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Canadian-Indian sarod player performs in Athens

March 2006
Canadian-Indian sarod player performs in Athens

Indian classical music fans in Georgia had the opportunity to soak in soulful notes of the sarod at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, Athens, on Jan. 28. Aditya Verma, an award-winning sarod player, enchanted listeners at the university's Ramsey Concert Hall. Verma is regarded as one of the world's preeminent sarod players.

Based in Canada and India, Verma is fast emerging as a force on the world music stage. He has collaborated with artists from various traditions around the globe in both classical and popular music, including a performance with the Washington Symphony Orchestra on Capitol Hill for an audience of over 500,000 people. He has previously toured to critical acclaim throughout North America, Europe, and India.

Growing up in Montreal in a family deeply involved in the traditions of India, Verma started playing music at an early age. He started playing the tabla at an early age under the guidance of his father, Dr. Narendra Verma, and Ustad Zakir Hussain. In 1987 he moved to India to study Hindustani classical music in the Maihar Senia Gharana as a disciple of legendary sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar and renowned sarod master Ustad Aashish Khan. He has also trained under the eminent Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

In addition to playing concerts on stage, television, and radio, Verma has several CDs to his credit and has composed music for recordings and films.

For his Athens engagement, Aditya Verma was joined by renowned tabla player Abhiman Kaushal. A master of the tabla, Kaushal has made numerous recordings including Ravi Shankar in Venice, Farewell Friend with Ravi Shankar, and Passages with Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass. National Geographic recorded his tabla for the soundtrack to the documentary Man Eaters of North India. Kaushal serves as assistant adjunct professor in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology.

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