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Shen Flindell
Indian Classical Tabla

Since being initiated into the Benares Gharana of tabla by Pt Ashutosh Bhattacharya in 1994, Shen Flindell has grown to become one of Australia's leading tabla players. He is the accompanist of choice for Indian classical artists visiting Brisbane, and also performs in fusion groups such as Tibet2Timbuk2. He is best known for his beautiful sound and supportive accompaniment. In 2019 Shen instigated the founding of Queensland Sangeet Mela Association (QSMA), to foster the development of Indian classical music in Queensland. Shen loves bringing people together to unite through music, whether it's playing with his many young students or collaborating with top musicians from around the world.


Shen Flindell started learning tabla in Melbourne from Sri Debapriya Bhattacharya in 1994 and soon went to the holy city of Varanasi in India to study under Pt. Kaviraj Ashutosh ("Ashu Babu") Bhattacharya, a great tabla master of the Benares Gharana. Since his guru-ji passed away in 2004, Shen has received training from a wide range of tabla masters including Pt Pooran Maharaj, Pt Govinda Chakraborty, Pt Nayan Ghosh, Pt Suresh Talwalkar and Sri Hari Om Hari (in light classical styles). In recent years Shen has taken up pakhawaj as a second instrument, with some guidance from Japanese pakhawaji Sri Tetsuya Kaneko.

Shen is now mainly based in Brisbane, Australia, but regularly visits Japan and India, and has performed with leading musicians in all three countries. Within the realm of Indian classical music, he is not only capable in the four fields of vocal accompaniment, instrumental accompaniment, Kathak dance accompaniment and tabla solo, but has also given successful accompaniment in South Indian music and dance performances. He has accompanied an extensive list of talented and respected artists including Pt Shantanu Bhattacharyya (vocal), Pt Ritwik Sanyal (Dhrupad vocal), Pt Kushal Das (sitar), Pt Santosh Mishra, Sri Sangeet Mishra (sarangi), Pt Rajan Kulkarni (sarod), Pt Sukhdev Mishra (violin), Smt Prerana Deshpande (Kathak), and many more.

Shen has also intitiated and participated in numerous collaborations with an eclectic range of world music artists. Shen's EthnoSuperLounge events brought together these musicians to share their songs and sounds in the spirit of unity, healing and transcendence. He most regularly performs with Tibet2Timbuk2 (featuring Tibetan vocalist Tenzin Choegyal) and Spirit of Bhakti (with devotional singers Rebecca Bornstein and Menaka Visvanathan Thomas).

Shen's discography includes: Open Door with devotional music group Spirit of Bhakti, Deep with classical bansuri player Taro Terahara, Music is Life with world music group Tibet2Timbuk2, Rei-Mei with classical santoor player Setsuo Miyashita, the EthnoSuperLounge Live! - Jay Asu Babu compilation CD, and Basant Panchami, a classical sitar-tabla CD, plus numerous guest appearances on CDs in Australia and Japan with world music and rock artists.

Shen's tabla playing is noted for his clear sound, comfortable rhythmic sense, intuitive accompaniment, adept bayan (bass) and a feeling of sincere devotion to Guru, Saraswati, Music and Tabla, thanks to many blessings from his Guru-ji.

As an event producer, Shen is now primarily focused on cultivating Indian classical music in the Brisbane area. From 2014-2019, Shen organised an annual Brisbane Sangeet Mela, all-day Indian classical music festival, which brought together international, interstate and local artists as well as giving a platform to rising young artists in the Indian classical genre. The Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School concert has run annually since 2008, and has become a little Sangeet Mela itself. In 2019 Shen instigated the founding of Queensland Sangeet Mela Association (QSMA), to foster the development of Indian classical music in Queensland.

Shen opened the Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School in Brisbane in 2006, with both adult and children's classes. Shen's lessons follow his Guru-ji's traditional classical style of teaching, emphasising quality of sound, refinement of hand-shape and development of technique and through devoted practice. The school administers Indian music exams held under Pandit Ram Sahai Sangeet Vidyalaya (PRSSV) in London. These exams are recognised by Queensland Education and available in a wide range of Indian music and dance genres. In 2016 Shen himself was awarded a Level 5 Diploma PRSSV (Performance) in recognition of his long service in Indian music education.

Shen also supplies and repairs tabla and tabla accessories, trading as Tabla Wala Australia.

You can catch news and photos of Shen's travels on his personal blog, Tabla in Hand.


Name : Shen Flindell
Email : (See Contact Us for more contact details.)
Born : 1972, Canberra, Australia
3 Homes : Brisbane (Australia), Varanasi (India), Tokyo (Japan)
Tabla Style : Benares Gharana, Pt. Kanthe Maharaj/Pt. Ashutosh Bhattacharya Baj)
Blogs : Tabla in Hand, Shen's Best of the Web, タブラと共に

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