North Indian raga music featured at LCMS concert

Langley Community Music School's upcoming Concerts Café Classico concert includes performances by Rod Thomas Squance and Abbas Janmohamed

Musicians Rod Thomas Squance and Abbas Janmohamed will be performing North Indian and Hindustani classical music at Langley Community Music School on Sept. 25.

Musicians Rod Thomas Squance and Abbas Janmohamed will be performing North Indian and Hindustani classical music at Langley Community Music School on Sept. 25.

One of Canada’s most exciting musicians, Rod Thomas Squance, is performing his one-of-a-kind, custom-built raga marimba at Langley Community Music School’s upcoming Concerts Café Classico concert on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Playing his instrument seated on the floor, Squance, accompanied by Abbas Janmohamed on the traditional tabla drums, will be celebrating the rhythmic complexity and lyricism of North Indian, Hindustani classical music.

“This deeply personal and intimate music is very sophisticated yet entertaining to hear and see. It appeals very well to audiences who enjoy Western classical music,” said Squance.

“The music typically follows a format that begins with a delicate exploration of the melodic potential of a raga. As the performance progresses, each movement is faster than the previous, until the music reaches a flurry of sustained rhythmic excitement.”

The event starts at 2:30 p.m. with a pre-concert conversation hosted by LCMS artistic director Elizabeth Bergmann. There will be a short break with coffee and refreshments, before the performance from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Beyond his performances on his custom-built “raga marimba,” Squance plays jazz vibraphone and is a soloist and freelance percussionist in chamber, orchestral, jazz and world music. Squance also holds a doctoral degree from the University of Miami, has served on the faculty of the Banff Centre for the Arts and currently teaches ethnomusicology and percussion at the University of Calgary.

Janmohamed has been playing the tabla since the age of nine, and is a two-time recipient of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Arts Fellowship Award. He has studied classical table in India, has graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce and also holds an MBA from York University.

“It is going to be a musically stunning concert,” said LCMS Artistic Director Elizabeth Bergmann.

“I am certain the audience will enjoy this dynamic duo, as they present a unique and approachable introduction to this genre of music that will also satisfy the most ardent lovers of the traditional Indian classical form. Rod and Abbas are captivating players, drawing an audience in and engaging them from beginning to end as they share their excitement and joy of this improvised music.”

Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. A Concerts Café Classico season pass, which includes six concerts and 15 per cent off regular ticket prices, are $92 for adults, $77 for seniors and $59 for students. A flex pass is also available, giving access to any four concerts in the series for $65 for adults and $54 for seniors. Call the box office at 604-534-2848.

The Rose Gellert Hall is located at 4899 207 St.