A World of Rhythm: Trichy Sankaran & Friends

Saturday Sep 22, 2018

Show 8pm / Doors 7:30pm

Roundhouse Performance Centre

181 Roundhouse Mews
Vancouver, BC
(Davie & Pacific, Yaletown)

Co-Presented with Time Will Tell Artists and the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

World-renowned percussion virtuoso Trichy Sankaran joins forces with world-jazz ensemble The Offering of Curtis Andrews and special guests Vidyasagar Vankayala (South Indian vocal) and Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan (South Indian violin). The repertoire will be mix of original compositions and arrangements of pieces from the South Indian classical repertoire. Expect profound and soulful rhythms.

“Trichy Sankaran is a drummer who leaves audiences and fellow performers speechless with his lyrical and evocative style…” – The Gladstone Observer.

 Trichy Sankaran matched top flight virtuosity with classical poise.” – Globe and Mail

 On Saturday September 22, Vancouver will hail the long-awaited return of one of the world’s most esteemed percussionists living in Canada, Trichy Sankaran.

Trichy Sankaran will be collaborating with The Offering of Curtis Andrews, a Vancouver-based world-jazz ensemble led by percussionist/composer Curtis Andrews and also features Jared Burrows (electric guitar), Robin Layne (vibraphone), David Spidel (electric bass). The ensemble will be joined by special guests Vidyasagar Vankayala (on South Indian vocal) and Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan (South Indian violin).

Mr. Sankaran is well-known in Vancouver’s world music and Indian cultural communities, ever since his first appearance here at Expo 86.  He has visited Vancouver several times since then, both as an educator (at SFU’s Percussion led by Sal Ferreras in the mid-90’s) and as a performer and collaborator with a number of diverse artists.  He has returned to Vancouver several times since then to work with both local and international artists.  Though born and raised in India, Trichy Sankaran moved to Canada in 1971 to teach at York University. He has taught literally thousands of students and has had an indelible impact on the Canadian music scene. Though based in Canada, he returns to India annually to perform at prestigious events, and in his 60+ years of professional performance he has performed with the major Carnatic musicians of several generations. Though rooted in tradition, Sankaran has been a keen collaborator, globally, with dozens of established artists in the realms of contemporary classical, Africa music, gamelan, free improvisation, and jazz.

Lesser known than the North Indian percussion tradition of the tabla, South Indian drumming is considered one of the world’s most complex and difficult to master, on the mridangam, the double-headed barrel drum that holds an exalted place in South Indian music and dance: Trichy Sankaran is among the best players of that instrument alive today, on this, and other South Indian percussion instruments, such as the tambourine (tambourine).

The combined ensemble will be presenting an evening of music rooted in and inspired by classical South Indian Carnatic music, that has developed over centuries in the southern reaches of India (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala), where it retains its popularity and patronage. Carnatic music is known for its depth of melodic material (raga), a dizzying array of rhythmic exploration (tala), a robust collection of devotional compositions, and improvisational feats that leave jazz musicians scratching their heads. Several traditional items from the Carnatic repertoire will be arranged for the combined ensemble as well original compositions from both Andrews and Sankaran, and improvisation by all members. Specifically commissioned for this concert is a composition by Trichy Sankaran which will have its world-premiere. The evening will also feature an extended mridangam solo by Sankaran, sure to be the highlight of the evening.

Curtis Andrews, the artistic director, percussionist, composer and visionary behind the concert, is a long-time disciple of Trichy Sankaran. Andrews exclaims: “I first heard him play in 1998, a solo concert. As a drummer myself, I was gob-smacked and thoroughly confused, but amazed, by what I was hearing. It was actually sort of scary because I realized that my paradigm was being shifted and I knew I had to follow this music.”

A native of Newfoundland, Andrews moved to Vancouver in 2009 and has been collaborating with a diverse range of artists in the Lower Mainland, mostly focusing on African, Indian, and other world musics. His ensemble The Offering of Curtis Andrews exists to perform his own “world-jazz” compositions.

“The vision I had for this project was quite selfish actually. I wanted to expose the musicians that I work with locally to the powerful effect that Trichy Sankaran has had upon me, have him perform some of my music, and perform some of his compositions. To be with him on stage is an education like no other, and as an audience member, to experience him live will be equally profound and enriching.”


FREE Workshop: Introduction to South Indian Rhythm, led by Trichy Sankaran – Roundhouse Community Centre

DATES: September.16 , 1:00-2:00pm.  To Register, email timewilltellarts@gmail.com or call 778-319-2396.

Trichy Sankaran will lead participants in an introductory session detailing the fundamentals of Carnatic rhythm. The main vehicle for discussing, teaching, and expressing rhythm is the spoken rhythmic language known as solkattu. Participants will learn to use their voice to speak solkattu and use their hands to keep track of rhythmic cycles. No prior experience is necessary. Children may attend but must be able to focus, listen, and be attentive.

MORE ABOUT CURTIS ANDREWS – www.curtisandrews.ca

Percussionist Curtis Andrews is the artistic director and founder of Time Will Tell Arts Society, co-founder of Adanu Habobo, and a collaborator with a diverse range of artists in and outside of Vancouver. He’s spent the last 20 years criss-crossing the globe delving deeper into the drumming traditions of Africa and India, fusing them into his own compositional voice, as evidenced in his ensemble The Offering of Curtis Andrews. He has been a dedicated student (sishya) of Trichy Sankaran since 2000 and has learned from him on numerous extended stays in India.

MORE ABOUT TRICHY SANKARAN – www.trichysankaran.com

Besides performing with all major Carnatic musicians of the past 6 decades, Sankaran has concertized and collaborated globally with diverse artists such as David Rosenboom, Anthony Braxton, Charlie Haden, Vijay Iyer, Pauline Oliveros, and more.  Trichy Sankaran has received a plethora of awards from Indian cultural associations across North America and India, recognizing his prowess as a pedagogue and musician par excellence, as well as his service to the cultural landscape in general. Most recent and notable is the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2014), the highest Indian national award presented to practicing musical artists, and the coveted Sangita Kalanidhi (2012), the highest achievement in Carnatic music, presented by the Music Academy of Chennai. Within North America, he has been the recipient of awards such as the Muriel Sherrin Award for international achievement in music (Toronto Arts Council, 2011), Maestro Honorario (Universidad Autonoma De Tamaulipas, Mexico, 2000), and Honorary Doctor of Music for his musical contributions in Canada and abroad (University of Victoria, 1998).