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Study Dock – Asaf Sirkis – Konnakol

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JazzConnects bring you words of wisdom from leading Voices Of The Industry. This month, leading drummer Asaf Sirkis shares his knowledge of Konnakol


Asaf enjoys a variety of educational work; private lessons, lectures, workshops, seminars, online teaching as well as being a principal lecturer at the Leeds College of Music and Trinity Laban College of music (London). In the last decade, he has been studying the art of Konnakol – the South Indian Vocal percussion under master mridangamist Paramasany Kirupakaran and various other teachers.

Asaf has found an easy and clear, step-by-step method of teaching this complex art in a western context helping many students and professionals overcome rhythmic challenges and develop a strong awareness for rhythm.

What is Konnakol?

Konnakol – the south Indian vocal-percussion system is a 5000 years old rhythmic language. It is one of the most effective, direct and quick ways to understand, internalize and master rhythm. Konnakol opens a door to another dimension in rhythmic thinking. This amazing technique uses a natural and clear approach for the perception of subdivisions. It will greatly improve physical-mental focus and coordination for any instrumentalist or singer.
The rhythmic concept of Konnakol exercises can be practiced anywhere and anytime with or without an instrument: whether you’re touring with your band, traveling by bus or train or sitting on the bench in the park.


about Asaf Sirkis
Born in Israel, Asaf started his professional career as a drummer in the late 80’s and played with some of Israel’s Jazz luminaries such at Harold Rubin and Alber Beger. A few years after the recording of his first solo album ‘One Step Closer’ Asaf relocated to the Netherlands, France and finally settled in London around 1999 where he soon became one of the most active Jazz drummers around. During that time Asaf became a founder member of Gilad Atzmon’s ‘Orient House Ensemble’ and started his long time collaborations with renown saxophonist Tim Garland and pianist Gwilym Simcock. Asaf has been leading his own bands and projects such as ‘Asaf Sirkis & the Inner Noise’ – a band of an unusual line up of church organ, guitar and drum as well as the Asaf Sirkis Trio. He has been touring worldwide and recorded over 100 albums as a sideman, collaborator and as a leader. Asaf have been playing with many renown jazz and world music artists such as: Dave Holland, Jacob Collier, Tim Garland, Gwilym Simcock, Larry Coryell, Jeff Berlin, John Abercrombie, Bob Sheppard, Norman Watt-Roy (of the Blockheads), Wilco Johnson, Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Natacha Atlas, Dave Liebman, David Binney, Gary Husband, pianist John Taylor, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, Andy Sheppard and many more.

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