About

A GENRE-DEFYING INNOVATOR

Bringing the Sitar to New Audiences

Mohamed Assani 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. According to the Georgia Straight Newspaper, “Assani is both a musician who’s deeply rooted in the artistic traditions of South Asia and a one-of-a-kind innovator who’s bent on ensuring that those age-old forms will survive and grow in the modern era.” Mohamed was nominated as ‘Instrumental Artist of the Year’ for the Western Canadian Music Awards 2021.

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. Recently Mohamed was also invited to perform at the residence of celebrity couple Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.

In April 2020, Mohamed launched his newest album, Wayfinder. Using a refreshing, contemporary sound palette, Wayfinder incorporates a range of stylistic influences, including Indian/Pakistani Classical, Middle Eastern, jazz, funk, Western Classical, ambient & electronic music. It was produced by Juno and Emmy nominated producer Adham Shaikh. According to Vinyl Chapters, “The way Mohamed Assani has manipulated, caressed and amalgamated so many different styles under the watchful rule of his sitar playing is nothing short of mesmeric.”

Mohamed’s musical journey began at Dartington College of Arts in England, where he did a degree in Western Classical and World music. He then went on to learn sitar in the traditional way. He is a senior disciple of Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan of the Poonch Gharana of sitar players.

Mohamed is a leader in his field – forging new paths for his music to develop and grow, while remaining committed to the rich roots from which his tradition has emerged.

“The sitar is my friend and also my teacher.
It has taught me discipline and patience,
how to think and approach things differently,
how to develop a relationship with the sitar
but also with myself.”

IN THE NEWS

Bringing South Asian
Innovations to Vancouver

The Georgia Straight

“Assani is both a musician who’s deeply rooted in the artistic traditions of South Asia and a one-of-a-kind innovator who’s bent on ensuring that those age old forms will survive, and grow, in the modern era.  Vancouver’s world music scene – already one of the best anywhere – might be about to get a whole lot more interesting.”

Copyright Mohamed Assani 2022