Rabin Ram


Born in the famous suburb of Sophiatown in South Africa, which is considered as the melting pot of many cultures and music genres, Rabin Ram was influenced at early age by the wealth that this environment afforded. Mainstream and local South African Jazz together with Kwela (typical South African folk music), dotted with hints of Indian film music was influential in Rabin starting off playing the alto saxophone. Collaborating with famous Jazz musicians – saxophonists mainly - he spent his early years immersed in the musical richness of South Africa and joined a rock-Jazz band before embarking on a study of Classical Indian music.

Rabin then spent some time in Chennai, India under the tutelage of the Dwaram Mangathayaru of the famous Dwaram family studying South Indian music and violin technique as developed in South Indian Karnatic music. Later the 13th century, 25 stringed Indian lute known as the Sarod found a place in his music and he has been playing the Sarod for the past 25 years. Applying his diverse experience and musical background, Rabin has largely been self-taught on the Sarod but has had the fortune of master classes with Sarod maestro Ustad Ashish Khan. He has also had the privilege of a short time with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in San Francisco.

Rabin is the only Sarod player in South Africa and has performed there widely – at all major festivals. In the year 2000 he performed at a very special musical festival in California at Mount Madonna.

His style is varied and unique, having a particular influence in his compositions. He has written and performed works for Sarod with Cello, Saxophone etc. In South Africa, Rabin is currently involved in a project known as East meets West – performing east / west fusion across the country.