InFuse, the Best in Canadian Indian-Jazz Fusion

Toronto, Canada – In celebration of South Asian Heritage Month,
Small World presents four exciting
evenings showcasing the best in Canadian Indian-Jazz Fusion and Dub in one of
the city’s finest music venues. The series brings together some of Canada’s most
renowned Indo-jazz players with some of Toronto’s key South Asian hip-hop
performers. It features Juno-nominees [the top Canadian musical award], spoken
word artists, extraordinary virtuosos and soulful singers. A state-of-the-art
look at South Asian fusion in Canada.All shows will begin at 9:00 pm. Concerts will be held at
Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, (west of
Dufferin). Tickets are $15 per show, or $45 for series pass. Dinner Reservations
/ Info: 416-588-0307.

Sunday May 1st, Tasa

Tasa, led by tabla player and composer Ravi Naimpally, combines the talents of
some of Toronto’s finest world music performers to merge traditions and blur
musical boundaries. Tasa features singer Tanbeer Alam, inventive guitarist John
Gzowski, bansuri and saxophone player Ernie Tollar, the eclectic drumming of
Alan Hetherington, and bassist Chris Gartner. The music of Tasa ranges from the
upbeat and funky to the sublime. Based on the ancient Raga and Tala system from
India, it diverges into several other genres of world music including Brazilian,
Arabic, and jazz.

This special concert celebrates the release of Urban Turban, Tasa’s new
CD, showcasing some new sounds and including special guests Kevin Breit on
guitar, Qawwali singer Shahid Ali Khan and frequent collaborator Dhruba Ghosh on
sarangi. With a range of influences, including the Bollywood sound of composer
A.R. Raman, the new record is poised to carry on the momentum Tasa established
with last year’s successful European tour.

Thursday May 12th, LAL, Jugular and guests

LAL is a partnership between singer/songwriter Rosina Kazi and producer Nicholas
Murray. Over the past 4 years LAL has been breaking new ground with their unique
style of western electronic music interwoven with pieces of world music. The
lyrics are in English and Bengali and the voice speaks to the sensuality and
seduction that only music can do to the soul.

Toronto’s Nikhil ‘Jugular’ Tumne unites the pulse of a beatboxer with the
musical patterns of any song he can dissect – from jazz to jungle, from
Bollywood to classical South Asian music. His music is an expression of the
cultural diversity he experienced growing up in a multi-cultural society.

Being South Asian, but growing up in Canada played a great role in these
artists’ personal and musical development. “Being South Asian and living here
has given me my spiritual learnings
,” says Tumne. “It’s all about the
personal experience. It’s not about whether you are South Asian or whether you
are Canadian – it’s about how you are a South Asian-Canadia

Thursday May 19th, Autorickshaw with George Koller & Lotus

Autorickshaw is a world music ensemble that embodies the essence of new forms of
expression that are emerging on the Canadian music landscape. Their integration
of South Asian tradition with jazz and other popular music forms represents an
innovative and refreshing new standard. Autorickshaw thrives on the diverse
musical backgrounds of its members – vocalist and pianist Suba Sankaran, tabla
player Ed Hanley, bassist Rich Brown, and percussionist Debashis Sinha. The
ensemble’s repertoire includes funky, contemporary arrangements of south Indian
classical compositions, Bollywood tinged jazz standards, and fiery Indo-jazz
originals. Nominated for a world music Juno for their recent CD Four Higher,
the band are poised for a major tour of Canadian jazz festivals this summer.

George Koller & Hajile Kalaike (aka Lotus) combine one of Canada’s most
respected jazz performers with a South Asian spoken word artist. Bassist George
Koller has plaed with a veritable ‘who’s who’ of international jazz stars. He
has also dedicated much of his performing career to exploring Indian music and
has become an adept performer on dilruba, the bowed string instrument known for
its beautiful, haunting sound. Poet Lotus’ spoken word art is a perfect foil for
the the evening’s sounds.

Thursday May 26th, Galitcha with Tantra

Tantra is an exciting new musical trio inspired by Indian classical music and
jazz. From melodious ballads to fast compositions of remarkable virtuosity and
rhythmic exchanges, the musicians explore and improvise within an intriguing and
continuously changing canvas. Drawing from Hindustani and Karnatic traditions
textured with jazz, the guitar and sarod compliment and interact with each other
melodically and harmonically while the tabla provides the dynamic rhythmic
backbone. The result is a compelling experience of east meets west.

Based in Montreal and Toronto, Tantra is Aditya Verma on sarod, Vineet Vyas on
tabla and Joy Anandasivam on guitars. Each artist has been recognized nationally
and internationally through performances worldwide. Their debut performance at
the 2002 Atlantic Jazz Festival in Halifax was broadcast nationwide on CBC

Ottawa’s Galitcha has just returned from a ‘once in a lifetime
experience’ – playing at the annual Festival au Désert, outside of Timbuktu,
Mali. They were invited there by festival organizers, who were captivated by a
sound featuring a strong North Indian footprint overlaid with influences from
western folk and jazz and instrumentation from around the world.

Since 1996 Kuljit Sodhi, Galitcha’s charismatic lead singer, composer and
percussionist has been building an ensemble which takes audiences on a rewarding
musical journey. The band features vocalists Kuljit Sodhi also on dolki and
Chris MacLean also on guitar, harmonium, dulcimer and gopichand; Linsey Wellman
on saxophone, flute and oboe; Shawn Mativetsky on tabla, dhol and percussion;
and Jeremy Moyer on Chinese fiddles. Together they create a culturally diverse,
uniquely Canadian sound.

[Photos: 1 – Tasa, courtesy of Marilyn Gilbert Artist Management, 2 –

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central