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!


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Ragleela at the Collingwood Music Festival in Owen Sound

This past August 23, Ragleela had a concert at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound as part of the Collingwood Music Festival. This concert was somewhat significant as we played four new tunes, all of which will be on Ragleela's upcoming CD, which we will be recording this fall; it was the concert debut of my tabla 'drum-kit' (for lack of a better term); and it was also the debut of Jean-Marc's new seven-string guitar!
The Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound
Warming up during sound check
Playing the 'tabla-kit.' What should I call it?
The tabla-kit emerged out of a desire to add some other percussion to the Ragleela trio, for shows where the full quintet isn't involved. The core of the group is Uwe Neumann on sitar, Jean-Marc Hébert on guitar, and myself on tabla, and on special occasions, we are joined by Eric Breton on percussion and Marie-Soleil Bélanger on violin. Eric adds a special feel to the group, and while of course it's impossible to replace him, we thought that it would be nice to add some other percussive sounds to the tabla in certain places. With my tabla in the centre (of course!), I added a Sabian prototype 18" cymbal and 10" Paragon splash to my right, and a pair of Remo Tablatones on the left. The cymbals are both very, very thin, allowing me to play them with hands or sticks (Tala Wands!), and the Tablatones are great, as they allow me to add more pitched percussion to the tabla setup; I tune them to Sa and Pa. I'm very happy with the little stand I put together for the Tablatones, which keeps them mounted horizontally, and taking up a minimum of space.

We performed two sets, including both new and old tunes, and had a great time. The hall wasn't full, but the audience that was there was extremely attentive and super-enthusiastic!

Thanks to Caroline Tabah for the photos! Please don't forget to check out her TAAL - The Rhythm of Life documentary film fundraiser. Every contribution makes a difference. The project cannot succeed without your help!

More photos will be posted to my Facebook page.

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