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About Radha Academy of Carnatic Violin:

Radha Academy of Carnatic Violin was founded with a view to imparting training in the finest traditions of Carnatic violin playing.  Artistic Director Subhadra Vijaykumar holds a first-class diploma in Violin from the prestigious Bharatiya Music and Arts Society's Music College in Mumbai, India. She trained under the late Mrs. Vijayam Ramaswamy, an eminent disciple of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Prof. T.N. Krishnan. She has also trained under Prof. Krishnan directly. She and her students have performed at various venues and for many organizations across the GTA.

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About Ian Bell:

Ian Bell has performed across Canada and in the United States since the late 1970s. With the group Muddy York, Ian performed for two weeks in the Folklife Pavilion at Expo '86 in Vancouver. As a longtime freelance broadcaster, he has worked on many occasions with Stuart McLean on CBC Radio's Vinyl Café and has been a regular contributor to CBC Radio's weekend Fresh Air programme, amongst other programs. He has also contributed to numerous film scores and performed period music for and occasionally appeared in the TV series, The Road to Avonlea.

In July 2005 Ian travelled to Estonia with longtime collaborator Anne Lederman to perform at the Viljandi Folk Festival.

An accomplished multi-instrumentalist (guitar, button accordion, mandolin, harmonica, fiddle, pipes) Ian appears on dozens of recordings as sideman as well as many under his own name.

About Njacko Backo:

Born in rural Cameroon and raised in the hills in a small village called Bazou, Njacko has spent his life writing and performing music in Africa, Europe and North America. He began playing percussion and making instruments at the tender age of three. A versatile and energetic musician and educator, Njacko has performed and presented African music workshops at schools and festivals throughout Europe and North America.

About Geoff Sommers:

Geoff Somers graduated with a bachelor of music honours degree from Queens University. He played first violin with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra for four years, before moving into the field of bluegrass music where he played fiddle and mandolin with Blue Mule for 18 years. Geoff became known in folk music circles as accompanist for Juno Award winner David Francey. While with David, Geoff garnered two Junos as co-producer of David Francey's award-winning CDs, Far End of Summer, and Skating Rink. Geoff currently plays in The Allison Lupton Band, and appears regularly as a sideman with Ian Bell, while maintaining his full-time job as an elementary school teacher.

East Meet West Mash-Up Concert featuring Radha Academy of Carnatic Violin


Indian violin and Ontario folk converge to create brand new musical offerings. Subhadra Vijaykumar on carnatic violin and Arun Ramachandran on mridangam introduce the carnatic violin sounds with traditional pieces, highlighting the improvisational aspects within the classical Indian music framework. When Ontario folk musicians Ian Bell (Muddy York), Njacko Backo and Geoff Somers join in a Muddy Mash-Up, the music takes on its own unique (and very Torontonian) sound! The world in one place indeed.

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