Navjot Sandhu is an up and coming Tabla performer and composer.  He holds a Master’s in Music composition from Michigan State University where he studied composition with Charles Ruggiero and Mark Sullivan.

Navjot began his tabla studies with late Pt. Pawan Kumar Verma of Punjab Gharana. After Pawan ji’s passing away, he studied with Pt. Tilak Raj, a highly innovative, original and renowned exponent of Punjab baj (style). In 2008-09 he was a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright IIE Grant to study Tabla performance and carry out research in the Indian Punjab. Since then Navjot has been seriously honing his skills and knowledge under the expert guidance of Pt. Tilak Raj in India.

While pursuing his education, he has also been teaching and performing in various capacities. Besides teaching private students, Navjot has given lectures and demonstrations in school and university classrooms in Michigan.  He was a clinician at a Percussive Arts Society event in East Lansing and presented a preamble for Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s concert at the Wharton Center.

Some of Navjot’s notable past Tabla performances include Solo at Fulbright Anniversary celebration in New Delhi in 2011,  Solo at SCENE Metrospace in East Lansing as part of the Scene and Heard series in 2010, Solo and Sitar accompaniment at Indian Chai Event at Turner-Dodge House in Lansing 2005-06, Diwali Festival performances in 2005, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in 2004 with Paul Katz (member of the Cleveland quartet) and Martha Strongin Katz, and Solo at Creole Gallery in Lansing, 2003.

Navjot is also a founding member of  Wisaal, a world music group with a confluence of Arabic, Brazilian, Indian, Klezmer and American influences.  He has performed at several venues with Wisaal and also writes compositions for the group.  He has also performed and collaborated with diverse musicians including Elden Kelly, Igor Houwat, Douglas Ferreira, Tia Imani Hanna, Neel Agarwal, Hans Utter, Sheena Dhamsania, and fusion bands including Glissando (a Brazilian jazz and Bossa nova group, JAAN (an Indian and American folk and classical musical collaboration) and Samba Trio with Allan Schenkel and Alex Antunes.

Navjot has studied western percussion with Eric and Stacey Jones and Jon Weber. He has performed with Michigan State University Concert Band, LCC percussion ensemble and MSU Campus Band.

Navjot has a Master’s in Music Composition from Michigan State University, where he studied with Charles Ruggiero and Mark Sullivan. He has written several solo and chamber works with performances at MSU and other venues. He is a member of ASCAP (American society of composers and performers).

Navjot also has a Bachelors in Zoology with a concentration in Animal behavior and Neurobiology.  He is quite interested in science, arts and culture.  He enjoys writing poetry, athletic activities. and learning human and computer languages.



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