John Ball is a composer, tabla and santoor player, and a long time collaborator with Balbir Singh Dance Company, performing in Decreasing Infinity, The Telling of Tales, Irish Indian Dreams and The Boy with the Rollerblades amongst others.
John completed a Master of Arts in Musicology and Ethnomusicology from the University of York in 2000, and he is currently working with the University of Sheffield as World Music Performer in Residence, teaching North Indian Classical Music tabla and 100 stringed santoor.
A collaborator at heart and a generous performer, John Ball has received meticulous and intensive santoor training under the guidance of Sri Harjinder Pal Singh a senior disciple of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. He also received extensive training from some of India’s greatest tabla maestros including Sri Sudhir Saxena, Ustad Faiyaz Khan and Pandit Yogesh Samsi, and has accumulated over twenty years of experience playing tabla.
He is often playing in world music ensembles, collaborating with Western Classical, West African, Jazz, Folk, and Pop Musicians. He routinely performs on tabla and santoor with Rafiki Jazz, a Sheffield based 10-piece world music collective. Mishra, a Sheffield based Indo-Folk music quartet made University of Sheffield music graduates and the world-famous dancer Padmashri Guru Pratap Pawar in several Kathak performances.
John has worked with a broad spectrum of artists including Sarathy Korwar, Juldeh Camara (BBC World Music Award Winner), Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley. His research focuses on the adaptation of ‘Indian music’ skills and aesthetics on ‘Western’ and/or non-Indian instruments with interest in exploring improvisation skills through Indian music rhythmic and melodic concepts.