The Tabla: Talking Drum from Northern India
Grammy-nominated percussionist Sandeep Das is a world-class master of the Tabla, a versatile hand-drum central to the classical music of Northern India, whose many voices have found their way into musical genres from Indian folk to American pop. In a program developed for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, Das invites students of all ages to join him in a special friendship—that between musicians and lovers of music. Yo-Yo Ma says, “Sandeep can make you sing, dance, weep and laugh with his Tabla like a magician with a wand!” Using their imaginations, they will hear the Tabla whinny and gallop like a horse, rumble rhythmically like a speeding train and crash and pitter-patter like a rainstorm. Das asks students to clap out complex rhythms, or to move along with them. He asks for their feelings about his music and their questions about his life and training in India, and he gives them a performance they will never forget.
Target Grades: K–12
Audience Limit: 300
Duration: 45 minutes
Single: $588 Double: $941 Triple: $1,235 Quad: $1,470
Travel Fee: based upon mileage (use map below)
Note: pricing may vary for weekend/out-of-school time
Sandeep Das Performance Requirements
Sandeep’s debut at the age of 16 was with the legendary Pt. Ravi Shankar.In India and abroad, Sandeep performs frequently with stars of Indian music such as Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Dr. L Subramaniam and Ustad Shujaat Khan, among many others.Das’s talent for music and communication has allowed him to bridge the divide between Indian and Western classical music. In 1991, on his first trip outside India, Das performed with steel drum bands in Trinidad. In 2001 he performed a work composed by Kayhan Kalhor with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Kurt Masur. His own compositions have combined the two genres and have received rave reviews. “Tarang” was chosen as the theme music for “Blind Sight”, a documentary about the first Everest climb by six blind climbers, and his piece “Mohini” became theme music for the Japanese TV channel NHK’s 10-episode documentary on the Silk Road.Sandeep has recorded music on more than 30 labels, including Virgin, Sony and Makar Records. His 2003 recording with Ghazal, including Kayhan Kalhor and Shujaat Khan, was nominated for a Grammy Award, as was the Silk Road Ensemble’s 2009 album Off the Map, which included “Sulvasutra,” a piece Evan Ziporyn composed for him. His 2006 Interview on the BBC’s Destination Music is still broadcast widely in Europe today.
Sandeep Das was educated at Banaras Hindu University and is a Gold Medalist in English Literature. He began playing tabla at the age of eight; at the age of sixteen he performed with Ravi Shankar, and subsequently with all the stars of Indian music. He was three times the All-India drumming champion and was the youngest drummer ever to be graded by All-India radio.He was awarded the Most Valuable Young Musician Award by the President of India in 2004.
Also a cultural and educational entrepreneur, Sandeep founded HUM (Harmony and Universality through Music), an ensemble of world-class artists whose goal is to promote global understanding through musical performance and education.Sandeep Das appears on the Silk Road Ensemble’s albums When Strangers Meet, Beyond the Horizon, New Impossibilities and Off the Map and A Playlist Without Borders. His compositions appear on the Ensemble’s albums Beyond the Horizon and New Impossibilities.Also The only Live concert DVD of the ensemble has his Piece “Srishti in the album “Live From Tanglewood!”
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Mileage Rates Note: Double mileage calculated below to account for initial and return trips