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Worlds Apart - The evolution of a song.. and a songwriter.. 

Suddenly, I am standing still and the international whirlwind that has been my life is distilling into musical expression. I knew it would. I am surprised it took so long. Last February I landed again in Mumbai, where the concept, the creative partner and the material for my next album started to emerge.. I've been working on an album that bridges the musical and cultural gaps that I often find myself in, one that expresses this journey towards wholeness. I suppose I had to first reach some level of understanding and personal alignment before it was possible. I am blessed that Ken Shorley, my long time collaborator joined me in Mumbai and has thrown his heart and brilliant mind into this work with me!

In 2006 I went to Mumbai with my professor Denise Nuttall to learn Indian music. She introduced me to Ustad Sultan Khan who first put a sarangi in my hands. Sabir Khan taught my first lessons and their dedicated musical family inspired me tremendously. What happened there has shaped my last 12 years in the most unexpected ways and has brought me many times to that amazing city. In India I strive for something that I have wanted since childhood, to learn Indian music. In Canada I have worked to deepen my songwriting and to continue my career as a performing musician. Ensembles have come and gone, I got a degree, tours happened.. and my refuge between the worlds has been a quiet room in Amsterdam where my musical mentor Joep Bor has given me space, guidance and perspective on all that was going on. As well as sarangi, Joep has been teaching me raga as it was taught to him by his teacher Dilip Chandra Vedi. It has changed my life and opened my mind.

It was in Amsterdam that I first wrote Worlds Apart. In that song I blended raga and songwriting. It was inspired by the families I grew up in, Afghan and English Canadian, by the cultures that separated us and the love that bonded us. It was also inspired by loving someone in another country regardless of vast misunderstandings, and it was a tribute to a beautiful friend who was killed in a way that defies reason entirely. Our minds separate us, our hearts bind us. I wanted to write it all in a song. I wanted to sing in Indian Raga supported by Western chords, I wrote it in Amsterdam and it was healing for me. I performed it quite a bit..

Here comes the head trip for me though... Now that I am recording this album, I want it to be the best it can possibly be. Studying music in India may sound romantic, but any student of classical music can tell you, it is a mountain of effort.. and you are generally at the bottom of that mountain.. for most, it is a long slow climb. A big part of learning a new language or culture or musical style is forgetting what you know, what you once held as truth. Luckily I have had guides on that level too.. Reading Krishnamurti’s lectures, meditation with Panda Chi, and Mooji satsangs have helped me to stay grounded in what is true, without interpretation, without desire, without manipulation. Music lessons with our beloved teacher Pandit Dhruba Ghosh helped too. He focused on deep listening, the kind that lets you hear not only your own accent, but your own assumptions and conditioning.. all that comes between you and the perfect tone.. sigh.. he is deeply loved and deeply missed.  He led me to a clarity of experience and freedom of expression that is not possible when there is any clutter in the mind. I needed them all, these great teachers of truth, to finally see that my song had not reached its potential. It was full of mental blocks, it was written before I had the skill or understanding to write the song that I wanted to write. I sang it publicly and some loved it, but I was always aware, if I was honest with myself, that the audience was only half with me.

I wanted the album we are making to be called Worlds Apart, because the song means so much to me. But I also felt that the song needed to be reworked. It had a Celtic style guitar and Indian tabla accompaniment, English lyrics and occasionally it broke into raga Alhaiya Bilaval. So Ken and I worked on it, we took out a verse to make it more concise, we shortened the intro, and then took it away entirely, we tried different speeds.. but still I felt something was not right.. so we took a break and walked through the lovely nature trails that surround our little A-frame studio here in Nova Scotia and lead eventually to an organic coffee shop. On that walk I asked Ken for his honest opinion. I told him about the nagging feeling I always had that the song did not land where I wanted it to, that it did not fully express my intentions.. and that I was thinking of cutting it from the album. Then he gave me the honest answer that I needed to hear. Ken first heard the song years ago and since then, has learned it and performed it with me. But he told me that the first time he heard it, he felt the struggle musically, like there was an abrupt change between the Western and the Indian styles. And I realized that yes, when I wrote it, my understanding of Raga was still very basic. I had not yet had the experience of Raga speaking through me, not as a learned series of notes and phrases, but as the teacher itself unveiling its own unique character, separate from the mind of the musician. I was still in a very western box, unable to compose in raga. I simply switched between two styles in one song and called that a blend. I realized in that little walk and honest discussion that in order to save the song from being cut entirely from the album, I had to start it again from the beginning.

In some way, the song has been a companion through this musical journey.. but it got stuck in a moment of time when I was still living two separate lives, East and West, unable to connect them, but so desperately wanting to. I had learned in early childhood to separate my behaviors and even my thought patterns to suit the situation and culture that I found myself in. My desire to write fusion music is connected to my desire for inner unity. I thought this song reflected that, but it was only in its first draft. I had not yet made the journey myself.

Since that conversation on the trail, I started again. I was able to let go of the composition and reconnect with the original intent, and Ken also had to forget his understanding of the song as it was. We cut both the guitar and the tabla. I switched ragas and changed the tune from Alhaiya Bilaval, a raga that corresponds to a Western major scale, to Raga Pilu, a mixed raga which uses a number of magical movements between what the West would call major and minor scales. In Pilu, I could express the sentiment more perfectly and let the whole song be inspired by the raga instead of switching in and out. And Ken made the most amazing accompaniment. He created a drone out of a synth patch, and made a set of electronic loops that use Indian rhythmic patterns, adding to the cultural mix a beautiful blend of past and present.

Now we both love the song again, and it will make it onto the album. Some deeper unity has been realized inside of me as a result of this process. It is a reminder of the danger of calling something finished, or known. As our perspectives develop, we can look at our work and ourselves and make the necessary adjustments to reflect our growth.. instead of sticking with something because that is the way we always did it.

These last twelve years have been a wild ride. Making this album allows me to settle in for a moment and catch up with myself. I am now able to see the Worlds Apart, without being the Worlds Apart. I am grateful for all that has led me here.

New Video!  

This year I am in the process of writing for a new album. The music is international and self reflective, electronic and acoustic, inspired by Indian music studies, a lot of travel, and a constant desire to dance and enjoy life! Other than the dancing part, this video has really nothing to do with the upcoming album! In the midst of preparing for that project with Ken Shorley, we met Rahul D'lima, an extraordinary dancer and teacher based in Mumbai, India. He helped me realize my lifelong dream of being able to tap dance. On the last weekend that we were in Mumbai, we recorded this video. Just days before, I came across this song that I had written in Goa last year and completely forgotten about. Suddenly all the elements were there.. a fabulous tap dancer, Ken's camera and recording set up and a song to suit the occasion! Check it out on Youtube;  Come Dance with me!!

Special moments in Goa 

Life continues to be a constant stream of absorbing happenings... There is always so much going on and I tend to be carried off by the currents much of the time. It is this part of my nature that allows for such rich experiences and constant surprises to occur, but sometimes months or years go by without my taking much time for reflection. Writing is a sweet way to catch up. It used to happen mostly through songwriting, but lately my compositions have been more melodic than lyrical, which means that the stories are passing through me without description.. remembered in feelings, expressed through the rise and fall of notes, wordless...

Those who have seen my performances over time, know that my musical and personal journey has been towards unity.. In taking a deeper look at culture, how it forms us, how it divides us, we can come to a place where we can honor and delight in our traditions without being bound by them, or separated by them. My personal experiences seem to be in contrast to the wild world around me though. I continue to learn in India, a place of deep rooted traditions and divisions, to experience the trend towards conservatism in Europe, and to observe the situation in the U.S. as the political climate becomes more fiercely protective of its comparatively new culture.  As a musician and performer from Canada, I have a way of seeing the world, of respecting culture but not identifying too closely with it. How could I? My father is from the East, my mother from the West, and myself, I am constantly between, and I don't need to choose. Both musics flow through me. As the world lately seems to be delving still deeper into politics and division, this position of mine feels more and more like a radical stance. Still, despite the outward influences, I feel a deep inner unity happening...

In Goa, there is an international music scene, this play of people who may or may not understand each other's musical phrasing, language, training or approach, but we share a love for the exploration. The performances are perhaps most powerful for the musicians as we see our assumptions and expectations of each other most clearly in the musical 'failures', which can create chaos and confusion and then lead to places no one could have imagined on their own. The key is to stay with it, to become aware of how each of us lives inside a set of codes, how even in our improvisations, we are bound by forms. Forms that are real inside our own heads, but mean nothing to a player from another tradition. How able are we to let go of the structures we know? The measures, the rhythms, the cycles, the talas the ragas, the words... How willing are we to say yes instead of no? To affirm another voice from another place and co-create the presentation?

From the audiences, there is an openness, as everyone becomes aware that anything can happen. I'm talking about the jams. The embryo stage of what we are calling these days, "fusion music". It takes time to find the center, to develop. It takes deep listening to each other and ourselves. It takes a lightness and a letting go. It can be absolutely magic. When we let go of what we wish would happen, or what we are trying to create, and allow the flow to happen. Allow ourselves to be truly present. Nothing exists outside of this note, this breath, this phrase... This is music. This happens when culture, training, desire and expectation are paused. This happens a lot in Goa. Thank you to all who have shared with me and taught me so much.


 Deep Roots Music Festival in Nova Scotia has just finished and it feels like the season has changed for real now. It was so wonderful to play the festival with my sister Kamila and Ken Shorley.

 This summer has been a special time of playing music with my sisters, enjoying sweet lakes, walks in the woods and watching little children grow up. Somehow slower and more introspective than past summers, still, lots has happened. The most exciting being the formation of a new band, ASHK, with a show that explores all of our collective musical experience. The four of us, Ariana, Kamila, Ken Shorley and myself have all devoted our lives to musical study and performance, and music has taken us around the world and given us so much. In ASHK, we can relive it all and share it!
We did one performance over the summer - and it was an intense experience putting it all together. Vocal harmonies, many instruments and styles, music from around the world in ten different languages...  and we will be back at Denton Hall in Wolfville on October 22nd at 8:00pm. It is wild ride, this show, and I can't wait to be part of it again.

A Summer/Fall Update! 

The summer has been busy. A new project. Two new little family members. An amazing family wedding. And now, finally after much waiting and creating... A new tour bus!!

After leaving Asia last spring, I landed at the Banff Center in the Rocky Mountains for one of the most intense musical experiences of my life (and that is saying something!). It was a three week residency in Persian and Eastern music with my teacher from Mumbai, Dhruba Ghosh, as well as Yogesh Samsi, Kiya and Zia Tabassian, Didem Basar, and Charbel Rouhana. I learned so much in a short time and I would have loved a year off to process!  But there was more to come...

Immediately after I left Banff, Ken Shorley and Heidi Kalyani met me in Victoria where we started a tour of the beautiful West Coast with Blue Lotus Trio. We played in the loveliest of spaces, yoga studios, halls, homes and community centers. It was a magical experience touring around the islands of BC and meeting such wonderful people!

Then I was joined by my long time friend, Daunt Lee. We used to hang and play music and build guitars together in Newfoundland when we were just starting out. Now after both of us have spent many years in Asia, (he lived in Japan) we are back in Canada and playing music together! And what a Joy! We toured across Canada, reconnecting with dear friends both old and new, playing in wonderful venues and creating a new show together.

On coming home to Nova Scotia, I taught a course on World Music at Acadia University with Ken Shorley. What a joy to be able to share all of these cultures of music that I have lived and worked in. Indian, Chinese, Persian, Celtic, Latin American. We listened, found connections, learned about culture through music. Another intense three weeks!

Then summer happened, my niece and nephew were born. My sister got married. I swam and jammed and spent time putting a new show together with Daunt as well as launching our new small business; Sahara Jane Collections. This is a line of Jewellery, scarves and shawls that Ji Myeng Kang and I started in India through designing and purchasing beautiful quality pieces made by our friends and communities there. Now Daunt has joined the project to help create colourful elegant pop up stores and markets around the East Coast. Every sale helps to support children in need in Varanasi though a project called DARE.

So as winter approaches, we are preparing for some upcoming tours in Asia and we will be heading out to Christmas Markets to sell these beautiful pieces that I brought from India.

Our tour bus is going to be a pop up shop for the fall, his name in Benji. I think he deserves his own post! Well, everything that has happened could have had it’s own post, but I was just way too busy to write. Soon I will introduce the lovely sweet bus.. when I have finished painting the interior!! 

Wow. Life is full and wonderful. It is a treat to be in Nova Scotia for so long. We will be back in Asia this winter and back in Canada next summer. I hope to see you all along the way! 

Cross Canada Tour  

Canada is unbelievably beautiful. We just left Lillooet where every time we would exit a building, or even close our eyes and open them again, we were amazed again at the natural beauty around us. What a magical place. In fact it has been like that everywhere we have been so far on this tour!

Here are the dates for the rest of the tour which will take Daunt Lee and myself from Vancouver to Halifax and many places in between...

Friday May 15 - Nelson BC  at Cafe Momento, concert starting at 7:30

Saturday, May 16 - Nelson BC at Cottonwood Farmers market, the first of the year!  10am-12pm

Sunday, May 17th - Winlaw BC at Mama Sita's - we will play an evening of Indian and fusion music while they prepare a special Indian menu!

Thursday, May 21 - Kaslo BC at Blue Belle Bistro 7:30-9:30 - for an evening of original music!

Friday, May 22 - Driftwood Concert House - Kimberly BC - 7:30 - A special and intimate venue, we are so looking forward to this magical show.

Saturday, May 23 - Lethbridge, Alberta - Owl Acoustic Lounge - 9:30 pm

Sunday, May 24 - Alberta - House concert - email for details

Tuesday, May 26th - Calgary Alberta - House Concert - email for details

Thursday, May 28th - Saskatoon, SK - House Concert - email for details

Sunday, May 31st - Kenora, ON - The Bijou Steakhouse - 152 Main St. S. - 8:00pm

Tuesday June 2 - Ear Falls, ON - House Concert - email for details

Thursday June 4th - Thunder Bay, ON - Red Lion Smokehouse with Outside the Lines!! 8:30 pm

Sunday June 7th - Toronto, ON - 8:00pm at Majlis Art Garden, a beautiful venue with roses in bloom!

Tuesday, June 9th - Ottawa, ON - at Avant Garde with Tea and Bread ( Kyla Tilley and Ed Hudson) this will be a happy hour newfoundland reunion!  Can't wait! 5:30-7:30

Wednesday, June 10th - Montreal, QC - at Cabigi - with Tea and Bread again, and another bunch of East Coasters no doubt.


 Ken and I at the Victoria Folk Music Society!

This April I am touring with my world fusion ensemble Blue Lotus Trio on Canada's West Coast!!  In May I will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Daunt Lee from Newfoundland to tour our world folk sound back across Canada!



Concert in Victoria | 7:30 pm

Concert on Salt Spring Island | 8pm
Please join us on Salt Spring Island at The Art Barn, Golden Tree Farm, 150 Suffolk Road.
$15 (suggested donation)

Concert in Vancouver with NAAD | 7:30 pm (doors 7:00)
Blue Lotus Trio is excited to be sharing the stage with the Vancouver-based group Naad for an evening of world music "sonic journeys". For tickets and details:

Concert in Steveston | 7:30 pm
I'll be playing at the Steveston Folk Guild with Ken Shorley!

Concert on Hornby Island | 8pm
Blue Lotus Trio is playing on Hornby Island at Sun Door Yoga, 8120 Central Rd. Hornby Island.
$15 (suggested donation)

Yoga Class with Live Music on Hornby Island | 10 - 11:30am
Blue Lotus Trio is pleased to be collaborating with Sun Door Yoga for a special yoga class (taught by Eila). Renew and nourish your spirit with a beautiful, uplifting morning of yoga with Indian- and Middle Eastern-inspired music! Sun Door Yoga, 8120 Central Rd. Hornby Island. $20.

Frame Drumming Workshop in Courtenay | 6:30pm - 8pm
This hands-on workshop will focus on exploring the beautiful resonance of the frame drum. Participants will learn basic hand and finger techniques, along with a selection of traditional, sacred and dance rhythms from the Middle East. $25 (includes evening concert). Creekside Commons, 2202 Lambert Dr, Courtenay. Produced in collaboration with Monica Hofer.

Mini Concert in Courtenay | 8:30 - 9:30pm
Please join us for an intimate studio concert! $10 (suggested donation). Creekside Commons, 2202 Lambert Dr, Courtenay.

Concert at Hensbury House in Victoria 
1218 Fairfield Rd. 7:00pm
Email me at for more details

House Concert in Duncan
House concert!  Email me at for details

Concert on Cortes Island | 8pm
Join Blue Lotus Trio if you can on beautiful Cortes Island for a lovely evening of eastern inspired music. The Gorge Community Hall. $15 (suggested donation)

Drumming Workshop on Cortes Island | 2 - 4pm
Learn traditional Turkish and Arab rhythms, as well as popular belly dance grooves! $25 (includes drum and dance jam following workshop). The Gorge Community Hall, Cortes Island. Bring a darbuka, frame drum, tambourine, small djembe or another fave!

The Music Lesson 

Learning music teaches us to listen, to feel, to understand the connections between things. It goes far beyond studying a method, an instrument or learning to perform. These are the tools we have to try to get to that place. The place we know but find it hard to talk about. A place without constraints of time or purpose, a place of freedom, peace, beauty and expression.

Early morning in Mumbai. The air is almost cool. The birds, the traffic, the people are all just beginning to fill the day with sound and movement. I watch as the air turns thick and warm, listen as sounds grow into a constant drone to accompany my practice. I am back in the first city that I came to in India. Somehow all this bustle, shocking, beautiful, dirty, relaxed, dangerous, calm, fills me with a familiarity. I can not help but feel that my heart rests in this city. It is here that I am greatly challenged, and here that I grow so much.

I have come back for more. To listen to amazing musicians. To learn from a great and inspiring teacher. To be still in the midst of all this chaos and find that centred place where music and joy come from.

I came here to study music. I have been playing music for as long as I can remember, and sure, I have been performing since I was very young, but I have never stopped feeling like there is so much to learn. It was after a few years on the road playing folk music that I went to University to complete a fine arts degree. In a way that was like starting over. I had to break down my sense of self in order to do that. And it was hard, but well worth it. I graduated as a different person. More engaged in the world, and less concerned with who I was. And that study opened the door to Indian music. The door I had been pressing my ear against since I was a child. But oh, it was another painful process to realize that though I felt I knew music, I knew nothing about this completely different form and aesthetic. I had to start again as a child, learning beside children. From that broken down ego, came a new joy and confidence. And a flood of creativity. And now, more years have passed, and I find myself at another beginning. This time I won't fight it. Again it is hard, but this time I know what is coming.

As a young musician, I was taught the form, though at the time I did not see it as form. I played and created my own sound. In university, I discovered how to study, and how to work hard. As a cross cultural student, I learned how to let go of myself and to surrender in order to understand a new form. Now there is something else. I am learning to feel each note on a deeper level. I am learning how to listen, not only to the subtle nuances of the music, but to my own inner filters. To see how my mind has interpreted what I hear. It is an incredibly awakening experience to become conscious of the way our minds affect what is. To more deeply understand how two perspectives can see the same thing completely differently, how two people can hear the same sound and perceive it with totally different meanings. And how even beneath that, when I try to be completely open, and to repeat what I hear precisely as it is, there is still my own accent, built from years of listening and repeating, almost imperceptible to me.. until it is pointed out. And then I see.. wow.  I am made up of layers and layers of influences, judgements, thoughts, practice, repetitions..

And underneath all that? An incredible joy. Wonderment. Huge appreciation for this amazing way of expressing that we call music. We are so blessed. And I am honoured and humbled to be able to be here. 

India, China, Canada and back again... 

An amazing summer in Nova Scotia, Canada wraps up a year of musical adventures with my bands and my solo show. I feel blessed to have been able to tour in India and China with Ask Your Sister, to have reconnected with Blue Lotus Trio for shows and workshops in Canada and to have shared the stage with so many great musicians from all over the world, including Daunt Lee (Japan/Newfoundland) who will be joining me on tour next spring!

Playing with Blue Lotus Trio always busts our hearts open. This summer, we recorded 3 new tracks, preparing for our tour in British Columbia next April and our upcoming album. 

Ask Your Sister recorded a new CD this past spring which is getting lots of play on CBC radio and we are looking forward to reuniting for festivals and to share music together again next summer.  As always, when we are apart, I am missing my sisters!

This past year I have had the incredible fortune to be touring the world, playing great stages with my loved ones. This fall, I am back in Asia for some intensive study of Indian music and to spend some time composing. I look forward to reuniting with the Canadian folk circuit next spring as I tour my own show across Canada with support from Blue Lotus and Daunt Lee!

The Music Business - The World 

Some people say that to "make it" in the business of music, you have choose one path and stick to it, perfect it, and eventually your time will come. Others say you must diversify and be able to play whatever is asked and go where ever the work is. It is funny that this conversation follows me everywhere I go, though I'm quite sure I don't bring it up. I suppose my very presence brings it up. And I appreciate that people who know me want me to do well and take an interest. Lately I am getting constant emails from CD Baby, and Radio Airplay and other online music platforms that are giving endless advice about how to get more fans, write a hit song, promote and become a mega success. This feels rather less sincere, but still sometimes can be helpful. Usually though, this discussion is the air that I breathe and the water I swim in, it is probably the same for any business. I am polite, I read the occasional article in my inbox, I agree with pretty much everyone. And still my life feels like the great unknown. We can all say after the fact what worked or didn't as far as making a living or having an effect, but business and art are always pushing and pulling each other. This is a good thing. It means that no one really knows. As soon as you know, the game changes, and advice becomes dim. The only things we can try to know as musicians, are ourselves in the midst of pressure to become otherwise, and those who really listen to the music.

So my life in music is not a plan for the future, it is embracing the moment. Every day asks something particular, and every day I try to respond fully. Today I am loving Beijing. I must practice a song in Chinese for a show with Ask Your Sister. Today I am missing my home in India. Today I am looking forward to being back at home in Canada, where soon I will have the chance to perform with Blue Lotus, my world fusion band. And always, I am writing and keeping the joys and heartbreaks with me in song form. They make the show. Today I feel both terribly diverse and completely focussed. Perhaps that is what everyone has been trying to tell me. Perhaps that is what it takes to make it. In anything. 

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Previous events

Worldbeat Underground (Sahara Jane and Zhorli) at Jahvest

Camp Jah Collective, 132 Pereau Road , Canning, NS B0P 1H0

JahVest is a 2 day charity music festival centered in the heart The Annapolis Valley in Canning, NS on the magical Jah Grounds. JahVest is an art and music festival fueled by the love and dedication from staff and volunteers from all over the maritimes.

This will be our 5th JahVest, you can look forward to the best DJs, visual artists, live painters, fire performers, food and vendors the maritimes has to offer. We also hold a charity auction, dubbed the Jahuction. So bring some money to help those in need!!

For Tickets:

Pennybrook Music Festival

 —  —

West Dublin, NS

This is going to be an epic party! A fun-filled weekend of music, laughter and love. The festival is by donation, and all are welcome to camp and come enjoy for the whole weekend or for whatever moment suits you! Ken and I are going to have a casual ceremony on the Saturday morning to marry each other, join us if you can! For more details check out the website.


Kitchen Party

ArtCan Gallery and Cafe, 9850 Main St, Canning, NS

This wonderful series is created by Kim Barlow and has been a fabulous addition to the music scene in the area. Ken and I will play some special Indian raga as well as some fusion pieces from our upcoming album, Worlds Apart. Our host for the evening is Phil Dennis.

Tickets are $10 at the door.

Fundraiser for DARE

Acadia Chapel, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS

In my time in India, I have been very fortunate to get to spend time with the Children of DARE Varanasi. It is an organization that helps street kids in the city and provides food, shelter and education for them and support for their families if they are so fortunate as to have them. This organization is run by amazing generous people and I bring beautiful shawls and jewelry from india to help raise some money for them. This year Father Abhi, the founder, is coming to Nova Scotia and we will have a concert and sale in support of his important work.

At 5:00pm there will be a potluck dinner downstairs in the Acadia Chapel, followed by a brief presentation by Father Abhi on the work that DARE does, and at 7:30, Ken and I will play a concert of Indian music and music inspired by India. I will also have Shawls and jewellery for sale throughout the evening in support of DARE.

Worldbeat Underground (Sahara Jane and Zhorli) at Troy

Troy Restaurant and bar, 12 Elm Avenue , Wolfville, NS

Worldbeat Underground is an electro-acoustic improv project where Sahara Jane and Ken Shorley (zhorli) bring together their many styles and instruments both acoustic and electonic. Troy is a magical restaurant in the town of Wolfville with a gorgeous patio for drinks, dancing and taking in the stars. Come and join us on July 19th! There is a $5 cover that will be added to your bill for the music.

Sahara Jane at the Music for Mental Health series

Halifax, NS

Music for Mental Health presents house concerts to share the gifts of joy, healing and connection created by music.

7:00 PM DOORS OPEN FOR 7:30 START 20$ at the door or reserve a spot by messaging Joann Doran here or email: (Limited Seating)

VCLA Showcase Concert

Al Whittle Theatre, Main Street, Wolfville, NS

This is a fundraiser for the wonderful work that VCLA (Valley Community Learning Association) does in our community. It will be hosted by Ken Shorley and myself, and will feature local musicians and creative works from VCLA participants.

Tickets $10. Available from Box of Delights in Wolfville, or from the VCLA office in Kentville.

ASHK at Mosaiq Festival

Mosaiq Multicultural Festival, Riverfront Park, Moncton, NB

Mosaïq Multicultural Festival is a unique and colourful celebration of Moncton’s growing diversity. Come explore the World Village, where our many cultures showcase their traditions, music and dance, foods, arts and crafts, and so much more! Mosaïq vendors will offer mouth-watering foods from the four corners of the earth as well unique arts and crafts shopping opportunities. And you won’t want to miss out on the exciting multicultural entertainment line-up featuring talent from around the world and just around the corner.

ASHK at Sunfest!

Sunfest, Victoria Park, London, ON

ASHK is playing at Sunfest!! This amazing festival is put on for free by the Sunfest Committee, a London-Ontario based, non-profit community arts group whose prime mandate is to promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding of the arts across a range of disciplines, such as music, dance and the visual arts. The Sunfest Committee presents thoughtful, innovative global arts programming that commands a very committed following. It aspires to hold a mirror up to its community in order to reflect the diversity and vitality of London’s burgeoning multicultural population.

You can become a member:

Basic Membership $10 / Silver Membership $35 / Gold Membership $75.

visit to find out more about the festival, membership and the amazing lineup!!

ASHK at Sunfest!

Sunfest, Victoria Park, London ON

ASHK is playing at Sunfest!! This amazing festival is put on for free by the Sunfest Committee, a London-Ontario based, non-profit community arts group whose prime mandate is to promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding of the arts across a range of disciplines, such as music, dance and the visual arts. The Sunfest Committee presents thoughtful, innovative global arts programming that commands a very committed following. It aspires to hold a mirror up to its community in order to reflect the diversity and vitality of London’s burgeoning multicultural population.

You can become a member:

Basic Membership $10 / Silver Membership $35 / Gold Membership $75.

visit to find out more about the festival, membership and the amazing lineup!!


Al Whittle Theatre, Main St. , Wolfville

ASHK will be returning to the Al Whittle Theatre to present world music in four-part harmony this FRIDAY June 23!

Tickets are $20 regular, $15 students/low-income. They are available at Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville, online from or at the door (if still available). Doors open at 7:30.

ASHK is the Nasr sisters who have teamed up with world percussionist Ken Shorley to take the audience on an international tour. Ariana brings us to France, Eastern Europe and beyond, hearing the sounds of Edith Piaf, the Roma, and the Balkans. Sahara explores the music of India and Persia, sharing Sufi poetry of Rumi in her own compositions. Kamila brings us to Portugal through Fado, to Brazil with hip hop and treats us to original Afghan-Celtic fusion. The versatile Ken Shorley will transport us to the Middle East, South Asia and Turkey as he flows effortlessly among instruments and styles.

ASHK's performance is powerful as they sing most selections with three or four part harmonies and perform with an impressive array of both eastern and western instruments. This is a show not to miss.

ASHK - An evening of World Music

Denton Hall, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS

ASHK is the latest project from the Nasr sisters and Ken Shorley. Ariana, Sahara, and Kamila Nasr, together with Ken Shorley are Wolfville locals who have all devoted their lives to music. Their curiosity and passion have taken them all over the world. They have learned from great teachers in many countries, and they now perform music in multiple languages and styles, playing a variety of instruments. The name of the group, ASHK, means “love” in Turkish and “tear” in Persian.

The show takes us on an international tour as we follow Ariana to France, Eastern Europe and beyond, hearing the sounds of Edith Piaf, the Roma, Israel, and Russia. We will join Sahara as she explores the music of India and Pakistan, the Sufi poetry of Rumi and as she crafts her own blend by mixing these styles with English folk music. Kamila will bring us to Portugal through the Fado style, to Brazil with hip hop and treat us to Chinese pop and Afghan-Celtic fusion. The versatile Ken Shorley will transport us to the Middle East, South Asia and Turkey as he flows effortlessly among instruments and styles.

The joy of the musicians is contagious as they share with the audience and each other the experience of learning music around the world. It is both enriching and uplifting to be part of this journey with them. ASHK is re-uniting for one last show this year at Acadia University’s Denton Hall on October 22 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $20 or $10 for students or underwaged. They are available in advance at The Box of Delights in Wolfville and online at

Ariana, Sahara and Kamila Nasr with Ken Shorley

Al Whittle Theatre, Main St. , Wolfville, NS

Join us for an evening of World Music as we come together to share the music that most inspires us!

House Concert with Sahara Jane

Wolfville, NS

This intimate matinee concert with start at 3:00pm and tickets will be by donation. It is a fund raiser for the children of DARE Varanasi who have asked me to come and see them and teach them music at the end of March.

It is my last show in Nova Scotia as I am leaving soon for India.

I will also have my mobile shop, Sahara Jane Collections, set up at 2:00pm so people can purchase beautiful woolen and silk shawls and brass jewellery with part of the proceeds going to support DARE.

For more info, call 902 993 0558