Avatar Fri Oct 18th – Location TBA
Award-winning and multiple Juno nominated saxophonist/flutist/vocalist and composer Sundar Viswanathan has shared the world stage with national and international artists alike. He has performed extensively in Europe (including stints with the Grammy-nominated Charles Tolliver Big Band at several Jazz Festivals), Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, and the USA. Musical associations from Jazz and World music arenas include Wynton Marsalis, Vijay Iyer, Kenny Wheeler, Jaffa Road, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Marcus Roberts Trio, Kiran Ahluwalia, Rez Abbasi, John Abercrombie, Suba Sankaran, Terry Clarke, George Cables, Joe Lovano, John Hicks, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart, Jim McNeeley, Hip Hop artist GURU, and Dave Douglas. He has been commissioned to compose and perform with Dance companies in Canada and the USA that include Sampradaya Dance Creations, Arzoo Dance Theater, MOSAIC and Trilok Fusion. Sundar and his work has been reviewed and/or profiled in the Boston Globe, Toronto Star, New York Times, Ottawa Citizen, allaboutjazz.com, DOWNBEAT, JAZZIZ, EYE magazine and several other Canadian and international publications. His music has been featured on CBC radio, JAZZ FM, WBAI, Radio Bombay and college and commercial radio nationally and internationally and he can be heard on over 20 recordings as a leader or sideman.
Felicity Williams is a Toronto-based musician who sings. Since graduating from York’s music program in 2006, she has been performing widely in Toronto’s music community and establishing herself as a valuable collaborator. She has toured in Canada, the US, and Europe with a number of projects including Hobson’s Choice, Bernice (Robin Dann), the Alex Goodman Chamber Quartet (with Andrew Downing and Michael Davidson), and Bahamas (Afie Jurvanen). Her compositions and/or performances have been played on CBC radio and NPR; Hobson’s Choice, T H O M A S (Thom Gill), and Alex Lukashevsky have been on rotation on CBC radio’s the Signal; she has performed live on Q with Snowblink (Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman), Bahamas, and Royal Wood; she has performed live on WNYC’s Spinning on Air (host David Garland) with Alex Lukashevsky and Bernice.
An eight-time JUNO Award nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, guitarist/composer Michael Occhipinti’s inventive approach to creative music of all kinds has earned him a broad array of listeners and the respect of critics and musicians alike. Crossing genres that include jazz, chamber music, funk, world music, and anything involving modern guitar sounds, Michael is both a versatile musician and an imaginative bandleader. His Sicilian Jazz Project has been called “a masterpiece of cross-cultural fusion” and has thrilled audiences in Canada, the U.S., Italy, and Mexico. Starting with field recordings of forgotten Sicilian folk music and reinventing the music as a mix of global genres, the project earned Michael a JUNO nomination, the 2009 Ragusani nel Mondo Award (which he and his musician brother Roberto received together in Ragusa, Sicily for their contribution to Sicilian culture), and a Chalmers Award that allowed him to live in Sicily from March – June 2010.
Justin Gray is an Acoustic and Electric Bass Player, Composer and Band Leader.
His main influences include Jazz, R&B, Indian Classical and Contemporary Music. Justin has played with and worked with a number of internationally renowned artists including; Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Kurt Elling, Mike Stern, Cutis Fuller, Ingrid Jensen, Seamus Blake, Dan Weiss, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Shantanu Bhattacharrya, Subankar Banerjee, Bikram Ghosh, Tejendra Mejendar, Henry Hey, John Riley, Quinsin Nachoff, Ravi Naimpally, George Koller and Chitraveena Ravikiran. Justin is currently the bandleader for two well-established groups in the international music scene. Justin performs regularly with his own group Gray Matter; a contemporary Jazz ensemble that is heavily influenced by modern groove music. Monsoon is a contemporary Indo-Jazz ensemble that features original compositions that blend aspects of North Indian Classical Music with Contemporary Jazz. Both of these groups feature Justin’s original compositions and have been featured in many Jazz Festivals and feature concerts across Canada and India.
Ravi Naimpally studied the art of tabla playing in India. Having completed extensive training with his uncle Nikhil Ghosh and also Anindo Chatterjee, Ravi has been an active member of the Toronto world music scene for nearly 20 years. As a vital part of Toronto’s large South Asian community, Ravi continues to perform traditional music from India. In 2011 Ravi’s contibutions to South Asian culture in Canada were acknowledged as he was given the Grant’s Desi Achievers Award. Ravi has had several Juno nominations and is featured on Kiran Alhuwalia’s Juno winning CD Beyond Boundaries. For the last 11 years Ravi has led his own Indo-jazz ensemble Tasa. This group has toured extensively and recorded 4 CD’s of Ravi’s original music. Tasa was awarded an Urban Music Award for Best World Music album.
Juno winning drummer/percussionist Max Senitt is a highly regarded and in- demand freelance musician on the Toronto and international scene. He brings a wealth of experience and versatility gained from performing across Canada, USA, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe with such Grammy and Juno award winning artists as: Alex Cuba, Hilario Duran, Odessa/Havana, and Carol Welsman. Presently a member of Tzadik Recording artists “Zebrina” and Urugayuan singer Valeria Matzner’s bands, he also leads his own Trio. A Yamaha Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Headhunter Drumsticks artist, Max is also quite active as an educator.
Bio of Guest Artists on ‘Petal’
Robi Botos is a Jazz pianist of Hungarian descent who has quickly joined the ranks of Canada’s elite jazz musicians. Having been mentored by the great Oscar Peterson, Robi Botos has received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career including a 2007 National Jazz Award for “Keyboardist of the Year”, 2007 NOW Award for “Best Jazz Artist” and First Place Prizes at the 2008 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition and 2008 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Most recently, Robi was awarded the 2012 TD Grand Jazz award at The Montreal International Jazz Festival. Since immigrating to Toronto in 1998, Robi has recorded and performed with many local and international greats including: Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, Michael Brecker, Pat Labarbera, Richard Bona, Marcus Belgrave, Steve Gadd, Terri Lyne Carrington, Vernon Reid, Donald Walden, Roberta Gambarini, Peter Appleyard, Jackie Richardson, Vito Rezza, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Young, Dennis Coffey, John Lamb, Joey DeFrancesco, Peter Cardinali, Toots Thielemans, Guido Basso and Avishai Cohen.
Samidha Joglekar is a rising star on the Indian music scene in Canada. She has trained extensively in North Indian classical vocal music with master vocalist Narendar Datar in Toronto. Samidha has also studied with Veena Sahasrabude and Prabha Atre in India. She has been performing from a young age and was featured in 2001 in the theatrical production of Umrao directed by Sally Jones. Her voice has been described by critics as being ‘haunting’. Audiences have been captivated by Samidha’s ‘sweet’ tone and understated style of singing. Samidha brings a thorough knowledge of the ragas and is known for her ability to express the beauty and nuances of the ragas she sings. Her training in Hindustani classical music adds depth to her singing of ghazals, thumris, and bhajans. She is also open to cross cultural projects. Notably Samidha’s talents can be heard on Tasa’s CD’s entitled Soma and Alchemy. She has also performed and toured with Tasa in Canada and Japan. Recently Samidha sang with Harry Manx for the the CBC On Stage concert series and her voice was featured on the soundtrack of Mira Nair’s 2013 movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.
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