Mohamed Assani & Shahbaz Hussain accomplished Sitar and Tabla performers captivate audiences at the Aga Khan Museum Auditorium, Toronto.
About Mohamed Assani
Mohamed Assani is a celebrated sitarist with a unique sound. He plays sitar in the emotive style developed by the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, in which the sitar is made to emulate the human voice through bending its strings. Apart from being a talented traditional sitarist, he is also a skilled cross-cultural collaborator. His ground-breaking work has included collaborations with acclaimed Irish contemporary composer Ian Wilson, the award-winning London-based Callino Quartet, the Black Dyke Brass Band and others. Mohamed has received critical acclaim for his sitar performances in the UK & Europe, both as a soloist and with his innovative new music band, Indus.
Mohamed Assani an accomplished musician, is also an educator with a diverse portfolio of services to offer. He is a celebrated sitarist, a talented tabla player and a trained teacher with experience from primary to higher education. Mohamed’s musical background is broad and includes training in Indian Classical, Western Classical, jazz and fusion music. He has a degree in Western Classical music from Dartington College of Arts and a Bmus in Jazz & Popular Music from the Leeds College of Music. He also has a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in music teaching.
As a young boy growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, Mohamed Assani fell in love with music on a cricket field.
“Every year we would have this festive religious celebration called Eid, and there was a live band right in the middle of everything,” remembers Assani, now in his 40s. “The first time I heard the guitar play, somehow I felt it in my heart. It really inspired me, and that is where my love of music began.” That spark of inspiration grew into a lifelong career in music that has taken him across continents and into the depths of his own soul.
When Assani turned 18, a friend told him about schools that taught music and nothing else. “I was so excited,” says Assani. “When I applied to college I had no idea who Mozart or Beethoven even were.” Yet his combination of natural talent and a deep desire to learn music earned him a place in the classical music program at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, England. Unbeknownst to Assani, the school had a strong world music program with a focus on Indian instruments. It was here that Assani first saw a sitar played live by a guest teacher. “Sometimes when he practised, I would sit with him for hours and just listen without moving.” Assani was committed to classical music and completed his degree, but the sitar left an imprint on his heart.
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