The Melbourne Tabla School was established by Sam Evans to promote the growing interest in the sublime art of tabla playing in Australia. After more than a decade of study with tabla master Pandit Anindo Chatterjee in India as well as studying with the famous Ustad Zakir Hussian, Sam is now passing on this amazing tradition to students in Melbourne. As well as offering individual and group classes the school presents regular student concerts here in Melbourne. The concerts present tabla students who wish to perform in small groups playing the material they have learnt during their lessons and have proven to be a valuable and very enjoyable learning experience for everyone involved. The tabla ensembles also provide regular contact with other tabla players for the students to establish an active tabla community here in Melbourne.
In assisting the students' understanding and experience of Indian music, the school regularly hosts guest artists to play with students during their lessons. In the past the school has hosted A grade artists such as Debasis Chakroborty. The school also often employs Melbourne based Indian musicians to provide accompaniment for students during there lessons in the lead up to performances upon request.
In establishing a pathway for learning the tabla in formal education in Australia the Melbourne Tabla School has created a curriculum and recital repertoire for tabla that has been accepted by the V.C.E board making it now possible for students to sit exams at V.C.E. level on the tabla. The school has also established a syllabus and recital repertoire for students to study tabla at both TAFE and university level in Victoria. With these advances students may now study tabla in formal education from high school to undergraduate and post graduate levels. The school currently has a number of students in each level of education.
Sam Evans B.Mus, Hons, M.A. (Music Perf, Tabla), PhD Candidate (Music Perf, Tabla)
Sam Evans is a professional tabla player who studied tabla in India with some of the greatest masters of the tradition, holds a Masters degree in tabla performance and is a regular international performer.
Along with running the Melbourne Tabla School Sam lectures at Monash University in Indian music and world music, as well as teaching percussion and a two level course in Indian rhythm. He composes, arranges and performs regularly for the university where he co-founded and directs the 20-piece World of Music Orchestra.
After spending a decade studying tabla in the traditional Guru-Shyishya environment with tabla master Pandit Anindo Chatterjee in India, Sam Evans is now based in Melbourne where he has established the Melbourne Tabla School. With funding from the Australian Government Sam has also studied with the famous tabla master Ustad Zakir Hussian in America as well as Ustad Sabir Khan, Aubijit Bannerjee and Debasis Brahmachari in India.
Sam has performed live on Indian televison and has performed across North India as a tabla soloist as well as accompaninist for ‘A Grade’ artists of traditional North Indian music. He recently toured in Australia with Indian classical guitarist Debasis Chakroborty, before travelling to India to perform in concert and festivals while promoting their CD entitled Charukeshi.
As well as performing traditional solo tabla lehara and playing in a number of traditional Indian ensembles in Melbourne, Sam is renowned for his cross-cultural music collaborations. He has performed live on Australian television, on national and international radio and at numerous international jazz and world music festivals. He has performed and written music for the television, animation, documentaries and regularly performs with some of Melbourne’s finest jazz musicians. His Melbourne trio Fine Blue Thread, with Indonesian singer Ria Soemardjo and cellist Helen Mountfort (my friend the chocolate cake) have received rave reviews for their debut album, Red Mountain, including 4 ½ stars from ABC Limelight Magazine. The album has now been released in Europe and music from this CD has recently been included on a BBC compilation CD - 'A Beginners Guide To The Music Of India' alongside Ravi Shankar, Nitin Sawhney and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.