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    Polar Landscapes at the McMichael with Vanishing Ice

    Written by Mark Wigmore

    Wednesday, 28 January 2015 13:46

    Morrice and Lyman in the Company of Matisse wrapped up a few weeks ago at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg, Ontario. The major exhibit of two wonderful Canadian artists who worked alongside Henri Matisse thrilled audiences, but it was a lot of work to close shop. Curator Steve Jacobs.

    All Are Welcome at Centre For Indian Arts

    Written by Lise Hosein

    Wednesday, 28 January 2015 13:15

    The Toronto Tabla Ensemble, under director Ritesh Das, has very recently opened this Centre for Indian Arts on Gerrard Street, in the heart of Little India. And heart may be exactly what this place is about. There’s warmth here and a sense of home that’s inviting not only to those from India, but reflects the multicultural nature of our city. I sat in Ritesh’s tabla classroom as he told me about it:

    The Centre’s made up of a lounge that tells the history of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble through pictures and text, much of it about Ritesh’s auspicious family; a warm incense-infused classroom for Ritesh’s tabla classes, and a bright performance/community space. I think the inspiration for the centre, though, really lies in the tabla drum and Ritesh’s commitment to teaching it. The tabla’s a classical drum from India (that people sometimes mistake for a bongo), and it gained much of its popularity during the era of Ravi Shankar and The Beatles. It’s a pair of drums, one side treble, one side bass, and its sound has become recognizable from the jazz world - Dave Brubeck used it - to car commercials. But it’s also a serious practice for Ritesh and his students, and it has an almost meditative element, as Ritesh explained to me:

    It’s also a teaching tool. Going into the Centre to learn tabla or to hear a performance can be your entry point into Indian culture – you can learn about everything from etiquette to the melodies of Indian music to the holidays and festivals of India. And I think that’s really the essence of the Centre for Indian Arts. It’s certainly there to serve the Indian community – Little India had a need for this sort of cultural centre – but Ritesh’s vision is of a centre that serves every culture and works as a place for exchanging ideas, traditions, and friendly conversation. You might go there to see a performance of tabla or Indian dance, but you might also go to hear a lecture, listen to collaboration between Japanese and Indian musicians, or simply to feel a moment of respite from the cold or the obligations of a busy day. Ritesh told me about his dream for the Centre:

    You can find out more about the Centre at torontotabla.com and keep up with what’s going to be happening in its performance space and how you can enroll in classes yourself. Or just wander in at 1386 Gerrard St. E. and ask for a tour! Also, check out Toronto Tabla Ensemble’s Soundcloud page, which has a ton of their songs and shows you the range of what the tabla drum can do (when it’s in the hands of the Ensemble, of course).

    And keep sending your community stories to me at lise@jazz.fm!  I want to keep up with what’s going on in your ‘hood.

    The Sounds Of Scotland: Bagpipes and More!

    Written by Mark Wigmore

    Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:36

    The Scottish Tattoo: The Music of Scotland will be performed Thursday night at The Sony Centre.

    What Is Mammalian Diving Reflex?

    Written by Lise Hosein

    Monday, 26 January 2015 11:20

    A couple of weeks ago I went to a kind of unusual birthday party. The Art Gallery of Ontario, not necessarily known as a birthday party venue, threw a coming of age bash for one Chozin Tenzin, who was celebrating turning 19 and drinking his first legal beer. Why did Chozin get the special treatment? Well, he’s part of a group of called Mammalian Diving Reflex, where teenagers appreciated not being treated like kids. Here’s Chozin:

    Mark Wigmore's Top 5 - Week of January 26

    Written by Mark Wigmore

    Monday, 26 January 2015 00:00

    Senior Arts Editor Mark Wigmore is here with a look at your week ahead. 5 great arts events for your consideration.

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