Sandeep Das, an Indian man wearing a blue and white patterned shirt, sits while playing the table, a drum
The Silk Road Ensemble performs at Weill Hall at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, August 19, 2016.
The Silk Road Ensemble performs at Weill Hall at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California, August 19, 2016.
The Spark

The Spark with Tift Merritt: Sandeep Das

Virtual Event
February 11, 2021
7:30 PM EST

Registration for this event closes at 12 PM EST on February 11, 2021. This is a live event, but the recording will be available on-demand for all ticketholders for 72 hours from the time of the performance.

Suggested ticket donation (per household) is $15. Tickets available starting at $0. 

Join us for the fifth episode of The Spark with Tift Merritt, featuring musician and composer Sandeep Das. In this livestreamed series, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and UNC alumna Tift Merritt returns to Carolina Performing Arts to take us behind the scenes in artist-to-artist video interviews that delve deep into the creative process.

How do you light a spark? How do you make something true? How does art happen? What is mumbled on the way in the studio and how can we hear it? 

Welcome to The Spark.

Tift Merritt

On February 11, Tift will sit down with longtime Carolina Performing Arts friend Sandeep Das, one of the world’s leading tabla virtuosos. A 2019/2020 Guggenheim Fellow and Grammy Award winner, Das has established himself as one of India’s top tabla maestros and composers, building a prolific international reputation spanning over three decades. He has performed countless times alongside other musical giants also well-known to CPA’s audiences, including Amjad Ali Khan, Yo–Yo Ma, and Silkroad Ensemble, with whom he collaborated on the Grammy-winning album Sing Me Home.

Runtime: approximately 60 minutes, including a live audience Q&A. If you have questions or concerns related to accessibility, please contact us. You can also check out our livestream events guide.

Special Thanks


Carol and Richard McNeel
Alan Weinhouse

The Spark with Tift Merritt logo

About The Spark

Based on the series Merritt produced for the acclaimed Marfa, Texas Public Radio, The Spark peels back the polished performance to reveal the elbow grease, risk, fire, and courage behind the art—and artists—we think we know. Each month, Tift will welcome a new artist for a 45-minute  livestreamed conversation that gets to the heart of their work, followed by a 15-minute audience Q&A. 

About Sandeep Das

Since his debut concert at the age of 17 with legendary Sitarist Pt. Ravi Shankar, Sandeep Das has established himself as one of India’s top tabla maestros. As Yo-Yo Ma says, “When Sandeep plays the tabla, he is a creator of myths, a master communicator, and an orchestra, all in one.”

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In addition to performing at major Indian music festivals with renowned musicians such as Amjad Ali Khan and Hariprasad Chaurasia, he is one of the unique Indian Classical musicians to expand beyond his traditional roots and collaborate with musicians and ensembles from across the globe. 

Das has also received the prestigious Brother Thomas Fellowship, the New England Choice Artist of the Year Award, and multiple grants and commissions for his prolific work as a composer.

Artist Tift Merritt looks to the side with a slight smile.

About Tift Merritt

Called “a diamond in a coal mine” by Emmylou Harris, Tift Merritt has been compared to Joni Mitchell and James Taylor in a proud tradition that reaches back to Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry. A Raleigh native, Merritt played local haunts like Cats Cradle and The Cave before her debut album Bramble Rose soared to the Times and New Yorker top ten lists.

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Since then, Merritt has toured world-wide, opening for Joan Baez and appearing on Austin City Limits, the Grand Ole Opry, and NPR. She returned home to make her Carolina Performing Arts debut in the 17/18 season with a sold-out performance. She began hosting The Spark in over a decade ago for Marfa Texas Public Radio, where it garnered instant acclaim from artists and audiences alike.

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