Saturday, February 2, 2013


Hi All,

I am really excited about some upcoming gigs.  

I have been collaborating with the wonderful percussionist, Curtis Andrews, for about three years now.  He is a Newfoundlander with global musical interests, having studied the music of Africa and South India extensively through long stays in those parts of the world.  He has the marvelous ability not only to play masterfully in those styles of music, but to blend them seamlessly with his knowledge of rock, jazz, funk, or whatever other music reaches his ears and hands.  Of peripheral interest to our story is the fact that the Andrews family hails from Port de Grave, Newfoundland.  Many of my ancestors by the name of French and Mercer have also lived in Port de Grave and in the neighbouring settlements of French's Cove and Bareneed since the mid-1600's, as did some of my wife's ancestors.  Though you'd never think it from looking at pictures of Curtis and I, we may well be distantly related in some way as these little fishing and sealing ports were very isolated.  

On February 16 at 8pm at the Western Front, I will be performing with Curtis in a concert of music from and inspired by South India.  Sangati (coming together) is the name of the concert and it really will be a coming together of a variety of different musical styles under the tent of Karnatic (South Indian) music,  Curtis will play the mridangam, Colin Maskell will play flute and we will be joined by some real masters of Karnatic music including Vidyasagar Vankayala (voice), Prabha Sivaratnam (violin), and Karthiga Parmaswaran (veena).  Many of you know that I have worked with Hindustani (North Indian) classical musicians for several years now in my band Ta Ki Ta.  Karnatic  music is related, but very different in some ways and I am incredibly excited to be working on this music and to have the very rare opportunity to play with a group like this. As always, learning Curtis' compositions is a challenge which is stretching my musical abilities.  The ligaments in my legs are also stretching as playing the music requires sitting cross-legged on the ground for long periods!

The Presentation House Studio series continues to be a very cool place for me to collaborate with other musicians.  I am playing there a lot more than usual this season and it may seem to some like I am just booking myself in week after week, but really it is only because people are asking me to work with them in various groups.  For this I am very grateful and excited.

This week, February 6, will see Clyde Reed (bass) and I working with three great musicians from the States.  Unfortunately I can't tell you their names here as they don't want to be hassled by the border people. If you want the full line-up and details, please email me privately and I'll get you on our mailing list.

The following week at Presentation House, February 13, I will be playing with the amazing baritone saxophonist, Chad Makela.  Joining us on this gig will be Dave Robbins (drums) and Darren Radke (bass).  We'll play standards and some tunes of Chad's.  I have known Chad since 1990 when we were just fresh out of high school.  He played bari in my East Van Jazz Orchestra project while it was happening, but other than that we haven't played much together over the years.  Likewise, Darren Radke and I have been friends since college days but haven't played as often as we should have.  I am glad to be changing both those situations, especially since I work at Capilano U with both of them and see them nearly every day.  Chad is an incredible player with a completely unique voice on the instrument and has few equals in musical intensity and technical mastery of the horn.

Hope to see some of you at the shows!


  1. hi... thanks for sharing the post.i love music,without music life would be a mistake.sankar is one of the best singers in bangalore and my favorite too.if you people want to enjoy music like cocktail and koraoke apart of your problems just go to his shows,damn sure you will like it ...