I am Jarkko Laiho from Finland (1977). I started playing music when I was 9 or 10 years old. I started with keyboards, but that wasn't my thing. Few years later my big brother asked me to join his band. I asked "What should I play?" He said "Start playing percussion." Then I went to local music shop and bought congas. I practiced and very soon I found out that percussion was my thing.
Within few years from joining the band I added new instruments to my setup and nowadays there are quite a lot of different percussions. I started playing tablas, because I like challenges. I felt that conga and those other percussion didn't offer so much joy of finding out new things anymore. I believe I first heard tabla in some Oregon recordings with Trilok Gurtu playing tabla in it. After that I bought some Indian music and listened them for year or two and then purchased my first tablas.
I played quite a while without a teacher searching information from everywhere. I bought books, cds, did some research in the internet and asked some players and scholars about tabla. Now I am a ganda badhan disciple of the great Ustad Shabbir Nisar of Hyderabad (the son of late Ustad Shaik Dawood). Before I even had the opportunity to start studying with him I thought about who would be the best possible teacher. My answer after some thinking was that Ustad Shabbir Nisar would be the best teacher. Now I can just say that I was right.
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