LEWISTON – David Pontbriand, a Portland resident and performer on the stringed instrument called the sitar, will offer a concert drawn from the classical ragas of northern India in a Bates College concert. It will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 5, in the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.

Amos Libby, also of Portland, will accompany Pontbriand on the hand drums called tabla.

Pontbriand has the rare distinction of being almost completely self-taught on the sitar.

During 30 years of study, he’s developed a unique style. Drawing on ancient and modern melodic forms from a 3,500-year tradition, his spontaneous compositions explore and emphasize the spiritual and introspective aspects characteristic of this music.

Libby has studied percussion traditions from the north and south of India, and is an accomplished performer on a variety of instruments in addition to the tabla. He divides his time between Maine and India.

Libby’s spontaneous, expressive technique complements Pontbriand’s intuitive and emotive approach to the sitar, which is familiar to Americans through the work of Indian master Ravi Shankar and his late protégé, former Beatle George Harrison.

The artists will also offer rare performances on related instruments, such as the surbahar, a larger sitar-like instrument, and the tabla-tarang, a set of melodically tuned tablas.

For concert information, people can call (207) 786-6135.

The performance, which is open to the public at no cost, is the annual Kendall Fund concert, made possible by the Edith C. and Raymond L. Kendall ’19 Endowment Fund.


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