Johnny Kalsi

Johnny Kalsi

Musical Artist
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Johnny Kalsi

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Johnny Kalsi is a British Indian dhol drum performer residing in London. He rose to prominence as a former member of Transglobal Underground and the founder of the Dhol Foundation. He also performs with the Afro Celt Sound System and The Imagined Village.


Early life

Kalsi originates from the Punjab state in India. As a youth, while he became increasingly interested in music, although his parents had other aspirations for him. They had hoped to see him move towards a profession in law or medicine as a lawyer or doctor. Kalsi was self-taught as a drummer when ho joined a school jazz trio and they performed at school concerts and assembly hall meetings. His exposure to a variety of genres embraced both traditional Indian music and Western influences. His style became a blend of Eastern drum rhythms utilizing Western instruments. Kalsi redesigned the traditional dhol drum to his own personal specifications.


Merging the sound of bhangra into the World Music organisation.

In 1986, after leaving school, Kalsi joined a bhangra band called Alaap, and assumed the role of lead percussionist and dhol player for the band, where he developed his own playing style and learned management skills necessary for a successful band. In 1995, Kalsi joined an emerging world music organization founded by Peter Gabriel, based at Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire, England. That...
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