Jon Sterckx – Biography
Jon Sterckx is a tabla player & innovative percussionist with 30 years experience of working with world percussion & World Music.
He studied tabla in UK with Harjinder Singh Matharu and in India with Shivanand Bandhari at the Naadashree Arts Institute in Kumta, Karnataka, and with Kailash Nishad in Benares (Varanasi).
Jon was a selected performer at the National Celebration of British Asian Live Arts in 2008, and his sitar & tabla duo Samswara were voted ‘Best Group in South West & South Wales’ in the MTM South Asian & Ethnic Minorities Awards 2014.
Jon has performed twice at TED events, and his performance at TEDxWarwick was selected from over 10,000 TED events globally for the TED Global Music Project.
Jon plays a range of percussion instruments and has worked across a wide range of musical styles, from Indian classical music ( Sitar & Tabla ) and other traditional world music to contemporary experimental & ‘fusion’ styles, theatre & dance collaborations, and his solo multi-percussion Live Sampling / Live Looping performances – Drumscapes.
Jon is available for Indian music & Drumscapes live sampling performances, Tabla and percussion tuition in Stroud & Gloucestershire, Indian music & world rhythm workshops across UK & a session musician anywhere in the world, through remote recording sessions.
Jon has delivered Tabla, World Music, Indian Music & World Rhythm workshops to schools, colleges, universities & festivals for over 15 years.
Contact for more information & booking details.
Jon has performed with various artists and groups including Indo/Arabic instrumental duo Taaliqa, Fusion group Dhani, the duo Tandj , based on South Indian devotional music, (see collaborations) as well as Indian classical music, and Drumscapes – his unique solo multi-percussion live sampling performances.
Jon’s tabla tuition began in Cardiff with Harjinder Singh Matharu from Birmingham. Harjinder gave Jon a good solid foundation in tabla playing between 1994 – 1998 as well as the encouragement & inspiration to commit himself seriously to the instrument.
In 1994 / 1995, Jon returned to India where he learned from Shivanand Bhandari at the Naadashree Arts Institute in Kumta, Karnataka, India.
In 1998 & 1999, Jon returned to India and studied with Kailash Nishad in Benares, (Varanasi) in North India, a city renowned for the study of North Indian (Hindustani) music.
In 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2005 Jon organised performances & workshops for Kailash in the UK, where he delivered workshops in universities & performed Tabla solos at Arts Centres & venues in the South West UK. During these month long visits to the UK, Kailash stayed with Jon in Devon and continued Jon’s tabla tuition. They also gave performances together, with Taaliqa playing the first set & Kailash performing tabla solo in the second. In 2005 they also performed together in a collaborative finale.
Jon’s other musical studies include a BA ( Hons ) Music degree from Dartington College of Arts in 2000, where his main subject was in composing music for live performance.
Since 2010, Jon has been based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, where he teaches tabla & percussion in local schools, runs weekly rhythm classes at Wynstones School, and is the tabla teacher for the Indian Music & Dance Academy in Swindon.
“Few percussionists, no matter how skilled, can captivate and keep an eager festival audience with a solo performance but Jon Sterckx’s stunning Drumscapes are a masterclass in control and rhythm that hook the audiences from the first beats and carry them through to an invariably ecstatic climax.
Centred on the tabla, darabuka and riq (a Middle Eastern tambourine) Jon combines beats and rhythms from across the globe with cutting edge sampling and innovative vocal sculpting, building layered soundscapes that mix the experimental with the traditional and creating a uniquely intoxicating, exhilarating and, many say, trance inducing performance quite unlike any other.” Musicport Festival 2015.
“. . .The brilliant sitar of Ricky Romain in duet with Jon Sterckx’s tabla wizardry was a first class example of musicians “playing off” each other, their evident joy never becoming indulgent, and never compromising the aims of the music. . . .”
Colin Sell, BBC Radio 4.
“I have booked Jon Sterckx many times to perform at Exeter Respect Festival, the city’s annual celebration of diversity. Jon has performed solo, in a duo and in larger groups and has always been nothing short of excellent. He has been easy to work with and his performances have been of the highest quality, combining great musical skill with technical expertise, and creating percussive soundscapes which have always enthralled our diverse audiences. I thoroughly recommend him.”
– Paul Giblin ( Exeter Respect Festival)
“Talented percussionist Jon Sterckx was outstanding on tabla, and a longer solo from him would have been welcome”
– Pippa Howell Festival Review
“Thanks so much for playing at our night for RESPECT – I thought you were amazing – a hypnotic, almost trance-inducing performance…” – Sound Gallery, Exeter.