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Saturday, September 22, 2018


The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music will present Canadian band Avataar on September 26, 2018

Avataar as a band has been together for over 10 years, existing in several incarnations (ironically, as the name Avataar would suggest). Several notable lights from the Canadian jazz/world music scene have been a part of, or performed with the band at some point in its history. The current touring group includes saxophonist/flutist Sundar, vocalist Suba Sankaran , tabla maestro Ravi Naimpally , guitarist Michael Occhipinti , bassist George Koller and drummer Max Senitt. Collectively, these award-winning artists have performed worldwide, and have accrued numerous JUNO (Canadian GRAMMY) nominations and/or wins.

The group is the artistic vision of Sundar Viswanathan, who developed the band as a vehicle for his genre-bending compositions, as presented on Avataar’s recent, and award winning CD Petal. Viswanathan’s musical interests have ranged from Antonio Carlos Jobim to Shakti, Enya to Pink Floyd and Babatunde Olatunji to Balinese gamelan, and eventually integrated with his extensive training and performance experience in jazz. The music has drawn comparison to Mahavishnu Orchestra, Keith Jarrett with Jan Garbarek, late Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Oregon – everyone seems to hear something different in the compositions.

Avataar's music marries jazz, rock, Indian classical music, groove traditions, and electronica. Imagine John Coltrane taking in the atmosphere of any open-air night market in the wild streets of New Delhi while the sounds and smells of the earth and sky filter in. It’s a mesmerizing blend of rhythmic hypnotism, sonic landscapes, and soaring melodies that marry ancient and modern musical sounds.

Join Avataar at The Centre for Jazz and Popular music (CJPM), Level 2, Shepstone Building at UKZN Howard College Campus on September 26, 2018, at 18h00 (doors open at 17h30). General admission R80 (R50 pensioners, R25 students).

For more details contact Thuli on 031 260 3385 or email