Performer Profile: Mohamed Assani

Mohamed Assani is a celebrated sitarist with a unique sound.  He is widely known for his authentic raga performances as well as his creative ability to adapt his instrument to different genres, including Western Classical, Jazz & World Fusion. You can catch Mohamed in performance on Sunday, October 23, at Diwali Downtown at The Roundhouse.

Apart from his Indian Classical work, Mohamed has also worked with some leading Western musicians, including contemporary composer Ian Wilson, the Callino Quartet, the Grand Union Orchestra and the Black Dyke Brass Band. His band, Indus, (featuring sitar, santoor, Western flute and tabla) has received critical acclaim for their original music including being hailed as ‘ones to keep a beady eye upon’ by the UK’s award-winning froots magazine.

Mohamed has also taken his music to the stage, composing and performing for acclaimed playwright Rani Moorthy’s ‘Dancing within Walls’ and a production of Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would be King.’

Mohamed’s musical journey began at Dartington College of Arts in England, where he did a degree in Western Classical and World music. Mohamed began his training on the sitar from Sri Dharambir Singh and later learned from Sri Mehboob Nadeem. He is now a disciple of Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan of the Poonch Gharana.  Mohamed 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. Mohamed is also trained in tabla and is an experienced accompanist & performer.

As a dedicated and experienced teacher, Mohamed has inspired students of all ages in their musical journeys. During his extensive teaching career, he has taught at the Royal Academy of Music (London, England), the University of Huddersfield and the BRIT School of Performing Arts (London, England). He currently teaches Indian music at the VSO School of Music in Vancouver.

Mohamed has just released a brand-new CD of Sitar music entitled Spirit of Tradition.

Mohamed’s Website

Listen to an interview with CBC’s Sheryl MacKay on this past weekend’s North By Northwest



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