Come Get Your Beating

Raga master Sandip Burman brings his drums to Oberlin.

Calcutta native Sandip Burman is a master of the tabla — a hand drums that plays both melody and rhythm rather than just the backbeat.

A typical tabla consists of two small hand drums of different sizes and timbres. Burman also plays the complex tabla tarang in concert. It's made up of 15 drums and offers an even more dynamic sound. "It's a totally independent system that you don't find anywhere else in the world," he says.

Over the years, Burman has played with everyone from bluegrass banjo player Bela Fleck to jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette. At tonight's concert, he performs with saxophonist Colin Mason, a longtime friend. "The sax balances out the tabla," he says. "You get a flavor of jazz tone, but with an Indian picture. If you're able to do it, it's a good marriage."
Sat., Sept. 9, 8 p.m.