Sitar player Peter van Gelder will be joined by tabla player Dana Pandey in a benefit concert of classical muisc from India. - Photo by Leslie van Gelder

Classical sounds from India

"An Evening of Classical Indian Music" is set for 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Featured artists will be Peter van Gelder, sitar, and Dana Pandey, tabla.

The concert is a benefit for Ashland Zen Center, the event sponsor.

The two musicians performing for this benefit have spent many years studying classical Indian music both in the United States and in India. Van Gelder is one of the first American disciples of India's great Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Van Gelder began his study of sitar in California in the 1960s and later travelled to India, where he spent years learning from the Khan family. After returning to California he resumed his studies with Khan and is now a teacher at the Ali Akbar College of Music.

Van Gelder has performed with Zakir Hussain, Chitresh Das, and Lalgudi Krishnan. He has composed and collaborated on music for film and dance. His has performed around the world, from Europe to the Fiji Islands, as well as India and China. This is his third concert in Ashland in the last five years.

Pandey is part of a new generation of American tabla players and percussionists. She has been a student of Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain for more than 20 years. For 15 years, she was a member of Zakir Hussain and the Rhythm Experience, and toured the U.S., Canada and Europe with the band.

Pandey has performed with such artists as Ustad Sultan Khan, Pandit Pran Nath, Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Terry Riley, L. Shankar, Mickey Hart, Aierto Moriera, Vince Delgado and Eddie Marshall and has toured India with Ustad Zakir Hussain on numerous occasions as both performer and tour assistant.

In 1997 she was the recipient of a Smithsonian Performing Arts Fellowship to study tabla in India and spent six months in residence at the Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta. She continues to teach privately and perform with many local classical musicians, dancers, jazz musicians and contemporary artists.

Tickets are $15 in advance at the Music Coop, Ashland and $18 at the door.

Call 482-9010.

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