Arshad Syed

Arshad Syed is a disciple of the great santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, and has been performing on the santoor in the U.S. and abroad. The santoor has been gaining in popularity in classical Indian music due to Shiv Kumar Sharma’s immense contribution, and Arshad is keeping up the tradition with his dedication and well-rounded playing. Arshad brings to the santoor his formidable training and experience as a tabla player, developing his own style of santoor playing. His performances on the santoor are marked by his tremendous control over rhythm and layakari, and being an accomplished tabla player has helped him achieve the same finesse and dexterity on the santoor.

Arshad Syed first distinguished himself as a tabla player and percussionist, having studied since childhood from the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha. In addition, he has collaborated with many western musicians. Amongst his accomplished works are the Diga Rhythm Band, with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, the Rhythm Experience with Zakir Hussain, as well as fusion works with bands like Ancient Future and Flamenco guitarists in Spain.

Arshad then embarked on a new sadhna, taking up the santoor and seeking guidance from Shivji, from whom he received wonderful support and encouragement. With this support and teaching, Arshad Syed is fast emerging as an accomplished santoor player, and also has his own band, Feelings, which features his santoor and performs light classical and fusion music based on ragas.

For more info, please visit

Shabi Farooq

Shabi started his training in classical tabla at the age of 14 under Govind Rao Garag in Bangalore, India. Since then he has played with numerous artists in India. Presently he is a disciple of Ustad Zakir Hussain. He currently plays both classical and fusion ensembles.


© EKTA. 2000-2005