Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Various events Jan to May 2017

Continuing my walk down memory lane reviewing the various events of the last year, here are various events from the first part of 2017...



MARCH 2017
  • Sat 25 Mar Wynnum: Spirit of Bhakti - at the beautiful Inna Bliss Wynnum studio overlooking Moreton Bay. Lovely as always to play with Rebecca and Menaka in Spirit of Bhakti. 

APRIL 2017
  • Sun 9 Apr Oxley: Tabla Workshop with Surojato Roy - Jazz guitarist Bart Stenhouse had brought Surojato to Australia for their tour, and I was really happy for the chance for my students (others welcome of course) to learn something from a visiting tabla master. We learnt a chalan of Lucknow gharana and worked quite a bit on clear vocalisation of compositions.

  • Fri 14 - Sun 16 Apr Byron Bay Blues Fest: Tenzin and Shen - A new experience for me, witnessing the music industry in full force, as Bluesfest plays host to a huge array of international stars and the backstage crews and equipment are just phenomenal. The artists' catering is the best I've ever seen at any festival. It was a bit strange playing to an audience who were standing on gravel rather than sitting down, but we rocked the house. And I got to see Santana and his amazing band from the backstage viewing platform. Thanks to Tenzin Choegyal for inviting me to accompany him as part of the Boomerang Festival of indigenous performers, hosted by Bluesfest.

  • Sat 22 Apr Oxley: Introduction to Dhrupad ~Ancient Indian Vocal Workshop~ with Yuki
  • Fri 28 Apr New Farm: Festival of Tibet - Lotus Born Concert - Another memorable collaboration with Tenzin Choegyal and artist Karma Phuntsok, evolving from Festivals of Tibet in 2015 and 2016. This year's show had a really nice flow and variety of styles, with pieces by Peter Hunt (jazz guitar/vocal), Richard Grantham (looped viola), Marcello Milani (vocals/guitar) and of course Tenzin Choegyal, interspersed with traditional Tibetan song and dance by Tenzing Yeshi.
MAY 2017

India trip 2017

For the last few years we have been visiting India for Dhrupad Mela on the event of Shivaratri, and if possible staying for my guru-ji's memorial concert on March 17. This year was the 100th anniversary of his birthday so we made it a priority to attend. Unfortunately, quite early in this India trip I was struck by shingles so spent quite a lot of time in bed with severe back pain, saving my energy for lessons and the occasional concert. I did get some excellent lessons from Pt Pooran Maharaj as well as my guru-bhai Manishankar Tripathi, saw some fantastic performances, and made a few good new friends too.

Ustad Bahauddin Dagar (rudra veena) with Sukhad Munde (pakhawaj) at Dhrupad Mela 2017.

Beautiful performance by vocalist Kalapini Komkali at the Shivaratri Sangeet Mahotsav

I bumped into Tu of Bangkok's Tu's Place at the Dhrupad Mela, having not met for about 10 years!

I really enjoyed performing with UK bansuri player Jason Kalidas, at an all-night memorial concert for late pakhawaji Amit Shani.

Yuki had the opportunity to perform at Subah-e-Benares, a daily dawn concert on Assi Ghat.

Practice with guru-bhai Manishankar Tripathi and his student Ashesh Mishra.

My friend, Turkish vocalist Feridun Avar, visited from Brisbane on his way to Turkey and France. We visited the Ganesh Hall at my guru-ji Pt Pooran Maharaj's house.

We also had a little concert at Vegan and Raw Restaurant near Assi, where we were joined by Wade Evans on oud.

Supriyo Dutta and Sangeet Mishra at Woodford

This summer we had the great pleasure of hosting vocalist Supriyo Dutta, who we became friends with on previous trips through Kolkata. I had suggested him as a performer at Woodford Folk Festival and not only did they accept, they offered to also bring Sangeet Mishra to accompany on sarangi! It was a dream come true presenting such a high level of Indian classical music at Woodford, the likes of which they 'd never seen before. Supriyo and Sangeet had never met, but the chemistry in their performances was just fantastic. It was also a real treat that Supriyo invited Yuki to give vocal support in our concerts there.

Prior to Woodford, we had a few small events with Supriyo in Goonengerry and Myocum (including a workshop), hosted by and also featuring Indian slide guitarist Shivam Rath, now resident in NNSW and organising regular Indian music events there, and a workshop and home concert in Brisbane.

Good times in Byron Bay - Supriyo Dutta, Shen and Yuki

Post-concert at Serene Earth Sanctuary in Myocum
 - Yuki, Shen, Premala, Supriyo, Shyan Kishore, Shivam Rath

Woodford was one of the hottest ever - regularly over 40 - which made it tough, but the music was just marvellous.

Final sunset of 2016 - the sun was in my eyes, hence the sunglasses.

First concert of 2017, right around midnight.

My tabla student group Tabla Tarrango were invited to perform on New Year's Day, with accompaniment by Sangeet Mishra (sarangi).

After Woodford Festival, Supriyo headed home to Kolkata and we had a few little concerts with Sangeet Mishra, including a nice Queen St Mall show with Tenzin Choegyal and Tashi Lhunpo Monks of Tibet, and a home concert with sitarist Saikat Bhattacharya.

Shen, Saikat and Sangeet at Saikat's home in Parkinson.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Various events Jul to Dec 2016

Wow, I used to be such a regular blogger and here I find I can go back to July 2016 for concerts I haven't mentioned here yet. Here goes - 49 events over the last financial year to be spread out over the next few posts...

JULY 2016



  • Sat 8 Oct Peregian: Spirit of Bhakti - a small fun concert, before which we had this and several other photos taken:

  • Sun 9 Oct Westlake: Navaratri home concert by Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School - a small devotional event at the home of my senior student Sanjey Sivaananthan, featuring Murali Ramakrishnan and Darshil Shah both on bansuri.

  • Sat 15 Oct Holland Park: Sangeet Premi Club presents Sangeet Mehfil - An evening of old Bollywood songs with Indian classical bases, featuring Usha Chivukula and Mansey Kinarivala on vocals.
  • Sun 16 Oct Introduction to Dhrupad ~Ancient Indian Vocal Workshop~ - with Yuki Taniguchi Flindell (I played a bit of pakhawaj).
  • Fri 21 Oct Spirit of Bhakti played on a boat in the Brisbane River, as part of a demo series of yoga and exercise classes in a Fitness and Health Expo.

    Yes I played tabla here.
  • Sat 29 Oct New Farm: Infinity Kathak presents: 7 Beats and Bells - One of the biggest and best productions I've ever been involved with - Dr Helena Joshi led a huge Kathak dance show at the Judith Wright Centre, with a fantastic ensemble of musicians: Shen Flindell (tabla), Mansey Kinarivala Gandhi (vocal), Darshil A. Shah (bansuri), Richard Grantham (viola), Monique Bartkowiak (cello) and Shreyas Niwas (drumkit). After Helena's student performances and some musical interludes, the main feature "7 Beats and Bells" presented traditional Kathak dance in Rupak taal in a fusion with Western accompaniment of viola, cello and drumkit. We worked very hard over several months and it was quite a success. I felt the Kathak tabla nut starting to crack for me and at last started getting a freer feeling and understanding of how to interpret Kathak compositions on the tabla. Thanks Helena! More photos at the Infinity Kathak Facebook album.