Extraordinary artists were honoured with Toronto Arts Foundation Awards in the presence of Mayor John Tory. At this inspiring event, Mayor John Tory joined a broad cross section of Toronto in paying tribute to remarkable people. The Toronto Arts Foundation Awards were presented at the 11th Annual Mayor’s Arts lunch, held at the Arcadian Court.
Musician, Ritesh Das won the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition.
The Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition is a $10,000 cash prize presented to an individual, ensemble or organization to recognize creative, performing, administrative, volunteer or philanthropic contributions to Toronto’s musical life.
Ritesh Das is the founder of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, a performing ensemble and academy, which aims to promote the tabla, a prominent Indian percussion instrument.
Das obtained his classical training in Kolkata, India and later in California he began his career as a professional musician. In 1987, Das moved to Toronto where he began teaching tabla on a full-time basis, forming the Toronto Tabla Ensemble in 1991 with his advanced students at the time. He has toured Canada with the Ensemble six times as well as touring Australia in 2006 and India in 2011. They have performed at numerous jazz and folk festivals and his album, Firedance, received a nomination for the Juno Award for Best Global Album. The Ensemble has released six CDs and Das is currently composing the seventh.
Ritesh Das is the director of the Toronto Tabla Ensemble School of Tabla, which operates through three teaching locations in the Greater Toronto Area. The school’s classes follow a formal syllabus and examination structure with the aim of training professional tabla players.