York’s South Indian music virtuoso comes to the Accolade stage

Bridging eastern and western styles, world-renowned percussion virtuoso and York Professor Trichy Sankaran brings his rhythmic mastery to the Department of Music’s Faculty Concert Series on Oct. 28 in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, Keele campus.  

Sankaran will be accompanied by two of his musical collaborators, Mohankumar on the ghatam (clay pot) and Desi Narayanan on the kanjira (frame drum).

Right: Trichy Sankaran

Also joining Sankaran on stage will be his daughter, pianist-vocalist Suba Sankaran (BFA Hons. ‘97, MA ‘02), the director of the Juno-nominated indo-jazz ensemble autorickshaw, with her bandmate, tabla player Ed Hanley. Frequent autorickshaw guest performer Dylan Bell backs the ensemble on bass guitar.

The audience will be treated to a musical masala featuring Trichy Sankaran’s original works in solo and ensemble performances.

Sankaran is known internationally for his rhythmic dexterity, tonal nuance and consummate mastery of the mrdangam, the traditional double-headed drum of classical South Indian music. He has appeared at major festivals on four continents and in his 50-plus years of concert experience in Karnatak music, has performed with all the classical music masters in India. In addition to traditional settings, he has played with jazz and electronic ensembles, gamelan and other world music groups from many different cultures, as well as performing regularly with his own group, Trichy’s Trio. His recordings include Laya Vinyas (1990), Sunada (1993), Lotus Signatures (1997) and Ivory Ganesh Meets Doctor Drums (1998).

Hailed as "a fabulous musician" by the New York Times, his critical accolades include The Globe and Mail’s comment: "It was Sankaran who took virtuosity to its most vertiginous heights, articulating with indescribable sleight of hand, a wealth of liquid sound at astonishing speeds."

Sankaran joined York’s Department of Music in 1971 as a founding director of the Indian music studies program – one of the first university-based world music performance programs in Canada. Over the years, he has fused eastern and western pedagogical practices and has been a major influence on a generation of students who have themselves become noted performers, composers and educators. His contributions to his field extend beyond the studio and stage, encompassing many scholarly conferences across North America and a textbook on South Indian classical drumming.

Sankaran’s "Rhythms of India" is the second of five performances in the Faculty Concert Series spotlighting faculty artists in the Department of Music at York University. Upcoming concerts will feature jazz bassist Al Henderson (Jan. 13), violinist Jacques Israelievitch (Jan. 27) and pianist Dorothy de Val (Feb. 10).

Single ticket price is $15, students & seniors $5. Series tickets are available, a three-concert package is $30. For more information call the Box Office at 416-736-5888 or visit the Box Office Web site.