Hand Drum

Percussionists, Video, Hand Drum

Tina Sugandh: Pop Diva Tabla Sensation

Tabla player, singer, and songwriter Tina Sugandh wants to be the girl that ignites the Bollywood explosion in America. On her debut album, Tabla Girl, her unerring musical instincts are showcased on 11 radio-ready gems. She combines American hip-hop, rock, Latin, and pop rhythms with the driving Punjabi thump of bhangra, the intricate tabla cadences of traditional Hindi folk music, and the cinematic sweep of Bollywood pop with its soaring strings, multi-layered percussion, romantic sitars, and enthusiastic background singers, which include her sister, father, and mother. Videos of songs from the album have received thousands of YouTube hits, and the advance single, “Break Me,” shot to #4 on Billboard’s Dance Chart last year — but waiting for the official release date is still wearing on Sugandh’s nerves.

Percussionists, Video, Hand Drum

Christine Stevens: Drumming For Peace In Iraq

In a town in northern Iraq, there’s a bullet-riddled building that once was a headquarters for Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist Party. The foreboding two-story structure, where enemies of the state were once “interrogated,” recently underwent a startling transformation. On a November day in 2007, the sound of drumming, laughing, and dancing echoed through its corridors. Thirty-eight drummers of all religions and ethnicities moved together as they participated in a drum circle, part of a conflict-resolution leadership training program. The sound of violins, ouds, and neys complimented the ancient rhythms of the daf, the large frame drum that’s the foundation of Iraqi traditional music.