Ritesh Das – Artistic Director and Composer
Tabla master Ritesh Das has been studying, teaching and composing since the early 1970s. He founded the Toronto Tabla Ensemble in 1991. Playing to sold-out audiences since then, the TTE has been an influential voice in Canadian music, combining the North Indian percussive tradition of Tabla with some of Canada’s best music and dance groups.
With Ritesh Das as the Artistic Director and principal composer, the Toronto Tabla Ensemble has released five albums of original material. Under his leadership the ensemble has maintained a strong home season presence in Toronto since 1991 and extensively toured Canada’s best festivals and venues. In 2006 they toured Australia with Jeff Martin’s (of the Tea Party) solo project. The TTE has appeared on national and international TV and its music has been used in numerous films and commercials. In 2003 the TTE was commissioned to create the current theme music for CBC RADIO 1’s morning show Metro Morning.
Razak Pirani-TTE Member
Razak is a senior student of Ritesh Das who joined the Ensemble in 2011. He teaches tabla at the TTE School: Nritya Bharati in Toronto and is involved with the organization in fundraising and as a grant writer. He performed his debut tabla solo at the Indian Diaspora Festival in 2014. Outside of music Razak is pursuing an undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Toronto.
Shamir Panchal-TTE Member
Shamir Panchal is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Bachelors in Architectural Studies, a field of work which has affected his approach to music. Conversely, his study of Tabla has informed ideas for spatial and sound installations which have been displayed throughout Ontario.
Nivethan is a recent addition to the TTE Team. Although he is relatively new to Tabla, he has a background in percussion as a Mridangam player. He is excited to learn the intricacies of North Indian music and incorporate aspects of his South Indian training into the group’s performances. Nivethan is also pursuing medical school at the University of Toronto.