces, Todd asked me to sit in to demonstrate the compositions for the audience.

The last lecture was presented by Dr. Frances Shepherd on the subject of Guru-shishya-parampara, the teacher-disciple tradition. During the course of the lecture, she presented a video of a recent Guru Vandan ceremony in Benares, in which Guruji was honored by numerous dignitaries and disciples.

The two listening sessions took place during the second week of the workshop. First up was Eric Phinney, who presented numerous audio recordings in order to demonstrate some of the main differences between the tabla gharanas. One of the big topics was peshkar, as opposed to Benarsi theka. He also demonstrated differences in technique and fingering, especially between Delhi and Benares styles.
Ravi Singh gave a presentation on sangat, and used numerous videos to demonstrate his points. He discussed accompaniment of dhrupad, khyal (vocal and instrumental), and lighter forms such as thumri, ghazal, and dadra.

Last, but not least, the workshop couldn't have taken place without the generous participation of Pandit Sharda Sahai, and the 20 students who travelled to Montreal from across Canada and the USA. Students had four tabla classes per week, and daily group practice sessions. The group practice sessions involve all the students, doing technique practice together; a combination of hard work and good fun! We were also fortunate to receive Bob Becker for a few days, a senior disciple of Guruji. In fact, it was Bob who got this workshop series started in Toronto, sometime around 1980.

These annual workshops are a great experience for all involved. Old friends who haven't seen each other since the previous workshop; new friendships forming with first-time participants; overall, a great sense of community and cameraderie. After two intense weeks of playing tabla, everyone was definitely energized and motivated. Until next year!

Pt. Sharda Sahai's performance in Montreal

Hi everyone,

This past summer, I was very fortunate that my tabla guru, Pandit Sharda Sahai came to perform and teach in Montreal. On June 22, he performed a concert as part of the Festival Montreal Baroque. This was the first time that Indian classical music was included in the festival, and Guruji performed to a packed house, accompanied by Pandit Ramesh Misra on sarangi. I am very thankful to the festival's Artistic Director, Susie Napper, who was instrumental in making this concert a success. The concert took place at the Cirque Eloize, which had a great acoustic, and a really nice feeling to it. The tech crew did an amazing job with the sound and the lights.

Hanging out with Niel Golden and Pandit Ramesh Mishra before the concert.

The concert opened with Ramesh-ji performing sarangi solo, accompanied by Niel Golden (from Victoria, BC), who is one of my senior guru-bhais. I was very happy to be playing tanpura for this special occasion.

Niel Golden accompanying Pandit Ramesh Mishra.

In the second half of the concert, Pandit Sharda Sahai performed a tabla solo in teentaal, accompanied by Pandit Ramesh Misra and another of my guru-bhais, Ravi Singh (from Toronto, ON). Again, me on tanpura. :)

From left to right: Ravi Singh, Pandit Sharda Sahai, myself, and Pandit Ramesh Misra.

Prior to this concert was a performance by the early music ensemble, Notturna. I was invited to play tabla with them, Andrew Maruzzella on sitar, and a kathak dancer, for a performance of music from the days of the East India Company in Kolkatta (sorry, no photos). Earlier in the day, I also performed with sitarist Guy Bernier in an outdoor concert of Indian classical music. It was a mix of classical and light classical pieces. Sorry, I don't remember the raga, it was too long ago. :)

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

A Tribute to Pt. Kishan Maharaj

Hi everyone,

The journalist Kavita Chhibber has written an excellent tribute to the late Pandit Kishan Maharaj. Many interesting stories and interviews with leading exponents of Indian classical music. (Aside from the articles, she has also posted a number of audio interviews/webcasts.)

Part One, featuring Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Ustad Imrat Khan.

Part Two, featuring Sitara Devi, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ustad Shujaat Khan.

Part Three, featuring Pandit Sharda Sahai, Pt. Puran Maharaj, Pt. Kumar Bose, Sukhvinder Singh, Sandeep Das and Shubh Maharaj.

Highly reccomended reading!

Coming soon - a report on the 26th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pt. Sharda Sahai held in Montreal!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Other upcoming tabla events, June 21 to June 27

Dear friends,

As the tabla workshop is quickly approaching (June 22-July 5), there will be a number of tabla-related activities happening in Montreal! Of course, Pt. Sharda Sahai's concert on June 22, which I mentioned in the previous posting. Here are some other events:

Saturday, June 21 at 3:00pm - An Indian improvisation
Masterclass with Pt. Sharda Sahai, hosted by me
This is part of the Montreal Baroque Festival's activities, and is taking place at the Château Ramezay in Old Montreal.

Sunday, June 22 at 11:00am - Sitar & Tabla
An outdoor Indian classical performance with Guy Bernier on sitar, and myself on tabla.
This is also part of the Montreal Baroque Festival's activities, and is taking place at the Place de la Dauversière in Old Montreal.

Wednesday, June 25 at 7pm
Tabla Lecture Series, presented as part of the 26th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai
Niel Golden (Victoria, BC) - Tabla Fusion: Tabla Performance in Non-Classical Music
Tanna Schulich Hall, McGill University, 555 Sherbrooke Street West

Thursday, June 26 at 7pm
Tabla Lecture Series, presented as part of the 26th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai
Todd Hammes (DMA candidate the University of Wisconsin-Madison) - The Influence of Pandit Sharda Sahai on Western Chamber Music
Tanna Schulich Hall, McGill University, 555 Sherbrooke Street West

Friday, June 27 at 7pm
Tabla Lecture Series, presented as part of the 26th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai
Dr. Frances Shepherd (Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya; London, UK) - Guru-Shishya-Parampara (the guru-disciple tradition)
Tanna Schulich Hall, McGill University, 555 Sherbrooke Street West

Hope to see you there!


Pandit Sharda Sahai in concert, June 22!

Dear friends,

I am happy to announce that my tabla guru, Pandit Sharda Sahai will be returning to Montreal to perform a recital with the sarangi player, Pandit Ramesh Mishra. Here are the details of the performance:


Sunday, June 22, 21h30
Cirque Éloize, 417 Berri Street (in Old Montreal)

Tickets & information : / 514.845.7171 / 1.866.845.7171
35$ adults ; 25$ seniors ; 10$ students

World renowned virtuoso tabla player Pandit Sharda Sahai will be accompanied by Pandit Ramesh Mishra on the sarangi for this recital of Indian classical music. Pandit Sharda Sahai is a direct descendant of Pandit Ram Sahai, who created the Benares style of tabla playing in the late 18th century. The recital, titled TABLA D’HAUTE, will be held Sunday, June 22nd at 21h30 at the Cirque Éloize building in Old Montreal (407 Berri street).

The recital will be preceeded by ‘Ohso Square’, a concert inspired by the famous musical evenings of the British East India Company employees, and presented by Notturna, a young & up-coming Montreal group.

Both events are part of the Montreal Baroque Festival. Entitled Syrup, Silk, Saffron, the 6th edition of the Festival celebrates the cultural diversity of Montreal with early music from all corners of the globe. From June 20th to the 23rd in Old Montreal.

The Festival’s programming is available via its Website, Tickets for all the concerts can be purchased online, or by calling the Festival at 514.845.7171.
Prices : 20-35$ adults; 15-25$ seniors; 10$ students under 25.

Hope to see you there!


Monday, 5 May 2008

Tabla Maestro, Pandit Kishan Maharaj

Dear friends,

It is a sad day for tabla-fans around the world. Pandit Kishan Maharaj has passed away.

"Varanasi (PTI): Well-known tabla player Kishan Maharaj died here after a brief illness. He was 84.

He died at a private hospital at Khajuri at 11.45 pm on Sunday night, family sources said.

The tabla maestro was admitted to the hospital after he suffered a paralytic attack on April 29.

Maharaj suffered the attack while eminent sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his family were visiting him. The sarod exponent was here with his sons, Aman and Ayaan, to attend a music function.

Maharaj, who was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2002, was one of the finest tabla players of the country and had a career which spanned over half a century. He began playing tabla at a tender age of 11 years.

He learned the art under the watchful eyes of his father Pandit Hari Maharaj. After the untimely death of his father, Maharaj's training was taken over by his uncle, Pt Kanthe Maharaj, one of the great old masters and himself a disciple of Pt Baldeo Sahai. Pt Baldeo Sahai was the grandson of Pt Ram Sahai, founder of the Banaras gharana.

Maharaj's ability to play cross rhythms and produce complex calculations, particularly in 'tihai' patterns has made him one of the most respected and popular tabla players of his time. He had immense versatility with regard to playing any kind of accompaniment, be it with the sitar, sarod, dhrupad, dhamar or dance."

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

REFUGE dance project

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow night will be the premiere of Manijeh Ali's new dance choreography called Refuge:

"Refuge is a dance project dedicated to Sufism, a mystical tradition of Islam that is based on the belief that love is a projection of the essence of God in the universe. The practitioners of Sufism have coloured Persian literature with beautiful images of gardens, with passionate words for divine love, and with a beautifully defined profile of the beloved in a state of ecstasy. Through these dynamic images, Refuge celebrates the essence of Sufism using an elegant dance vocabulary derived from the precision of Bharata Natyam, the fluidity of Kathak, and the subtlety of Persian dance."

A production of Silken Dance, choreographed by Manijeh Ali, Refuge will be performed by Manijeh Ali, Marjolayne Auger, Elise Legrand, and Magdalena Nowecka at Art Neuf (3819 rue Calixa Lavallée, Montreal) on April 9, 10, 11, and 12, 2008 at 8:00 PM.

While I'm not personally performing in this production, I mention it because I have performed with Manijeh in the past, and that excerpts from my CD, Payton MacDonald: Works for Tabla will form part of the musical score. I look forward to seeing how the tabla concertos will be re-interpreted with dance!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Super Marimba performance with Payton MacDonald

Hi everyone,

I feel that I've been very lucky this spring - many great performances with great musicians. Another recent performance was this past Wednesday, April 2 with the American percussionist (also a tabla player), Payton MacDonald.

Tim Brady, from Bradyworks, invited us to perform a concert together as part of his series entitled VOYAGES: Montreal-New York. With Payton representing New York, and myself representing Montreal, the idea was to combine my tabla playing with Payton's tabla-inspired marimba playing.

Payton describes his Super Marimba like this: "Super Marimba is the nexus point of all of my artistic activities. Here I combine my study of tabla drumming, Western classical composition, and Jazz improvisation. All of my Super Marimba compositions are notated, but the pieces include improvisation. Sometimes the improvisation is free and spontaneous, but more often it is of a unique sort that I have developed over the past couple years, based on the kaida/palta theme and variation processes used in tabla drumming." He also uses loop and distortion pedals to record, loop, and modify the marimba sound in real-time.

The concert program was quite varied. We began with a tabla solo, accompanied by the marimba (perhaps an unusual take on a very traditional concept). Next was Hazel, Orange, for Super Marimba and tabla. Here, I was able to accompany Payton on tabla, while adding some extra colour on various percussion instruments. Next, Payton performed Vignette for solo Super Marimba, and I followed with Paul Frehner's composition for solo tabla, Ke-Te.

After the intermission, we performed Spider and Four Places of Prophecy in the Fire Ritual, for Super Marimba and tabla, followed by Bruno Paquet's Les arbres célestes, for tabla and pre-recorded tape. We concluded the concert with Payton's composition for marimba and tabla, Jugalbandi.

After 10 years of collaboration with Payton, it was really a pleasure to perform this concert with him. I look forward to the next time we are able to perform together!
This was also the first time I used my Sabian "sprimbal" in concert. It's the weird looking cymbal to my left. It basically sounds the way it looks. :) It was also a pleasure to perform at the Theatre La Chapelle. The acoustic was great, and the sound and lighting crew were extremely professional.

Performance with Catherine Potter for Insightful Events

Hi everyone,

Last weekend, on Friday March 28, I had the pleasure of performing with Canada's premiere bansuri player, Catherine Potter. A disciple of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, she has been performing Indian classical music for over 20 years.

Catherine performing alap

The event in question is called DOC~Illumination, which is a monthly series put on by Insightful Events to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Now organization. The event began with an Ayurveda workshop given by Nicole Thériault, followed by our performance, which was then followed by a film about Ayurveda.

Unfortunately, we only had a short time to perform, but it was a lot of fun. After a short alap (Raag Jog), we followed with a gat in Jhaptaal. We then did another piece in Teentaal, though now I forget which raag (sorry!).

Many thanks to Risa for her warm welcome and Kai for his help with the sound.

Next month's event will include a santoor performance and Bharat Natyam dance.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Videos of Samsara, Concerto for Tabla

Hi everyone,

Vicky Shin, who conducted the premiere of Samsara, posted this video up on you tube. It's the premiere performance with the McGill Chamber Wind Orchestra, and myself on tabla. Samsara is a concerto for tabla and wind ensemble by American composer (and tabla player), Payton MacDonald.

The piece has been separated into two video clips because of the YouTube length limitations. Comments welcome!

Samsara - Part 1

Samsara - Part 2


Monday, 18 February 2008

Toronto Area Performances

Hi everyone,
I'm just back from a week in the Toronto area. My first performance was at the University of Guelph. After giving a guest lecture for the Music of the Near and Far East class, Parmela Attariwala and I gave an afternoon performance of a traditional tabla solo and LA, a contemporary piece by Canadian composer Robert Rosen.

Parmela Attariwala and Shawn Mativetsky performing at the University of Guelph. (Photo by Phil Musgrave)

That evening, I accompanied the extremely talented soprano, Zorana Sadiq in her Music-Toronto vocal recital at the Jane Mallet Theatre in Toronto (St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts). We premiered a new arrangement of Shirish Korde's Songs of Ecstacy, which was a big hit with the audience. (No photos, unfortunately.)

The next evening, Parmela and I performed in the Canadian Music Centre's New Music in New Places series, which took place at the Hamilton GO Station. This is the main public transportation hub for Hamilton, serving both bus and train commuters. Many people were quite surprised to see a performance of new music during their evening commute home! Many people sat down for the entire performance, while others stood around for a few minutes, waiting for their bus or train to arrive. It was certainly different to perform in such a milieu, but it was quite a successful event. Many audience members had never seen tabla, or heard contemporary/new music before, and Parmela and I both received many comments from audience members after the performance.

Performing at the Hamilton GO Station

The concert began with Christien Ledroit's Trade Winds, a concerto for tabla with electronics (some of you may remember that I performed the orchestral version of this piece just a couple of weeks ago), followed by Vintal Bolia, an improv-based piece by Parmela and myself. Next, was Parmela's solo violin composition, Piercing Embrace and Payton MacDonald's Alap, for solo tabla. We concluded the programme with two duo pieces - the premiere of Christien Ledroit's Never the Twain Shall Meet, followed by Robert Rosen's LA.

Christien Ledroit, who composed two of the pieces on the program, and who also organised the concert for the CMC, put in an exceptional effort in putting this concert together. He designed the programs, newspaper advertisements, and even built the stage! On the evening of the concert, we rushed to put together the stage, run the wiring for the speakers and mixer, and do the sound-check. In the end, it all came together, and the concert ran very smoothly. Congratulations to Chris for a very successful event!

This week, I'll be premiering Payton MacDonald's Samsara, a new concerto for tabla and wind ensemble with the McGill Chamber Wind Orchestra. More news to come...


Saturday, 9 February 2008

Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai

Dear friends,

I am happy to announce that the 26th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop with Pandit Sharda Sahai will take place in Montreal from June 22 to July 5, 2008 at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

Pt. Sharda Sahai will also perform a solo recital on June 22.

More details to come soon. If you are interested in participating, please contact me so that I can add you to the list of attendees. Tuition will be $600 (Canadian funds), with a $100 discount for early registration (before May 1). Dorm rooms are available at $40 per night (breakfast is included).


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Windsor Canadian Music Festival

Hi everyone,

I just got back from a week in Windsor, Ontario where I performed as part of the Windsor Canadian Music Festival. There were a number of talented composers in residence for the week, invited by composer and artistic advisor of the series Brent Lee: Geof Holbrook, Christien Ledroit, Christopher McNamara, Francois Rose, and Andrew Staniland. Normally, a new music festival like this wouldn't be likely to have any tabla-related content, but this time around, there were two tabla pieces in the festival, which I performed: Christien Ledroit's Trade Winds (tabla concerto with orchestra) and Elementalities (trio for flute, vibraphone, and tabla).

Rehearsing with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, directed by Maestro John Morris Russell

First was the performance of Trade Winds with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra on Friday, Feb. 1. Aside from a pair of tabla, the piece also calls for an octave of Sabian Resonating Bells, a C gong, and a wind gong.

Performing Trade Winds with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra
(Photo credit: Windsor Star; used with permission.)

Next was the performance of Elementalities as part of the University of Windsor faculty concert on Feb. 2, with Jaimie Wagner (flute) and Nick Papador (vibraphone). It was really enjoyable for me to perform the piece with these two talented musicians.

Performance of Elementalities.

Both concerts were recorded by CBC for future broadcast on The Signal. Unfortunately, I don't know the broadcast dates right now.

Congratulations to the WSO and the WCMF for an extremely successful and well organised event. It's great to see new Canadian music being promoted so well.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Canadian concert tour

Dear Friends,

February is going to be a busy month of concerts, with performances mainly in Ontario and Manitoba.

First, I’ll be performing as part of the Windsor Canadian Music Festival. CBC will be recording both concerts. For more information on the festival -

Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:30pm
Guest soloist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra
(dir. John Morris Russell) in a performance of Trade Winds, a concerto for tabla and string orchestra by Christien Ledroit.
Assumption University Chapel, Windsor, ON

Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30pm
Guest artist in the School of Music Faculty Concert
in a performance of Elementalities, a chamber work for flute, vibraphone, and tabla by Christien Ledroit.
Jaimie Wagner, flute; Nicholas Papador, vibraphone.
Assumption University Chapel, Windsor, ON

Next, a short concert tour in the Toronto area.

Thursday, February 14 at 12pm
TABLEAUX – New Music for the Tabla of North India
With Parmela Attariwala, violin.
Traditional tabla solo and works by Payton MacDonald and Robert Rosen.
Thursdays at Noon Concert SeriesGoldschmidt Room, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON

Thursday, February 14 at 8pm
Accompanying soprano Zorana Sadiq
, in a performance of Shirish Korde’s Songs of Ecstacy; Peter Tiefenbach, piano.
Music Toronto Vocal Recital
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, Toronto, ON

Friday, February 15 at 8pm
TABLEAUX – New Music for the Tabla of North India
With Parmela Attariwala, violin.
Works by Christien Ledroit, Payton MacDonald, and Robert Rosen.
Tradewinds, presented by the Canadian Music Centre’s New Music in New Places series.
Hamilton GO Centre, Hamilton, ON

Then, back to Montreal for a concert at McGill.

Thursday, February 21 at 8pm
Guest soloist with the McGill Wind Orchestra, guest conductor Vicky Shin.
Premiere of Samsara, a new tabla concerto by Payton MacDonald.
Pollack Hall, Montreal, QC

Then, last but not least, a short residency in Winnipeg, which will include guest lectures and workshops at the University of Manitoba.

Monday, February 25 at 8pm
TABLEAUX - New Music for the Tabla of North India
With Julie Lebel, harmonium and Laurel Ridd, flute
Groundswell New Music Series
Works by Paul Frehner, Bruno Paquet, Jim Hiscott, Patrick Saint-Denis, Nicole Lizée, and a traditional tabla solo.
Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Winnipeg, MB

Wednesday, February 27 at 8:00pm
Guest soloist with the Brandon University Percussion Ensemble, dir. Ben Reimer
Brandon University New Music Series
Payton MacDonald’s 2nd Concerto for Tabla and Percussion Quartet and Jugalbandi, duo for marimba and tabla.
Lorne Watson Hall, Brandon University, Brandon, MB

That's all for now. :)

Best regards,

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Surtaal, live at ZaZen

Hi everyone,

Happy new year! Unfortunately there hasn't been much to report for some time now. So, here's the first bit of news for this year - Nicholas and I had the pleasure of performing together again at Spa ZaZen. This location is truly ideal for Indian classical music concerts. It's all wood and stone, located in Old Montreal (Montreal's old historic neighbourhood). The building must be two hundred years old and the acoustic is really great.

Nicholas began with alap and jor in Raag Bhimpalasi, followed by a gat in Rupaktaal, which we then followed by a gat in Teentaal. After a short chai and samosa break, the concert resumed with Raag Darbari Kanada; alap and gat in Ektaal. What seems to have become tradition now, we ended with a short song in dadra.

Many thanks to Simon for his initiative in organising this concert, and Jen at ZaZen for hosting us again. I'm very much looking forward to the next time! My apologies for the blurry photos, but that's all we were able to get!
Coming soon:
Next week, I'm performing Christien Ledroit's Trade Winds, a concerto for tabla and string orchestra with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra as part of the Windsor Canadian Music Festival. Also, in March, the McGill Tabla Ensemble spring concert extravaganza. Stay tuned. :)