Five year old tabla player joins celebrated musician to show ‘music brings us together’

Baluji Shrivastav and 5 year old Akira Datta Ghebreyohannes. Picture: Manuel Vasquez

Baluji Shrivastav and 5 year old Akira Datta Ghebreyohannes. Picture: Manuel Vasquez - Credit: Archant

Music From Around the World at Islington Assembly Hall on July 3 is a tonic for harmony during troubled times

Five year old Akira Datta Ghebreyohannes has always loved expressing himself at top volume and Monday July 3 will be his best opportunity to date.

The talented infant will be opening the Music From Around The World free concert at the Islington Assembly Hall with a performance on the tabla (Indian drums) and being loud is entirely in order so long as he can keep the beat.

Half English and half French with roots in India and Eritrea, he’s been brought up with a wide range of musical influences and has been learning the tabla since September, often humming the complex rhythms as he walks to school.

Helping him will be Akira’s music teacher and celebrated multi-instrumentalist, Baluji Shrivastav, who is hosting the concert with members of his Inner Vision orchestra – the UK’s only blind orchestra – alongside a handful of music students and guest artists.

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Over two hours, around nineteen performers will play a programme ranging from Classical Indian and Middle Eastern music to American show tunes and Brazilian Bossa Nova while taking in Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Afrobeats and Latin music along the way.

Musical maestro and Islington resident, Baluji Shrivastav, who was recently presented with an OBE for services to music, says that the idea behind the free concert was to promote harmony during troubled times: “While politics pulls us apart, music brings us together,” he said, urging people to come and celebrate “diversity in unity”.

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Islington Mayor Una O’Halloran is also slated to attend.

As for young Akira, this Highbury school kid is looking forward to starting off proceedings with a bang!

Music From Around The World presented by Baluji Shrivastav OBE with Inner Vision Orchestra and Friends is at Islington Assembly Hall, on Monday July 3, 7pm – 9pm. Free entry. Donations welcome.

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