Performance History & Training
Sonam grew up in a musical family: his Father played violin and sang tenor, his Mother sang alto and together they encouraged (all 5 of!) the children to sing and play music. At age 7, Sonam received a cornet and took cornet and trumpet lessons from many teachers, finally graduating on Trumpet, Piano, and Theory from the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department while still in High School.
Throughout his elementary, high school and college years Sonam performed Medieval and Renaissance music on recorders, cornetto, cornetino, krummhorn, harpsichord and vocals with the “Wednesday Evening Consort.” He built a harpsichord as a part of his high school senior project (School Without Walls, Rochester, NY, 1974) Contemplating a career in music, Sonam earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from Empire State College (1979) having studied mridangam at the Natya Sudha School of Bharatnatyam (South Indian dance)(New Delhi, 1976).
Sonam pursued the major part of his musical training (both Jazz and Improvisatory)at the Creative Music Studio (Woodstock, NY, 1973-80) on trumpet, recorders, flutes, and percussion with the long list of Jazz greats who taught there, including: Don Cherry, Leo Smith, Lester Bowie, Karl and Ingrid Berger, Colin Wolcott, Jack Dejohnette and Dave Holland, and the entire Art Ensemble of Chicago(!), especially Joseph Jarman.
Currently, Sonam is pleased to be studying voice and tabla with the highly esteemed Ustad Irshad Khan of Mumbai and Toronto.