Sundar Viswanathan Quartet kicks off Faculty Concert Series

The Sundar Viswanathan Quartet kicks off the Faculty Concert Series in York University’s Music Department on Nov. 1 with an exciting program of jazz standards and original compositions.

Viswanathan, a professor in York’s renowned jazz program since 2001, leads the band on sax and vocals. Joining him on stage in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall will be Dave Restivo on piano, Mike Downes on bass and Ethan Ardelli on drums.

Right: Sundar Viswanathan

Hailed for his "distinctive, edgy sound that…thrills with its imaginative ideas" (Toronto Star), Viswanathan has garnered critical and audience acclaim at home and abroad for his compositions and his playing. In addition to his straight-up jazz ensemble, he leads or co-leads three other projects: the Indo-jazz focused Sundar’s Induswest Project, the Avataar Collective and a duo with guitarist Anton Machleder.

Viswanathan has also appeared with many other groups including the legendary Charles Tolliver Big Band, which he joined on a tour of major jazz festivals in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Italy this past summer. Other collaborations include performances and/or recordings with such eminent artists as Wynton Marsalis, David Braid, Billy Hart, Jim McNeely, Jeanne Lee, Joe Lovano, Al Martino and Kenny Wheeler. His latest CD, Hope and Infinity, was launched in May at Toronto’s Trane Studio as part of the Small World Jazz Series.

Viswanathan’s bandmates for his York University concert are also top-ranking Canadian musicians. Restivo, a three-time winner of the National Jazz Awards’ Pianist of the Year, has been called "quite simply one of the finest [Canadian] jazz pianists of his generation" (Edmonton Journal). Downes has won accolades for his "delightfully inventive" time playing and "absolutely impeccable" intonation (Jazz Player), while Ardelli has distinguished himself in award-winning performances with Jane Bunnett and the David Virelles Quintet.

The quartet’s performance on Nov. 1 starts at 7:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, 112 Accolade East Building on York’s Keele campus. General admission tickets are $15 each (students $5) and $70 for the series. For more information, contact the Box Office at ext. 55888, or visit the Box Office Web site.

This is the first of seven performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature Bill Westcott, Stephanie Martin, Michael Marcuzzi, Mark Chambers, Catherine Robbin and Barry Elmes.