MIKE LUKSHIS – Tabla
Mike Lukshis, a native resident of New Jersey, has dedicated his life to absorbing and spreading the art of tabla. After playing guitar throughout his youth, he eventually received a BA in Music from Rutgers University. For the last 10 years, Mike has been studying and living with Pt. Divyang Vakil in a Gurukul style of training. He is a full time teacher and manager of the Taalim School of Indian Music, serving diverse communities around NYC and NJ. While intensely pursuing the tradition of solo tabla playing, he also performs as an accompanist to Indian classical music and dance. Since 2012, he is the only non-Indian member of the world-renowned tabla ensemble Talavya. He has performed at venues and events all over the United States and abroad such as Lincoln Center, PASIC 2013, Ciudad de Las Ideas, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Sarah Lawrence College, Symphony Space, and more.
KAUMIL SHAH – Tabla
Ahmedabad native Kaumil Shah’s identity is shaped by tabla. Prior to joining the Taalim School, he was a tabla teacher and performing artiste with Rhythm Riders in India. Aside from teaching tabla at the Taalim School, he is a member of Taalim tabla groups, and plays djembe with dance & world drum ensemble Pradhanica.
A disciple of Pandit Divyang Vakil, Shah has travelled the world performing tabla with celebrated ensemble Talavya, performing at Ciudad de las Ideas (Mexico), Percussive Arts Society International Convention, INK Conference (formerly TEDIndia), Vancouver Island Musicfest, and more. Album credits include two Talavya releases – Tabla Ecstasy and Power of Tabla. Shah is also a multi-percussionist with fusion band Taan.
SEJAL KUKADIA – Tabla
Sejal Kukadia is originally from upstate NY, and is a disciple of Pandit Divyang Vakil. Sejal is the author of Tabla Taalim: A Study in North Indian Percussion. As a member of the Middle Eastern Sephardic music band, Divahn, based in NYC, Sejal has traveled throughout the country spreading the art of tabla to non-Indian audiences. Sejal is one of very few female tabla artists in the USA. She is a member of the all-female tabla ensemble, Taalika, and a former member of the duo Tabla Upaj and the trio Tabla Triveni. As one of the original founding members of Taalim School of Indian Music, Sejal has been working at the school since 2002. In addition to teaching at Taalim, she is the head tabla teacher at Young Indian Culture Group, Inc in Long Island and Vidya Kendra School in Kearny, NJ.
LOREN OPPENHEIMER – Tabla
Loren Oppenheimer is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia. He is a committed and sincere disciple of Pandit Divyang Vakil. Loren is a tabla soloist and accompanist for music and kathak dance, and a full time teacher at the Taalim School of Indian Music. Loren has also conducted workshops and given performances in the USA, Canada, and India, and has participated in numerous community events which celebrate world music in the US.
Loren heads Taalim’s operations in Virginia.