Music Program Welcomes Avataar

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Having a post-secondary music school in a community brings with it a world of opportunity for both students and those who appreciate the best the industry has to offer.

On October 21, the Selkirk College Contemporary Music & Technology Program will welcome Avataar to Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus for an afternoon clinic for students and an evening show that is open to the public. A project from the musical mind of Juno-nominated saxophonist and composer Sundar Viswanathan, Avataar features seven of Canada’s foremost talents who explore the intersection between Indian classical music and jazz, ambient music, and electric experiments.

“It’s always exciting to welcome clinicians of this calibre to our community,” says Contemporary Music & Technology Program Instructor Laura Landsberg. “Our students gain valuable insight into their craft and the industry as a whole. When we have these talented players come to visit, it provides an energy boost to their studies and to their development as musicians.”

The Contemporary Music & Technology Program is marking its 30th year on the Tenth Street Campus. Based on a model that mirrors the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the program first welcomed students in 1989 with a curriculum that focuses on a diverse cross-section of musical styles to allow learners the opportunity to explore everything from rock and blues to jazz and world music.

The mega-talented Selkirk College faculty that mentor students in the two-year diploma program are industry veterans who prepare graduates for a variety of careers. Since the program began, the instructors sprinkle the curriculum with outside clinicians who arrive with diverse knowledge important to working musicians.

Along with Viswanathan, Avataar features Canadian musicians Felicity Williams (voice), Michael Occhipinti (guitar), Justin Gray (bass), Ravi Naimpally (tabla) and Max Senitt (drums). The music the group produces is described as: “cleverly layered and cinematic in scope, and drives and swirls through a vast sonic palette.” The original music draws on influences from jazz, rock, world, ambient and groove traditions.

The afternoon clinic is for students of the program, but the public is invited to the Monday, October 21 evening show that starts at 7:30 p.m. (doors at 7:00 pm) at the Shambhala Music & Performance Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. Admission is $15.

“We want to share these talents with the whole community,” says Landsberg, who has been teaching at Selkirk College since 2004. “Our region has been very supportive of this program and our students over the last three decades, it’s always great to welcome those who appreciate music to the campus to take in top quality shows.”

Learn more about the Music & Technology Program at Selkirk College School of the Arts…