Dynamic performer Shawn Mativetsky is considered one of Canada's leading ambassadors of the tabla, and is a pioneer in bridging the worlds of Western and Indian classical music. Acclaimed as an exceptional soloist and a leading disciple of the renowned Pandit Sharda Sahai, Shawn Mativetsky is highly sought-after as both performer and educator, and is active in the promotion of the tabla and North Indian classical music through lectures, workshops, and performances across Canada and internationally. Based in Montreal, Shawn teaches tabla and percussion at McGill University. His most recent solo tabla album, Rivers, is rooted in the rich traditions of the Benares style of tabla playing. Shawn's book, RUDIMENTAAL, features compositions for snare drum, inspired by the tabla drumming of North India. His most recent work involves explorations with tabla, effects pedals, and synthesizers, along with the use of magnetic tape recording and manipulation.
As a practitioner of Indian classical music, Shawn regularly gives solo tabla performances, as well as accompanying kathak dance and instrumental artists. Since 2003, Shawn has been affiliated with the Pandit Ram Sahai Foundation (UK/India), and in the summers of 2006 and 2008, hosted tabla maestro Pandit Sharda Sahai's annual summer tabla workshop. Since 2011, Shawn has been hosting his own annual summer tabla workshop at McGill University. In recent years, he has been working closely with santoor player Jonathan Voyer, sitarist Uwe Neumann, and kathak dancer Sudeshna Maulik.
Shawn has performed numerous recitals around the world, and has been featured in the International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival (Cyprus), Clazz International Music Festival (Italy), Pontio / Music @ Bangor, Vale of Glamorgan Festival (Wales), Shastra Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (USA), Sound Symposium, Windsor Canadian Music Festival, New Music in New Spaces, Groundswell, Western Front, Open Space, VICO's Global Soundscapes Festival, Festival Montréal Baroque, Jusqu’aux Oreilles, Evolutions, Voyages: Montréal-New York, Festival International du Domaine Forget, New Works Calgary, and Music Toronto (Canada). As an ensemble musician, Shawn Mativetsky performs with trio Mativetsky, Amiri & Pagé, violinist Parmela Attariwala's cross-cultural Attar Project, Indo-fusion group Ragleela, very long cat, a tabla / electronic music duo with live coder David Ogborn, the improv trio Of Sound, Mind and Body, with Tim Brady and Helmut Lipsky, and percussion group Ensemble Duniya. A versatile studio musician, Shawn has appeared on albums by Elsiane, Joel Miller, Yann Perreau, Elephant Stone, Suzie Leblanc, Ramachandra Borcar, and Daniel Lavoie. Regular performances with Galitcha have led to concerts across Canada and the US, as well as tours to France and Tunisia, the chance to play with guest musicians such as Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Salil Bhatt, Harry Manx, and Yves Lambert, as well as a performance for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their visit to Canada.
"[Shawn Mativetsky] découpe admirablement les rythmes et possède l’art des contrastes dans les timbres. ... Le tout est d’une grande beauté et le choix du répertoire permet d’explorer plusieurs atmosphères. ... Une occasion de découvrir toute la profondeur, la subtilité et la puissance d’évocation de l’artiste." - Yves Bernard, Le Devoir (Mar 7, 2017)
"Mativetsky’s tabla solos in Rivers eloquently reflect his evident dedication to the dynamic, received tradition of Benares style of tabla playing, his own individual spontaneous creativity, as well as his passion for this rich form of music-making." - Andrew Timar, The WholeNote (Mar 27, 2017)
"A fresh perspective ... A fascinating journey ... Mativetsky not only kept my attention with his artistry, but his playing demanded it." - Matthew Geiger, Percussive Notes (July, 2017)
“As a leading Canadian disciple of the renowned Sharda Sahai he has serious tabla street cred.” - Andrew Timar, The WholeNote (Apr 01, 2012)
“Shawn Mativetsky, a rare tabla player and musician of his time, has truly captured the spirit of classical music in the palms of his hands with his fingers so intricately vibrating across the drumhead, as he accompanies one instrument after another... [with] zest, fervor and sincerity.” - Dr. Monika Spolia, Bharat Times (Dec 01, 2011)
“The tabla was virtuosically handled by [Shawn] Mativetsky... It brought the house down.”- Ken Winters, The Globe and Mail (Feb 16, 2008)
"Un répertoire qui met de l'avant le grand talent d'un soliste exceptionnel." - Réjean Beaucage, Revue Circuit, vol. 17, no. 3 (2007)
“Percussionist Shawn Mativetsky handled the virtuoso solo part with an aplomb that was nicely matched by the orchestra... it was a persuasive performance.”
- Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen (Sep 18, 2006)