Toronto Tabla Ensemble
The Toronto Tabla Ensemble World Music Organization (TTE) is a non-profit charitable organization founded by Artistic Director and tabla master, Ritesh Das. The TTE’s mission is share the depth and excitement of Indian classical music, culture and history and make it accessible to all people.
When the Toronto Tabla Ensemble was founded in 1991, the tabla was rarely seen on the Canadian stage. Since then, Ritesh Das’ exciting and ground breaking performances have brought tabla and his Ensemble to the mainstream public through numerous concert series at the Harbourfront Centre as well as collaborations with Japanese Taiko, Celtic music, Spanish Flamenco, rock and roll and more.
Since 1996 the TTE has produced three music videos and six albums, including the Juno-nominated Firedance. The Ensemble’s original music has been used in numerous films and commercials, and in 2003 the Ensemble was commissioned to create the current theme music for CBC Radio’s daily morning show, Metro Morning.
In 2016 TTE celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a sold out concert at the Harbourfront Centre, Toronto and debuted of Toronto Tabla Youth Ensemble. To mark this Anniversary the Toronto Tabla Ensemble received a letter from Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
The Toronto Tabla Ensemble is currently planning their recording for the 7th full length album expected to be released summer of 2017.
Toronto Tabla Ensemble Academy
The heart of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble (TTE), the pioneering tabla ensemble led by visionary percussionist and composer, Ritesh Das, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, is at its main branch on Gerrard Street in Toronto’s Little India neighbourhood.
TTE’s and Ritesh Das’ music and performances are recognized internationally. TTE leverages its national and international reputation to attract youth and community members to its Gerrard Street Centre and get them involved in the Education Program, In Studio Performance & Events program and its Community Access programs.
Ultimately, TTE seeks to build community and create a cultural and artistic bridge through its performances and programs.
Through rigorous training in the Indian classical tradition, students at TTE can learn up to the mastery level. First grounded in the depth of their training, students are then encouraged to reach out to other cultures and communities through the common ground of music, rhythm and open-hearted exchange.
This cross-cultural exchange cultivates a sense of openness and mutual respect for great art and people from all backgrounds. Ritesh Das and his senior teachers are proud to serve the full scope of the Indian diaspora (including the Trinidadian, African and other communities of the area) and the diversity of religions: Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, among others.
Ongoing Tabla Classes: From youth to adults, and beginners to advanced, TTE offers tabla training in the rich Indian classical guru-shishya parampara (guru-disciple tradition). While the learning is intense and rigorous, students are also encouraged to have fun! Tabla classes also include the newly established Tabla Youth Ensemble.
Toronto Tabla Ensemble: Tabla students who demonstrate exceptional skill and commitment have the opportunity to advance to the professional level and become part of the prestigious and award-winning Toronto Tabla Ensemble.
• With students of North Indian classical dance with the students from San Francisco, Boston and India of Ritesh Das’ late elder brother, the kathak legend, Pandit Chitresh Das.
• Residencies by senior Guru and tabla icon, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri.
Ritesh Das and TTE believe in creating a sense of neighbourhood and community through the arts and, in particular the Gerrard Street Centre with its community access programs.
Tabla 101: is a free, monthly event where attendees get to experience, both hands-on and by learning from one of the TTE tabla artists/teachers, about the rhythms and traditions of the tabla.
In-Studio Performances & Events: In-Studio Performances allow audiences to experience Indian classical music as it was originally performed in India, in up-close, intimate settings. Performances feature visiting artists, local talent and upcoming tabla and dance students. In-Studio Events include celebrating cultural traditions, such as Saraswati Puja, an offering to the goddess of learning, knowledge and arts.
MAJOR PERFORMANCES & COLLABORATIONS
TTE presents performances exploring the depths of tabla’s ancient Indian roots with a contemporary sensibility. Ritesh Das’ traditional performances highlight his internationally recognized mastery, rooted in the training, knowledge and community of the guru-shishya parampara (guru-disciple tradition). He is also an artist in the moment, creating new collaborative and innovative works that explore and speak to the universal, human condition.