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Mala - An evening with sitar virtuoso Josh Feinberg

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Event description

MALA is a Classical Indian Music experience featuring Josh Feinberg, virtuoso sitar player from Portland, USA.  Josh is supported by accomplished tabla accompanist Shen Flindell and well-loved, gifted local Chaturangui (Indian Slide Guitar) player Shivam Rath.

Tickets are general admission - there will be space at the direct front of the stage for those who like to sit on the floor to receive the musical experience.  Please bring a cushion and whatever you need to be comfortable.

Dinner will be available for purchase from 6.30pm, with chai and sweet treats.


Timeless travelling between worlds of strings and melodic nuance, introspective exploration and creating conversations,  generating the essence of this beautiful and moving musical form, for our sonic participation and enjoyment.


JOSH FEINBERG          (For more about Josh, visit
Josh began his musical training at 4 years old with western classical and jazz on piano and bass in New York City, studying with some of the most accomplished musicians on the scene including Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Ben Monder, Paul Bley, Drew Gress, Bob Bowen, Dan Weiss, and Jacob Sacks among others. He was hailed as a prodigy performing in jazz venues and concert halls across the New York area. In his teens, Josh fell in love with the music of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, and shifted his focus to sitar and Hindustani music while pursuing his Bachelors degree from New England Conservatory.

Josh is a student of the Maihar Gharana (school of playing) and has earned the love and respect of connoisseurs of Hindustani music, as well art-music communities around the world. One of the first non-Indian musicians to be accepted as a leading performer, he has learned with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan as well as Ustad Aashish Khan, Sri Alam Khan, Pandit Tejendra Majumdar, Dr. Peter Row, Dr. George Ruckert, Sri James Pomerantz, Sri Warren Senders and Smt. Vijaya Sundaram. Josh has also learned tabla and attended workshops with Pt. Anindo Chatterjee.

Josh has been dazzling audiences around the world for 20 years. In 2019 Josh had 3 international tours including 25 concerts in 28 days for his India tour at some of the leading venues in the country. His other 2019 tours included 77 concerts in the United Kingdom, Australia, and concerts throughout the USA, making him one of the most in-demand sitarists currently performing. Josh is also one of very few young musicians who has performed with most of the top tabla artists in the world including Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri, Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, Pt Kumar Bose, and others. Josh is a regular at the Chicago World Music Festival and has performed for the Lotus World Music Festival, Harvard University, New England Conservatory, and countless other venues and festivals around the world.

Josh recorded his debut album, Homage, featuring tabla maestro Swapan Chaudhuri in 2013 and released his second album, One Evening in Spring, in November 2014 featuring tabla maestro Anindo Chatterjee. His album with Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, A Fallen Blossom in the Thorns, was released in early 2017 to great acclaim. Josh’s next album is set for release by Australian record label Worlds Within Worlds in 2020, and was recorded in the UK in March 2019 with Ustad Shahbaz Hussain.

Josh has accompanied Sri Alam Khan, the son of Ust. Ali Akbar Khan, in the US and India at prestigious venues such as the Saptak Festival in Ahmedabad, and the Dover Lane Music Conference in Kolkata. (Saptak and Dover Lane are two of the biggest Hindustani music festivals in the world with thousands of people in attendance.)  Josh’s concerts have been very well received, garnering rave reviews, especially in Kolkata and Pune. He has been hailed as the torchbearer for the Pt. Nikhil Banerjee baj of the Maihar Gharana.

In 2013, Josh published a sitar method book for the Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest music publisher. He has a Bachelors in Music from New England Conservatory, and a Masters of Fine Arts from Goddard College. Josh has served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University, New England Conservatory, University of Florida Gainesville, University of Hawaii Honolulu, University of Chicago, and many others. He currently teaches at Lewis and Clark College, and Reed College in Portland, and has offered courses at the University of Oregon and Marylhurst University. He has also served as a graduate advisor for Prescott College.

Josh maintains a private teaching schedule both in person and online to students around the world. He also serves as the executive director for Jalsaghar, a 501c3 non-profit he established in 2017 to promote South Asian classical music. When not touring, Josh splits his time between Portland, Oregon and New York City. 

SHEN FLINDELL        (For more about Shen, visit
Shen's tabla career began in 1994, learning tabla in Melbourne from Sri Debapriya Bhattacharya.  He very soon followed his passion to the holy city of Varanasi in India to study under Pandit Kaviraj Ashutosh ("Ashu Babu") Bhattacharya, a great tabla master of the Benares Gharana. 

Based in Brisbane, Shen regularly visits Japan and India, and has performed with leading musicians in all three countries. Within the realm of Indian classical music, he is not only capable in the four fields of vocal accompaniment, instrumental accompaniment, Kathak dance accompaniment and tabla solo, but has also given successful accompaniment in South Indian music and dance performances. He has accompanied an extensive list of talented and respected artists including Pt Shantanu Bhattacharyya (vocal), Pt Ritwik Sanyal (Dhrupad vocal), Pt Kushal Das (sitar), Pt Santosh Mishra, Sri Sangeet Mishra (sarangi), Pt Rajan Kulkarni (sarod), Pt Sukhdev Mishra (violin), Smt Prerana Deshpande (Kathak), and many more.

Shen has also initiated and participated in numerous collaborations with an eclectic range of world music artists. Shen's Ethnosuperlounge events brought together these musicians to share their songs and sounds in the spirit of unity, healing and transcendence. He most regularly performs with Tibet2Timbuk2 (featuring Tibetan vocalist Tenzin Choegyal) and Spirit of Bhakti (with devotional singers Rebecca Bornstein and Menaka Visvanathan Thomas).

Shen's discography includes: Open Door with devotional music group Spirit of Bhakti, Deep with classical bansuri player Taro Terahara, Music Is Life with world music group Tibet2Timbuk2, Rei-Mei with classical santoor player Setsuo Miyashita, the EthnoSuperLounge Live! - Jay Ashu Babu compilation CD, and Basant Panchami, a classical sitar-tabla CD, plus numerous guest appearances on CDs in Australia and Japan with world music and rock artists.

Shen's tabla playing is noted for his clear sound, comfortable rhythmic sense, intuitive and open accompaniment, adept bayan (bass) and a feeling of sincere devotion to Guru, Saraswati, Music and Tabla, thanks to many blessings from his Guru-ji.

Shen opened the Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School in Brisbane in 2006, with both adult and children's classes.  He holds the Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School concert annually since 2008, and has become a little Sangeet Mela itself. In 2019 Shen instigated the founding of Queensland Sangeet Mela Association (QSMA) to foster the development of Indian classical music in Queensland and ran the successful Brisbane Sangeet Mela Festival from 2014-2019.

Since his guru-ji passed away in 2004, Shen has received training from a wide range of tabla masters including Pt Pooran Maharaj, Pt Govinda Chakraborty, Pt Nayan Ghosh, Pt Suresh Talwalkar and Sri Hari Om Hari (in light classical styles). In recent years Shen has taken up pakhawaj as a second instrument, with some guidance from Japanese pakhawaji Sri Tetsuya Kaneko.

SHIVAM RATH    (For more about Shivam visit
Shivam Rath is a second generation musician born into a western musical family but with a father who also studied Indian Classical music for many years, and a folk singer songwriter mother Rosemary Rath who plays songs of Indigenous affairs. Raised in the alternative neighbourhood of Byron Bay Australia he was naturally surrounded by the influence of a Yogic/ alternative musical lifestyle and has spread and expanded the path of Classical and Harmonic World Music Fusion in Australia and abroad.

Shivam focuses on three central instruments (Tabla from teacher Chota Lal Mishra, Indian Slide Guitar from teacher Debashish Bhattacharya, and Shakuhachi Flute from renowned teacher Riley Lee) and singing with the underlying vocal system of Indian Classical Music and Sanskrit Mantra.  He uses original progressive blends, fusing with his western up-bringing. He believes each instrument gives a unique perspective and understanding of music, e.g rhythm and melody, wind and vocal etc thus each instrument supports the other in learning music as whole.

Shivam specialises in meditative music, group orchestration, rhythmical accompaniment as well as Indian classical and original solo performance

He believes music is more than just a form of art or entertainment however and follows it as a sincere practice of lifestyle and a tool for meditation and healing. The philosophy of Nada & Yoga is a practice he has both studied, developed and is now sharing through concerts, workshops & group and private lessons around the world.

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