The Nava Rasa Ensemble features nine leading musicians representing three continents
Simon Thacker is a guitar soloist, composer and leader of groundbreaking ensembles. As passionate about Segovia and jazz as he is about Indian music and classical contemporary, his work effortlessly transcends boundaries, genres and continents.
He performs his own music in duo with Polish cellist Justyna Jablonska and is the leader and composer for Simon Thacker's Ritmata, performing new music with three of Europe’s leading jazz/world musicians. His Svara-Kanti Indian/Western supergroup, which has expanded upon the achievements of The Nava Rasa Ensemble in many unprecedented directions, last year premiered a newly commissioned programme by US legend Terry Riley, Nigel Osborne, Shirish Korde and Simon at the London Southbank Centre, before releasing the debut CD Rakshasa on Slap The Moon Records in 2013. Rakshasa was immediately hailed across the world as a new benchmark in intercultural collaboration, with airplay on many of the main BBC classical, jazz, world and Asian shows and Simon's Svaranjali played on over 200 radio stations in the USA alone.
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (Indian violin), now based in London, learnt the rudiments of the classical Carnatic music of southern India from her mother from the age of three and gave her first recital when she was just nine. Although she has a profound respect for her heritage and performs in the classical Carnatic style with an impressive combination of emotional expression and masterful technique, she refuses to be bound by tradition. She is also an accomplished Western classical violinist and Jyotsna has played violin for nearly 200 commercial Indian films and has released many albums internationally. She has received many national and international awards and was recently conferred a Fellowship in Carnatic Music from Trinity College of Music, London.
Her many notable performances include: Queen Elizabeth Hall; WOMAD; BBC Radio 3; Red Violin Festival (Wales); Cleveland Music Festival; World Trade Auditorium (Singapore); East-West International Music Encounter (Bangalore).
Sarvar Sabri is an internationally renowned tabla player/composer whose versatility and passion for the rich diversity of the world's musical traditions has spurred him to constantly experiment with other world-class musicians and composers, and to extend the boundaries of his own classical form.
Sabri is proficient not only as a soloist but also works with many Indian classical vocalists, instrumentalists and Kathak dancers. He regularly participates in major music festivals held in India. He makes regular appearances at the South Bank, London and has also performed for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 including the South Bank Show. As a soloist, he has worked with the BCMG in collaboration with composer Judith Weir, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, East of England Orchestra and Sinfonia Baltica. In 2006, he appeared with CBSO and in March 2007, he worked with Viva Sinfonia (Derby). Sabri’s work can be heard on numerous CDs playing with some of the world’s finest musicians.
The Edinburgh Quartet (Tristan Gurney - violin, Philip Burrin - violin, Michael Beeston - viola, Mark Bailey - cello) is Scotland's premier string quartet. Resident at the Ian Tomlin School of Music, Napier University Edinburgh and at Glasgow University, it also plays an important role in the musical activities of the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Founded in 1959 by Professor Sydney Newman, it is one of the UK's longest-established university-based quartets.
After its formation, the Quartet quickly became established as one of the foremost British ensembles. Its repertoire is firmly rooted in the great classical European tradition of the last three centuries and it is active in the promotion of Scottish composers, as well as in commissioning of contemporary music. The players have been closely associated with composers such as Tippett, Lutyens, Gal, Leighton, Wilson and James MacMillan. Their commitment to Scottish music earned it the first PRS Award of the Scottish Society of Composers.
Mario Lima Caribé da Rocha (double bass) was born in São Paulo, Brazil. He obtained a BA in Composition from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo and an MA in Jazz Composition with Distinction from Napier University, Edinburgh, where he now teaches.
Mario has experience with countless styles of music, from symphonic to salsa, jazz to klezmer, samba to electronic music. He has performed with leading European and North American artists such as Bobby Watson, Joe Lovano, Jesse Davis, Warren Vaché, Alvin Queen, David Sanchez, Loren Stillman, Ken Peplowsky, Rick Margitza, Nguyen Lê, Greg Hutchinson, and many of the leading jazz musicians in the U.K. such as Kenny Wheeler , Carol Kid , Norma Winston, Bobby Wellins, Louise Gibson and Suzanne Bonnar, to name but a few.
Iain Sandilands (percussion) has performed and recorded extensively with a huge array of major orchestras and ensembles in a variety of genres, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Paragon Ensemble, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble and 7hings. Festival appearances include the BBC Proms with the BBC SSO, Edinburgh International Festival with the SCO, Celtic Connections with the Jenna Reid Band and Hydro Connect with The Moth & The Mirror. A committed educator, he has worked as animateur and workshop leader for the Scottish Ensemble, BBC SSO, Perth Concert Hall, City Halls Glasgow and Children's Classic Concerts. He currently tutors at St Mary's Music School and Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools in Edinburgh.