STOP PRESS: new album, Karmana can be ordered now HERE



Guitar virtuoso Simon Thacker's duo with the outstanding young Polish cellist Justyna Jablonska performs compelling new music which distills the essence of Simon's pioneering intercultural experiences to create new soundworlds. Their current programme is Karmana. They also collaborate with leading performers from diverse traditions.


Karmana is Sanskrit for "performing anything by means of magic" and the programme is informed by the belief in the mystical, transformative power of sound. Karmana draws on elements from classical, Indian, Celtic, Balkan, Flamenco, Eastern European Gypsy and Polish music in the pursuit of new instrumental paths. The result is new music of a rare emotional directness, spontaneity and inner searching, embracing the incredible sonic palette of guitar and cello.


Simon and Justyna just released Karmana, their Creative Scotland supported debut album, which also features special guests Karine Polwart (Scots song), Sarvar Sabri (tabla) and Masha Natanson (Roma song). A trio programme with tabla has also performed at the Brighton, Isle of Man GuitarFest and Sound Festivals. They premiered a programme of Simon's reimaginings of Roma Gypsy songs with leading exponent Masha Natanson for the prestigiois Made in Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh fringe Festival in 2016.


Want to know more? Promo video hereAlbum reviews here. Interviews here and hereSongs of the Roma trio with Masha Natanson info here. Read a feature in both English and Polish here, a review-interview here and further review here.





Edinburgh born Simon Thacker is firmly established as one of Scotland’s most vibrant and prescient cross-cultural musical voices. As a composer, guitarist and ensemble leader his meticulous work references some of the world’s richest musical traditions to expand and create new soundworlds. He has been featured at the Made in Scotland showcase in each of the last three years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 


His ensembles include Simon Thacker's Ritmata, also featuring three of Europe’s leading jazz/world musicians, and Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, a world leading Indo-Western collective which has recently seen him tour and collaborate for major festivals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, most recently for 60 000 people in Dhaka. Both groups will be releasing Creative Scotland supported albums soon, featuring several international guests. Simon is classical guitar tutor at Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College and has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the RSNO.


“The music resounds-beautiful, amazing, moving the strings of the audience's souls, on which the duo play as they do on their instruments"

Pangea Magazine



Justyna Jablonska holds an MMus in solo performance from the RNCM, where she studied with the principal cellist of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Dixon. Most recently she studied with William Conway of the Hebrides Ensemble Eric-Maria Couturier from the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. In 2011 Justyna was awarded a scholarship from the Aldeberska Trust in Gothenburg, Sweden, which enabled her to study at the Swedish National Orchestra Academy. Justyna has been the recipient of numerous scholarships from The Waddell Trust in Edinburgh, as well as the RNCM scholarship and the Scholarship of The Polish Ministry of Culture. 


In 2014 and 2015 she was selected for Lucerne Festival Academy, one of the world's leading contemporary music festivals, working with, among others, Sir Simon Rattle, Matthias Pintcher, Isabelle Faust and members of Ensemble InterContemporain, alongside some of the most promising young musicians handpicked from around the world, in a demanding programme of chamber and orchestral performances. She toured Germany and Switzerland with a Lucerne Festival project in 2015.








                           cello    and     guitar: Karmana

by ‪#‎leszczynska‬
"Manages to be spiritual, intellectual, technical and emotional all at the same time…absolutely not to be missed" Channel7A (Edinburgh Festival, 2016)
 "A journey through genres, histories, cultures and philosophies... remarkable, powerfully energetic" Elsewhere (New Zealand)