Arshad Syed is a disciple of the great santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar
Sharma, and has been performing on the santoor in the U.S. and abroad. The
santoor has been gaining in popularity in classical Indian music due to Shiv
Kumar Sharma’s immense contribution, and Arshad is keeping up the tradition
with his dedication and well-rounded playing. Arshad brings to the santoor
his formidable training and experience as a tabla player, developing his own
style of santoor playing. His performances on the santoor are marked by his
tremendous control over rhythm and layakari, and being an accomplished tabla
player has helped him achieve the same finesse and dexterity on the santoor.
Arshad Syed first distinguished himself as a tabla player and percussionist,
having studied since childhood from the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha. In
addition, he has collaborated with many western musicians. Amongst his
accomplished works are the Diga Rhythm Band, with Grateful Dead drummer
Mickey Hart, the Rhythm Experience with Zakir Hussain, as well as fusion
works with bands like Ancient Future and Flamenco guitarists in Spain.
Arshad then embarked on a new
sadhna, taking up the santoor and seeking guidance from Shivji, from whom
he received wonderful support and encouragement. With this support and
teaching, Arshad Syed is fast emerging as an accomplished santoor player,
and also has his own band, Feelings, which features his santoor and
performs light classical and fusion music based on ragas.
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