World-Renowned Artist Performs, Teaches At Northview

February 28, 2008

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World-renowned tabla player Sandip Burman brought his unique Indian folk music style to Northview High School Wednesday. Burman introduced about 50 Northview Performing Arts students to the tabla drums, his hands literally just a blur as they moved over the drums at lightning speed.

Burman has appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington as well as many other major national venues. He has received glowing reviews from the likes of The Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Sun Times, the Boston Globe, and Billboard Magazine. He has played with solo artist and former Beatles guitarist George Harrison, jazz great Bela Fleck (Burman was a guest artist on the Grammy winning Fleckton’es album Outbound), and he even contributed to the soundtrack of the Tim Burton film Mars Attacks!.

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But Wednesday he sat on the floor of the stage in Northview’s theater, the students gathered closely around him in a semi-circle. “Come closer, come closer,” he told the students.He had spent over an hour fine tuning his sitar, a complex 20 string guitar, prior to the students arriving. He always spends that much time perfectly tuning the instrument to the room he is about to play, whether it be the Kennedy Center in Washington or Northview High School in Bratt.

The students sat staring in awe as he began to play a melody on the sitar. His hands flowed over the ancient Middle Eastern instrument as his soul flowed out in perfect time.In a quiet, heavily accented voice, he explained the sitar to the students. He explains how long it takes to the tune it, and the hours of practice it has taken him to reach his advanced level.

Then he pulled over his two tabla drums. His hands fly over the tablas, filling the theater not with the beat of ordinary drums, but a powerful melody.

In just a few short minutes, Burman then taught the students a rhythmic song for NorthEscambia.com readers to enjoy. That song is in the video above; click the play symbol to hear the tabla melody.

For a complete photo gallery from Burman’s visit to Northview High School, click here.

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