Participants 2016

Participating musicians of SAMUR 2016:

• Abhishek Borkar - sarod (Pune, India)
• Manish Gandharva - sarangi (Kathmandu, Nepal)
• Anirban Ghosh - electric bass (New Delhi, India)
• Leonhard Huhn - saxophone (Cologne, Germany)
• Shehroze Hussain - sitar, vocal (Karachi, Pakistan)
• Gowri Jayakumar - vocal, electric guitar (Pune, India)
• Tajdar Junaid - vocal, Ronroco. electric guitar (Mumbai, India)
• Jon Kabir - vocal, guitar (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
• Muthu Kumar - tabla, percussion (Bangalore, India)
• Isuru Kumarasinghe - piano, electronics (Kelaniya, Sri Lanka)
• Gul Mohammed - sarangi (Karachi, Pakistan)
• Shemonty Monjari - vocal (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
• Shantala Subramanyam - venu bamboo flute (Chennai, India)
• Pabalu Wijegoonawardane - Sri Lankan drums (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
• Philip Zoubek - piano, prepared piano (Cologne, Germany)

Unfortunately, Jon Kabir and Pabalu Wijegoonawardane could not join us due to some health issues, and Shehroze Hussain and Gul Mohammed from Pakistan were not able to get a visa.

Guest participants:

• Amit Mishra - tabla (Mumbai, India)
• S. Murali Krishnan - drums & percussions (Chennai, India)

Abhishek Borkar - sarod (Pune, India)

Abhishek Borkar initially underwent training in vocal and tabla, at age 4, before anchoring himself on the sarod, under the tutelage of his father and Guru Pt. Shekhar Borkar, under the Maihar Senia Gharana. At the age of ten, he presented his first concert for which young Abhishek was lauded for his erudite performance by many connoisseurs of music. Many accolades and awards followed. He released his first solo CD titled 'Pratibha' in 2008, at the age of 16. Following the footsteps of his father, today, Abhishek's renditions are characterized by a unique blend of the sarod, sitar, sarangi and vocal styles of Hindustani Music. His natural instinct for aesthetic music coupled with his incredible control over sur and laya have enthralled audiences in various parts of India. Equally adept at playing the guitar coupled with his knowledge of western music and instrumentation led young Abhishek foray into the field of Classical fusion. Keeping the style of playing the sarod intact, he composes tunes with a classical twist, with which he aims to make Indian Classical Music more reachable to the generation today. He formed a classical fusion band, "Brahma Naad" in 2011. A Commerce graduate, Abhishek is pursuing his masters in Indian Music.

Manish Gandharva - sarangi (Kathmandu, Nepal)

Manish Gandharva acquired training in playing sarangi from his uncle. Since his instrument is a folk instrument there are no such institutes which provide formal training.
He strives to create mind-soothing tunes which are moving and adding innovation in music along with experimentation with high and low notes to produce something creative. His goal is to promote Nepali instrument and Nepali folk Music all around the world.
Manish performed with KUTUMBA (Folk instrumental band), MUKTI & REVIVAL in Kripa Unplugged, Nyho Bajracharya in Village theatre, MANDA : BAND (Folk-Fusion instrumental band), VHAIRABI (Folk instrumental band), FUSION MANTRA (Fusion instrumental band). He also performed in an Symphony Orchestra with senior musician at Nepal Music Centre (NMC), as well as various shows in Pokhara, Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Gorkha, Bandipur with FUSION MANTRA and MANDA : BAND. Still performing regular gigs at different pubs in Thamel, Lazimpat and Durbarmarg with FUSION MANTRA.  

Anirban Ghosh - electric bass (New Delhi, India)

Anirban (Baan) is an immensely talented musician, who is also a visionary for arts practices and cultural policy in the country. He has played the bass guitar with Bernie Marsden (Guitar, UK), Orosz Zoltan (Accordian, Hungary), Gianni Denito (Saxofone, Italy), Rabbi Shergill (Singer, India), Murad Ali Khan (sarangi, India), Gyan Singh (Tabla India), Sharat Chandra Srivastata (Violin, India), Susmit Sen Chronicles (Folk/Fusion, India), Harpreet trio (Folk, India), Grey Area (Jazz/Funk, India), Samarpan (Folk/Fusion, India), and Prestorika (Metal, India), to name a few, and has performed at prestigious festivals and venues all around the globe (Coke Studio Season 2, Delhi International Jazz Festival, Times Literature festival and NH 7 Festival being some of them). A versatile musician who can play fusion to rock with equal prowess, his passion lies in playing jazz/funk and fusing it with Indian Classical rhythms. With an executive course from IIM Lucknow and an undergrad degree in IT from Delhi University (B.IT), he has also been a part of a number of entrepreneurial ventures—all in the field of arts and education. He was a finalist in British Council’s Young Entrepreneur Award in the year 2010. He has been a Bill and Melinda Gates foundation fellow in Leadership and Innovation and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), UK. Currently he is also a part of the  ArtThink South Asia Fellowship, as a part of which he worked at the Southbank Centre (London, UK) and is in the process of developing an ecosystem for arts practitioners and arts organizations in the country.

Leonhard Huhn - saxophone (Cologne, Germany)

Leonhard Huhn (*1986) grew up in Berlin (Germany) and moved to Cologne in 2006, where he studied at the Cologne University of Music and Dance with Frank Gratkowski. Since then he mainly works in jazz, experimental music and free improvisation. In 2010 he recorded a duo-version of Duke Ellington's "FAR EAST SUITE" with bassist Sebastian Gramss. His trio DIE FICHTEN (with Stefan Schönegg and Dominik Mahnig) won the 2014 Tremplin Jazz Avignon Grand Prix. He released 2 albums with tenor saxophonist Stefan Karl Schmid and the jazz quartet SCHMID's HUHN.

Huhn has developed an extensive system of analogue electronics, effects and synthesizers to transforms the sound of his saxophone. He uses it in the psychedelic-krautjazz-band C.A.R. or the drone-metal band COLONEL PETROV, where he also sings and performs.
Huhn is a founding member of IMPAKT e.V., a collective of young improvisers from North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). Regularly he works with musicians like Fabian Jung, Elisabeth Fügemann, Philip Zoubek, Constantin Herzog, Carl-Ludwig Hübsch, Florian Zwissler and others, prepares his instrument, uses microtonality and extended techniques. He is member of the Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra, gRoBA Orchestra and several projects of the singer Pegelia Gold (e.g. the septet "Les Polychromes") and Hayden Chisholm's microtonal alto saxophone octet. Since 2011 Huhn acts in experimental theater pieces for children (Theatermonteure). He received the Artists' grant for Jazz/Improvised music 2015 of the City of Cologne, donated by Horst and Gretl Will Foundation.


Shehroze Hussain - sitar, vocal (Karachi, Pakistan)

The son and disciple of his father, Shehroze Hussain has learned the art of sitar and singing from Ustad Sajid Hussain. He started at a very early age of 6 and has performed in various private and public organizations such as Sampurna, All Pakistan Music Conference, Tehzeeb Foundation, Lahore Music Forum, Childrens Literature Festival, T2F (The Second Floor) and Faiz Foundation Trust. He has appeared on television and has served as guest artist for Aga Khan University’s Humanities and Social Sciences lecture series and School of Leadership’s Young Leaders Conference in 2011 and then for a session in TEDxKarachi in 2014. He is one of the lead performers for the ensemble, TARZ GROUP and his work has been extensively featured in their latest album, The Essence of South Asia, which has been released internationally on digital music platforms.
He has also appeared on television as a guest artist on a talk show on HUM TV and as an accompanist in the popular Coke Studio Sessions (Season 8). In addition, he has provided background music to the famous Drama series “Mann Mayal”. He has also co-taught six-week electives with Yousuf Kerai on The Music of South Asia for AKU’s Humanities and Social Sciences program (2011 – 2013).
Currently 19 years old and pursuing his A-Levels at Nixor College in Karachi, Shehroze possesses an excellent grip on the sitar, achieving great technical agility with his voice, bringing a fresh personality to the tradition of sitar players.

Gowri Jayakumar - vocal, electric guitar (Pune, India)

Gowri is a musician with a few avatars. As Kozmi Cow, she plays guitar and sings. She formed the award-winning “freak funk” band Run Pussy Run in 2014 to open up her compositions to reinterpretation. They later went on to win the Project Aloft Star amplified by MTV Asia award in 2015. Pulpy Shilpy is her third and most current act.
With lyrical storytelling as the core, she builds layers with unique samples, loops and vocoder harmonies. Wordplay and harmonic drifting bind all her avatars together.

Video links (Pulpy Shilpy):

Tajdar Junaid - vocal, Ronroco, electric guitar (Mumbai, India)

Tajdar Junaid is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer and producer. Music from his debut album “What Colour Is Your Raindrop” can be heard in International films.
Legendary Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s film “The President” and Academy award winner Emma Thomson’s film “Sold” feature his songs. This was included in Rolling Stone Best Album of the year.
Past collaborations/performances include Gulzar, Karsh Kale, Blackstratblues, Amyt Datta, Swanand Kirkire. He has also been a part of award winning soundtracks for films by Anurag Kashyap productions, Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh. Recent performances include Barbican Centre London, Celtic festival Scotland, Berlin Museum Germany  and in India: Humming Tree, NH7, Ziro festival.

Muthu Kumar - tabla, percussion (Bangalore, India)

Muthu Kumar is a tabla player/ percussionist / composer based out of Bangalore, India. Having learned from legends Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, he has traveled the world over and played with greats like Maynard Ferguson, Alice Coltrane, John Barnes, to name a few. His band ‘Mystik Vibes’ is a much acclaimed Indo-Jazz band which has performed extensively in India. Muthu is known for his versatility. In a year long stay in New  York City in 2002-03, he has played with musicians in genres as diverse as Hindustani and Carnatic classical, Jazz, Hip- hop, Reggae, Gospel, Funk and progressive.

He is the founder of Rhythm Shala - a school for Indian percussion, with 15 centers and 150 tabla students in Bangalore. With his band ‘Atmic Vision’ he has traveled to nook and corners of USA and given Indian music workshops and concerts. He has also traveled around Europe and played in many festivals. In 2011 he traveled to Berlin, Syke, Dresden, Chemnitz, and Erfurt, in a month long trip to Germany with ‘Karnatrix’ - a band from Chennai. In 2010 Muthu was invited on a 5 city tour in India by the Goethe Institute and Alliance Francaise along with Veteran musicians UliLenz from Berlin and Francois Jeanneau from Paris. He has been invited to conduct rhythm master classes in Poland in the Cross Culture Festival for two consecutive years. He has also traveled and played through out the Caribbean islands.

Jon Kabir - vocal, guitar (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Jon Kabir is a Bangladeshi singer-songwriter.
His unique and sensational style with his first band 'Black' made it the biggest name in alternative rock and chanaged the spectrum of contemporary music in Bangladesh. He now leads a band called 'Indalo' and have been regularly producing a variety of songs around the pop-rock genre.

Isuru Kumarasinghe - piano, electronics (Kelaniya, Sri Lanka)

Isuru Kumarasinghe comes from Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, born 1987. First began delving into the expanse of sonic artistry and music at the age of 13. From his early days creating original music with computer software, Isuru’s interest later deepened towards the recondite nature of sound experience and acoustic potential.
Although initially working in isolation and largely self-educated, early collaborations with theater and dance groups led his later work to side with Lakshman Joseph de Saram, Gayathri Kemadasa, Venuri Perera, Isaac Smith and Theertha performance platform, to name a few.
Isuru Kumarasinghe currently undertakes a teaching position at Musicmatters engaging and spearheading the Colombo experimental music scene.

Projects / Collaborations
● Mixmaster Blong (Quarted): experimental free improvised psychedelic rock music
● Ves (trio): Sonic art/ free improvised music
● Kinaesthetics 0008 Colombo: electroacoustic experimental dance music
● Musicmatters Transcoastal: Collaboration of folk musicians from Batticaloa east coast of Sri Lanka
● Magic Love Mirrors (trio): Sonic/sound art, electroacoustic free improvised music
● Supermeow (trio): Sonic art/electronic improvised music
● When cage birds sings: Gallery performance
● Amila Sandaruwan: folk experimental sound art music


Gul Mohammed - sarangi (Karachi, Pakistan)

Gul Mohammed comes from a long line of musicians from both paternal and maternal side. His paternal grandfather was eminent sarangi-nawaz of the Hyderabadi Deccan court, Ustad Ghulam Hussain. He has been trained primarily by his father Akhter Hussain and also seeked brief guidance by Kamal Sabri in India.
Gul has been performing regularly at All Pakistan Music Conference, Tehzeeb Foundation where he has provided accompaniment to nearly all major classical practitioners of Pakistan as well as performed as soloist. He lately performed for the Lahore Music Forum.
Gul Mohammed is also part of the ‘Tarz ensemble’ (since its inception in 2011) and ‘Sounds of Kolachi’, besides collaborating for productions of background scores for television. He has also played for Coke Studio (season 2) and has been selected for the Center Stage Residency later in the year.  

Video links:

Shemonty Monjari - vocal (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Shemonty Monjari, a young Rabindrasangeet artist, stepped into the world of music at the age of four, holding her father’s hands. Her father, Sohrab Uddin, is a noted cultural activist and organizer, and a music aficionado. Her mother, Nasima Khan is a Rabindrasangeet artiste. Shemonty was encouraged by her parents to embrace the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. She was raised in an environment in which the family and those around her deemed music their priority. Shemonty was blessed by two highly revered personalities in the realm of Bengali music - Waheedul Haque and Sanjida Khatun. Later the illustrious singer Mita Huq played an important role in shaping her music. Shemonty was ten when she enrolled in Chhayanaut Sangeetvidyayatan, a leading school of music. In 2011, Shemonty took part in a national competition arranged by Jayito Rabindrasangeet Sammilan Parishad where she attained the first position in all Bangladesh. In 2012 she completed an eight years course in Rabindrasangeet from Chhayanaut, and topped the list with a first class first position. Shemonty started performing on stage from a very young age. Her talent was quickly noticed by many and she was soon performing in all the important platforms in Bangladesh. She participated and performed in the South Asian University Festival held in Punjab in 2014 and in Udaipur, Rajasthan in 2015. She had the opportunity to perform in Delhi and Kolkata, in India, as well as in the UK. Shemonty has been teaching Rabindra Sangeet in Chhayanaut Sangeetvidyayatan since 2012. Her first solo album titled “Rangiye Diye Jao” was released by Bengal Foundation in 2014.

Shantala Subramanyam - venu bamboo flute (Chennai, India)

Shantala Subramanyam born in Bangalore, was raised in Chennai,  heartland of carnatic music, renowned for its emphasis on improvisation on beautiful ragas within a highly evolved rhythmic vocabulary. She plays the venu, a carnatic bamboo flute, and it’s an instrument with a warm sonority. Shantala started playing in early childhood under the tutelage of her father M. N. Subramanyam, himself a mature musician, and her brother Shashank, an eminent flute artist. It was also her good fortune to be trained by eminent performers - vocalist Late Sri. Vairamangalam Lakshminarayanan and is currently pursuing vocal music training under Sri O. S. Thyagarajan and Sri T. V. Gopalakrishanan. She gratefully acknowledges the contributions of famed South Indian drummers Trichur Sri Narendran, Patri. Satish Kumar and Parupalli Phalgun towards enriching her rhythm training, spread over a decade. Shantala has been highly appreciated for her melodic presentations combined with complex rhythmic patterns. Today, she’s recognized as an important and authentic voice in this demanding tradition and this view has been echoed by music critiques. Shantala has graced the stages of many reputed organizations such as Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Mudhra, Hamsadhwani, Rama Seva Mandali, to name a few and in recent years is a frequent visitor to Europe, USA, Canada, England, Ireland and Malaysia for concerts, workshops and lec-dems.  She has given master classes in Carnatic music and rhythms in Goteborg University, Music Academy OSLO, Royal College of Music – Stockholm, UNCG -North Carolina. She has performed for young audiences in schools in Sweden, Germany, USA and India. Shantala is also a well sought after teacher. She has been imparting training in South Indian vocal music, flute playing and reciting kunakkol (vocal rhythm) to scores of students from India and across the globe. She has released 2 CD albums titled ‘Bamboo in Harmony’ and ‘Dakshin’ in collaboration with popular and competitive artists from the South Indian music tradition.

Pabalu Wijegoonawardane - Sri Lankan drums (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

A musician and dancer, constantly creating, interpreting and evolving, Pabalu Wijegoonawardane is an extraordinarily talented performing artist who has captured attention nationally and internationally.
Pabalu is a founder member of the renowned Sri Lankan fusion band ‘Thriloka’ that launched their debut music album ‘Bisura- Realm of Higher Listening’ at Barefoot, Colombo in 2007 and ‘Nirmanarathiya’ in 2010 as the second production of his band. Continuing to create improvised music inspired by traditional Sri Lankan sounds within the local rock-band setting, Pabalu and his band recorded a 20 minutes long experimental piece in 2015 that was entirely funded by ‘Thriloka’ fans. The Sri Lankan up-country ‘Kohomba Kankariya’ ritual traditionally performed for the ‘Kuweni Asne’ lament was their inspiration.
Prior to ‘Thriloka’, Pabalu worked with Percussion Band ‘Naadro’, Gothic Rock band ‘Stonebroke’, Mantra Rock Band ‘Tapas’, Classic Rock Cover Band ‘Akaash’, Ethnic Fusion Band ‘Megha’ and Folk Rock Band ‘Yaga’.
Pubalu’s skills led him to perform for the Independence Day celebrations held at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cairo, Egypt (2006), the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh (2009) and the Asian Bands Festival in Delhi, India (2012).
 In year 2010 his lifelong investigation led him to receive the 2010 Fulbright Award as a Visiting Scholar to conduct a 5-month research on a comparative study on World percussion traditions and their spiritual aspects. He conducted this study with affiliation to the Department of Ethnomusicology of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).


Philip Zoubek - piano, prepared piano (Cologne, Germany)

Philip Zoubek is an Austrian piano player and composer from Tulln. He studied jazz-piano in Vienna and Cologne, where he lives since 2001. Few others explore so greatly the variety of sounds of the piano, making him the exceptional pianist both among the distinguished Austrian improvisers and within the Cologne scene. Starting from "traditional" preparation techniques á la Cage, Philip Zoubek has a wide arsenal of preparation material (aluminum pots, plastic utensils, glass jars, etc.), from the rich tone of a noise-like percussion up to electronic sounds. Zoubek worked with Louis Sclavis, Rudi Mahall, Michael Moore, Michael Vatcher, Simon Nabatov, Frank Gratkowski, Wilbert de Joode, Thomas Lehn, Clayton Thomas, Paul Lytton, and many others.


Amit Mishra - tabla (Mumbai, India)

Amit Mishra is an exponent of the renowned Banaras Gharana (style) of Indian Music. He was born on October 2, 1985 in the city of Varanasi (Banaras). He learned tabla under the guidance of his father Pt. Kishor Kumar Mishra and great tabla maestro late Pt. Sharda Sahai ji and also he was blessed by his maternal grandfather late tabla maestro Pt. Samta Prasad Mishra ji. Amit has accompanied great maestros vidushi Girija Devi ji, Pt. Birju Maharaj ji, srimati Sitara Devi ji, vidushi Sonal Mansingh ji, Pt. Ajay Pohanakar ji, Pt. Channu lal Mishra ji, to name a few. Currently he lives in Mumbai and works in the fields for classical and world fusion music. He performed all over India and also toured extensively in Europe, Japan, UK, Peru, Sri Lanka, Nepal for concerts, workshops and collaboration with musicians of these countries.   

S. Murali Krishnan - drums & percussions (Chennai, India)

Synonymous with his drums is one of the most sought after percussionists in south India, be it a live show or a film recording. Murali plays several percussion instruments including Western Drums, Timbales, Darabukka, Cajon, Djembe, Marching Drums, Cymbals and Bells. In fact, he can generate mesmerizing music beats from literally any surface. Murali is proficient in various musical styles like Jazz, Classical, Fusion, Rock and Pop. He is known for his stage presence and has played widely
across the globe for many Indian festivals. His show with the Japanese drummers is still one of the most spoken about ones. Murali is a qualified teacher and has completed 8 Grades in Drum Kit from the Trinity college of Music - London. His work for the Indian film industry is another subject worth mentioning in his musical journey. Murali’ s brain child, Jus Drums is one of the premier institutions in India imparting the art of Drumming, having trained over 800 students in the last 13 years, across the age group of 5-85. Murali has also been running his fusion band “Jus Fusion” for over 13 years. Murali conducts motivational lecture demonstrations and interactive drumming sessions for corporates and students using rhythm as an effective tool.