Sun 3 Oct 2010

Led by dhol master Johnny Kalsi (Afro Celt Sound System, Transglobal Underground and Fun-Da-Mental), The Dhol Foundation are set to unleash their brand of infectious rhythms and electronic bhangra-infused funk at the Arts Centre, Playhouse on October 3.

Known for their energetic live performances throughout Europe and Australia (WOMADelaide 2006, Festival Melbourne 2006), The Dhol Foundation (UK) are an Indian beat sensation that have become an influential world fusion ensemble.

The 10-member group is led by drummer Johnny Kalsi, who experiments with dance beats and electronic music which he mixes with the traditional bhangra style of drumming. Kalsi is highly sought after for his drumming skills worldwide and has collaborated with recording artists including Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, U2, Cliff Richard, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nelly Furtado and Avril Lavigne.

He has also performed on soundtracks including Tomorrow Never Dies, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Rabbit Proof Fence and The Last Temptation of Christ.

The dhol (double-sided barrel drum) is a traditional percussion instrument from the Punjab province in the north of India, from which Kalsi originates. The extraordinary power and drive of a dhol troupe at full throttle has been said to raise the spirits of the Punjab.

The Dhol Foundation is both the name of the group and the name of Kalsi’s dhol drum institute in London. The school was founded in 1989 by Kalsi when several musicians asked him to be their teacher. In 1994 Johnny gathered up lead drummers to perform in a charity event which became a springboard in exposing his talent on a worldwide scale. The Dhol Foundation subsequently landed a European support tour with Led Zeppelin and their group’s first album was released by Kalsi and his students in 2001.

The Dhol Foundation have performed on several occasions at Womad and in 2006 they performed in the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival in Melbourrne in the Alexandra Gardens Soundshell and as part of the Percussion Spectacular at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl which attracted an audience of 12,500.

The Dhol Foundation are performing in August at the Closing Ceremony of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. They are also performing in Adelaide at OzAsia Festival, prior to their one-off Arts Centre performance.

The Dhol Foundation will also be joined by special guests The Eastern Beat Project. A new initiative created especially for this Mix it Up! concert, The Eastern Beat Project features local Melbourne based percussionists from diverse cultural traditions and will be directed by drummer/producer/writer Choi (Ivan Khatchoyan).

Arrive early for distinctive sounds and delicious food as the Playhouse foyer pays homage to the bustling markets of Brick Lane from 7pm.


The Arts Centre in association with Multicultural Arts Victoria present
The Dhol Foundation
the Arts Centre, Playhouse
8pm, 3 October
$39 - $69
Bookings:*, 1300 182 183*, or the Arts Centre Box Office.

* Transaction fee applies Foundation.jpg