John Ball

John started learning tabla in Baroda, India in 1992 with the late Sri Sudhir Saxena, a highly regarded authority of the Ajrara Gharana, one of the six traditional playing styles of India. Since then he has studied with distinguished masters including Ustad Faiyaz Khan of Delhi and Pandit Yogesh Samsi of Mumbai. He has trained in Santoor under the guidance of Sri Harjinder Pal Singh, a senior disciple of maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma.

John regularly performs on tabla & santoor with Unfurl alongside violinist Olivia Moore and vocalist Maria Jardardottir. Unfurl's music expands across continents, combining Indian ragas, flamenco and Arabic music with improvisation to create an original sound ranging from the dramatic to the sublime.

John also plays tabla and percussion with Rafiki Jazz, a Sheffield eclectic music collective, and has played live at Womad and Musicport Festivals amongst others. He also regularly plays tabla for Balbir Singh Dance Company, an exciting collaboration of Kathak and Contemporary dance featuring tabla and human beatbox recently featuring in their residency at Edinburgh Festival at Dancebase where the company received five star reviews from critics. John has worked alongside a diverse range of artists in the past including Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley, Sura Susso and Juldeh Camara.

John is also highly regarded as an authority on North Indian music having written liner notes for over 100 Indian music CD publications for SenseWorld Music. He has also presented lectures on various aspects of Indian music in UK and Europe.

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