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!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Two Gurus in Two Weeks

The Indian classical music scene in Montreal seems to be growing of late. Not that we necessarily have more locals professionally playing Indian music, but that more and more artists are passing through Montreal to perform. This fall, it seems that there is a concert every week or two! The first couple of weeks of October were quite intense, as in the first week, my friend Jonathan Voyer hosted his santoor Guru, Pandit Satish Vyas, and the week after, Uwe Neumann's Guru, Sri Partha Bose came to visit.

In both cases, I was fortunate to be their accompanist for both their private teaching, and in concert!

On October 4, I organized a workshop for Pt. Satish Vyas (himself a senior disciple of the legendary Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma) at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. It was an introductory workshop on santoor and the North Indian classical music traditions.

The following day, I accompanied both Satishji and Jonathan for a concert at Tanna Schulich Hall, appropriately named Parampara, which was presented under the banner of Jonathan's organisation, Samskara. Tanna Hall has a perfect acoustic for Indian classical music, and while we did amplify a bit, the audio staff and equipment are of such quality, that we could not feel that we were being amplified. Crystal-clear sound!

Accompanying Jonathan Voyer.

Parampara - Guru and Shishya!

Accompanying Pandit Satish Vyas.

Dan Blanchard (also a disciple of Pt. Satish Vyas, who kindly MCed for us in English), Satishji, and Jonathan.
The next week, I had the great fortune to accompany sitarist Partha Bose in concerts at H-OM Yoga and Equilibrium Yoga on October 12 and 13 respectively. It was quite amazing to perform in such intimate settings with an artist of this calibre, who could just have easily filled a large concert hall. I considered myself privileged to have the best seat in the house, right next to Parthaji, where I could hear all the wonderful nuances of his beautiful alaps.

Accompanying Sri Partha Bose at Equilibrium Yoga.
It was a great pleasure, and a great learning experience. I'm very much looking forward to both of their next visits to Montreal!

Thank you to Caroline Tabah for the photos!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Sitar Two Ways

Those of you who have been following the blog know that I regularly accompany sitarist Uwe Neumann, as well as play with him in the fusion group Ragleela. These days, we are playing together quite a lot, in preparation for Ragleela's upcoming CD which will be recorded in December.

On October 19, Ragleela headed out to fabled Saint-Elie-de-Caxton, in rural Quebec. The village was made famous by storyteller Fred Pellerin, and the gnomes that are all over the place; yes, gnomes! There is even a gnome (lutin in French) crossing sign, right near where we played, the Rond Coin.

With the upcoming recording, this concert was all about road-testing the new material, with guest bassist Cédric Dind-Lavoie. It was also only the second concert with Jean-Marc on his new custom-made 7-string guitar, and with me playing the 'tabla-kit'. The more I play it, the more I enjoy it, and it really brings in some nice variety to the percussive timbres in the performance.

And then, this past October 26, I accompanied Uwe for a classical concert at the Sivananda Yoga centre, in downtown Montreal. It's always such as pleasure to play there, as it is such an intimate setting. The audience is always so very attentive and really gets immersed in the music.

As always, thank you to Caroline Tabah for the photos!

Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal

This past October 27, santoor player Jonathan Voyer and I performed a free concert for the Festival du Monde Arabe, at the Espace Georges-Emile-Lapalme of Place des Arts. The festival titled our concert Treasures of Indian Music, which was quite the compliment! The concert was very well attended, but because it was in an open, public space, it was really noisy. It was actually quite challenging to play in such a situation, but we did enjoy ourselves and the audience also seemed to enjoy very much!