Toronto Tabla Ensemble
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Toronto Tabla Ensemble

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 1991 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 1991
Band World




"Toronto Tabla Ensemble and Joanna Das"

"... the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, along with dancer Joanna Das and bass player George Koller, demonstrated the magic that can happen when a group of creative, yet respectful and disciplined musicians set about to explore the interaction between different musical worlds. ... performed with precision, spontaneity and an infectious enjoyment. ... clearly an invigorating addition to Toronto's music scene."
- Tamara Bernstein, The Globe and Mail
- - Tamara Bernstein, The Globe and Mail

"Rhythm Magazine"

"Das' philosophy permeates the TTE's second and latest album, Second Palla (produced by the group itself and available through Festival distribution), which contains ambient street sounds from India, Canada and China, plus electronics, drum kit and bass. Driving it all is the fire of tablas that pulsate through the rhythmic cycles, creating hypnotic grooves but leaving room for some "serious hard-core tabla "."
- Li Robbins, Rhythm Magazine.

"Toronto Tabla Ensemble"

"Das's orchestrated tabla encounters with the Arabic vocals of Maza Meze's Maryem Hassan Toller and the nimble guitar of Levon Ichkhanian sound utterly natural as the tabla's rolling beat blends effortlessly with the different sounds. "
- Matt Galloway, NOW Magazine.

"Toronto Tabla Ensemble"

"If they're fuelled by the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, then you can be sure they'll be as interesting as other sounds that have been combined with the mighty music of north India, like the experiments of bands such as Shakti. "
- Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star.

"Toronto Tabla Ensemble (Weaving on Naxos)"

"In essence, Das and his Toronto Tabla Ensemble take Hindustani music to a newer cosmopolitan environment without diluting any of its spirit... "
- Andrew Sun, Naxos World.

"World Music Pioneers"

"Among the most successful world music pioneers in these parts is the Toronto Tabla Ensemble..."
- Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star.

"Toronto Tabla Ensemble (Weaving on Naxos)"

"Toronto Tabla Ensemble (Weaving on Naxos) is the Toronto ensemble whose polished, throbbing fourth CD should rise high on world music charts" - Geoff Chapman, Toronto Star

"Montreal Jazz Festival"

"Needless to say that the band's truly unique style went over extremely well and that they made a very significant impression on the large audience and the media which was fortunate enough to attend their superb performance" - Dan Behrman, Program Manager, Montreal International Jazz Festival.

"In Celebration of Dance"

In Celebration of Dance, a wonderfully eclectic evening of dance, song, Indian recitation...and of course drumming
Susan Walker, Toronto Star. - Susan Walker, Toronto Star.

"Hot rhythms of India"

spinning its own magic ... an amazing example of how so many players can maintain a tight unison.
- - Roger Levesque, The Edmonton Journal

"Toronto Tabla Ensemble"

"From the moment they walked on stage, the poly-ethnic percussion ensemble had the rapt attention of the capacity audience and proved that musical boundaries can be flexible. ... Yet just as essential to the Tabla Ensemble's cross-cultural success is a keen sense of performance. Using the tabla as a launching point, the group combined light, voice and acoustics to create a bridge between the orchestrated precision of Kronos Quartet and the roof-raising energy of British dance innovators Stomp!, which had the audience on its feet demanding more."
-Matt Galloway, NOW Magazine
(voted one of Toronto's Top 10 groups for 1993 and 1995)

- Now Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



The ensemble was founded in 1991 by Artistic Director and Tabla Master, Ritesh Das. The Ensembles debut show in 1993 at the Music Gallery was proclaimed by Now Magazine as one of the top ten shows of the year alongside the likes of Prince at Maple Leaf Gardens.

The success of that first show launched the Toronto Tabla Ensemble into the Vancouver Folk Festival, and eventually to stages across Canada. The first show was purely percussion, based on the pure sound of tabla. However, over the years, the TTE broadened its sound with collaborations with Japanese Taiko drums, Celtic music, belly dance, and even rock and roll, with Jeff Martin and the Tea Party. In partnership with KORG, TTE has composed several pieces using the electronic sound of KORGs wavedrums to express traditional tabla material. TTE brought out four albums, including Juno-nominated Firedance. That was how Ritesh Das and the TTE played a major part in bringing tabla into mainstream Canadian music.

The Ensembles original music has been used in numerous films and commercials, and in 2003 the Ensemble was commissioned to create the current theme music for CBC Radios daily morning show, Metro Morning.

Band Members