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Power Sitar. The Ashwin Batish Ensemble will be bringing together multi-cultural music to create the Worldbeat genre in a live concert at The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. This show is part of this year’s Subscription Series. Tickets may also be purchased individually.

If global oneness and harmony is an ideal worth pursuing, then sitar master Ashwin Batish is on the forefront, bringing together multi-cultural music to create the Worldbeat genre, which blends Western pop music with traditional & folk non-Western musical influences. As a sonically adventurous fusion, Worldbeat packs quite a punch, especially in the hands of Ashwin Batish.  View the video below to get a taste of the ensemble’s music.

pop. rock. jazz. calypso. funk.

Ashwin Batish is an extraordinary sitarist and tabla player. He received training in the North Indian classical tradition from his father S.D. Batish and later created his own unique fusion of Indian classical sitar with pop, rock, jazz, calypso, funk — an example of a few hybrids he excels at. He is famous for such songs as the Bombay Boogie, Raga Rock, Raga Jazz, Casbah Shuffle and Sitar Mania.

Mighty fine company

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Shankar with a couple of Beatles

In 2007,  year after S.D. Batish passed away, Ashwin met Ravi ShankarIn many ways, Ashwin and Shankar share a very similar legacy: they both turned new audiences of young people on to the sitar at times when its true potential had been all but forgotten. Shankar did it in the ’60s, through his association with the Beatles. Ashwin did it two decades later, by fusing the sitar’s unique sound with contemporary rock—and a full spectrum of other genres—and backing it with insane variations on Indian rhythms that had DJs of the time spinning his “Raga Rock” and “India Beat” records on the dance floor.

Ashwin is also very well know for being an educator. His series of instructional videos for the sitar, tabla, dilruba, dholak, vichitra veena, harmonium that he has produced with his father Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish have become a very sought after commodity by the Indian music student. Ashwin often gives private and group Indian music lessons at his Santa Cruz, California USA facility and is often called upon by various music festivals and universities to perform his sitar and be a guest lecturer for weekend workshops and seminars on Indian music and ethnopop, raga rock sitar fusion.

Ashwin Batish’s pioneering effort in worldbeat music called “Sitar Power” has earned him some critical reviews and great respect in the music community. The sitar is ageless in Ashwin’s hands. It is souped up for amplification and effects. His music is as dynamic as his stage presence.

Members of the band

Ashwin-familyMyron Dove (Bass) Myron is a popular San Francisco Bay Area bass player whose versatility and killer chops have made him a sought after artist. In addition to his active collaboration with Ashwin Batish, he has performed and/or recorded with Santana, Robben Ford, Tony Furtado, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Narada Michael Walden, Herbie Hancock, Angela Bofill, Buddy Guy, Vince Gill, Wayne Shorter, Amy Grant, John Lee Hooker, Jeffrey Osborne, Boz Scaggs, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Rodney Franklin, Ronnie Montrose, Tony Williams, Mark Russo, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey, Lisa Fischer, and many more artists.

Keshav Batish is tabla prodigy and percussionist, who from early age was immersed in an enriching environment of music. He is the grandson of S.D., and the son of Ashwin Batish. His father, Ashwin Batish a pioneer in World Music mixing Indian Ragas with western genres, noticed he enjoyed playing drums as a young child, and so he began to teach him to play the tabla at the age of 7. Keshav now also plays Sitar, Santoor, a host of different hand percussion instruments, and is a skilled percussionist on the Western drum kit.

Meena Batish (Ashwin’s sister, daughter of S.D. Batish) is a singer an interpreter of music from the North indian tradition. She has performed extensively, and released a CD compilation of Bhajans, or devotional songs, titled “My Favorite Bhajans”

TICKET INFO

They are on sale now for $25 adults, and $10 for youth (18 and under) and BHSU students. Tickets are available at The Matthews’ art gallery during business hours, Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, by phone at 605-642-7973 or buy tickets online.