Mohamed Assani & Friends
Mohamed Assani & Friends
Mohamed Assani & Friends is a group of highly talented and sought-after musicians who come together for this special project, composed and arranged by sitarist and composer Mohamed Assani.
The ensemble is comprised of:
Sitar – Mohamed Assani
Mohamed is a sitarist and composer, known for his genre-defying approach to music-making. Trained in both Indian/Pakistani and Western Classical music, his music-making seamlessly draws from different genres and cultures with depth and authenticity. Mohamed has brought his sitar to new audiences across the globe through innovative collaborations that have stretched the boundaries of his instrument. Career highlights include co-writing a sitar concerto that was performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, performing for his Royal Highness the Aga Khan and being invited to teach at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music.
Violin – Jeanette Bernal-Singh
Mexican-born violinist Jeanette Bernal-Singh is Acting Associate Principal Second Violin with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has won many national and international awards and competitions and her violin has taken her all over North America, Europe, South East Asia, India, and Australia. As an orchestral musician, Jeanette has worked with many of today’s leading conductors, such as Kurt Mazur, Sir George Solti, Valery Gergiev, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Viola – Sarah Kwok
Sarah Kwok is a violin and viola player born and raised in Vancouver. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of British Columbia. An active freelancer, Dr. Kwok performs with the Vancouver Symphony, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Vancouver Island Symphony, and the Okanagan Symphony. Sarah is a founding member of the Elysian Trio, with flutist Paul Hung and harpist Vivian Chen, and has also appeared with Turning Point Ensemble, Erato Ensemble, and the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra.
Cello – Cristian Markos
Romanian-Canadian cellist Cristian Márkos has been a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1999. Born in Iași, Romania, Cristian earned his B.Mus in Music Performance from the Music Academy in Bucharest, Romania. As an accomplished symphony and chamber musician, he has toured with the Mont Blanc Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the late Maestro/cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and as a soloist Cristian has performed on stages in Romania, France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy, United States, and Canada.
Electric Bass – JeanSe Le Doujet
JeanSe Le Doujet was born and raised in the small town of Pontivy in Brittany, France. He began his musical education on the piano as a child, with his musician father, and picked up a bass guitar at 15, never to look back. From high school rock bands to university metal, jazz, pop projects, JeanSe broadened his musical horizons and mixing his influences so he could bring more than just a bass line to the music he was playing. Since arriving in Vancouver a decade ago, he has collaborated with many local artists including Tonye Aganaba, The Paperboys, Ashleigh Ball, and Mohamed Assani.
Tabla – Amarjeet Singh
Amarjeet Singh was born in India and is an acclaimed tabla player and the founder of Naad Arts Centre. Amarjeet has a Masters degree in Music and many years of experience performing tabla solos as well as accompanying a myriad of leading Indian and Western musicians and dancers at international music and dance festivals. He started learning the tabla from his elder brother, Mr. Deedar Singh, followed by Guru Shri Thakur Kishan Singh ji of Benaras Gharana. Amarjeet was appointed a Cultural Ambassador by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, and is the recipient of numerous awards.
Drums & Percussion – Liam Mc Donald
Liam MacDonald is a drummer and multi-percussionist who is in demand across projects across different disciplines. His primary focus has been that of Middle Eastern frame drums and Afro Brazilian percussion. Liam’s versatility as a percussionist has led him to perform and tour extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada, and is considered a key player in Vancouver’s blues and roots scene.