SAMA' - Sacred Arts & Music Alliance



SAMA’ is the community arm of Forum 4 Learning and a microcosm of the diversity that reflects the multi-cultural, multi-faith, multi-ethnic mosaic that is Canada today.

At SAMA’ we believe that music, arts and culture have no boundaries and must be revered. In a world divided by differences, we strive to bring diverse people together through the magic of inspirational and uplifting music and arts creating a sublime meeting of the souls that transcends all political transgressions and differences, bringing humanity together under the universal, peaceful and all embracing umbrella of music.

This is especially essential for individuals and groups that bring innovative & creative talents to Canada, but have no platform to express their creativity. SAMA’ acts as a bridge between communities and cultures to help them preserve, protect and promote their heritage while supporting ground-breaking work of budding artists by sponsoring literary, musical, educational and cultural events. SAMA’ aims to create festivals, pageants & conventions for the promotion of unity through diversity, beauty through music and a forum for awareness about each other.

SAMA’ passionately supports expressions of faith in art & music for promoting social justice.

As the mystic poet and philosopher Rumi had said so poignantly, “all this singing, just one song.”



Onkar Singh

Onkar SinghOnkar is a Naturopath by profession and a singer by choice who has been performing Sikh Devotional Gurmat Sangeet for over 28 years across Canada, the U.S. and India at temples, private functions & world sacred music festivals. He has produced 2 albums of Sikh Gurmat Sangeet (Based on Raga's) with English discourse. He recently collaborated with the band Eccodek on their new fusion album & performed at the ROM for the Centennial Foundation Gala with rave reviews.


Vandana Vishwas

Vandana VishwasAlthough blessed with prodigal vocal skills since childhood, Mississauga based Architect-Musician Vandana Vishwas has had to overcome serious physical challenges in order to share her gift of music with the world.

Apart from being an All India Radio artist, before she left India, Vandana has performed on the Indian national TV channel Doordarshan and at the prestigious Acharya Brihaspati Sammelan conducted by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai. Released in October lat year, her debut album, Meera- The Lover… has been getting wide-spread media coverage and has put Vandana and Toronto into the international World Music map through a series of national and international nominations for prestigious awards including the Canadian and the US Indies. In Canada, Vandana has performed at leading stages such as Toronto Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Exhibition Place, Mississauga Living Arts Centre Park and Toronto Trane Studio to name a few.

Noman Siddiqui

Noman SiddiquiNoman is a Toronto based New Media consultant, a digitial designer and a music artist whose interest in music spans from Classical Eastern to World and New Age music. Through his music, Noman hopes to inspire the mind and soul by reflecting on sublime sound, (which is all around us) through resonance, harmony and vibration. His music influences include Vangelis, AR Rahman, Shiv Kumar Sharma and Enya to name a few. Noman has performed and collaborated with artists at venues like the CNE, Rogers Center, Harbour Front Center, Dundas Square, Lula Lounge and the ROM.

Honey Novick

Honey NovickHoney is the Director of Creative Vocalization Studio & New Songs for Peace (officially endorsed by UNESCO). Her repertoire ranges from light classical to avant-garde jazz to children's music, as well as poplar and folk tunes. Honey sings in seven languages, including Japanese, Hebrew, Yiddish, French, Italian, Spanish, English and ONE song in Mandarin.


Jasvinder Hunjan

Jasvinder Hunjanhas been a student of music since early childhood. Jasvinder works as a Design Engineer and also performs with renowned artists of Indian and Western music. His expertise on the tabla makes his fingers dance.



Vishwas Thoke

Vishwas ThokeVishwas Thoke is an architect by profession and got his basic training in Indian Classical Music from his father Mr. P. K. Thoke who was an expert of music and a flute player. In his teen years, Vishwas received intermediate lessons in Indian Classical Music from Daoo Maha Singh Chandrakar, who was a maestro of Indian Classical Vocal Music. as well as a well known composer and director of live theatre in central India. Vishwas has had the fortune of learning basics of Flamenco guitaring from Toronto based flamenco guitarist Jorge Miguel.

Mary Dube

Mary DubeMary Dube is a singer/songwriter who expresses her love for all humanity and the natural world through her music and the creation of the Flag of Love. The Flag of Love is for the global citizen who considers all the world home and all the people family. For several years, Mary has celebrated Flag of Love Day, May 4th, with an annual peace concert to remind us all that; “First you love and peace will follow.”



Hasheel Lodhia

FatihHasheel learned the basics of East Indian Classical Vocal when he was five, and since the age of nine, he has been training in under Shri Narendra Dattar. Hasheel also started playing the Bansuri under the guidance of Jitendra Sharma at Vishnu Mandir and the Western flute at school. He started composing and writing his own orchestral music at the age of thirteen. Hasheel pursued his career living in India for seven months, where he studied vocal under Shri Padmaja Joglekar and had the privilege of studying bansuri under the legendary Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.


Raheel Raza

Raheel RazaRaheel Raza is an author, public speaker, Interfaith and Intercultural diversity consultant, documentary film maker, journalist, poet, documentary film maker and playwright.

Raheel bridges the gap between East and West, promoting cultural and religious diversity through writing, speaking and events. She has appeared in print, on television and radio to discuss diversity, harmony and interfaith. In a presentation to Members of Parliament and international diplomats at the House of Commons, Raheel received a standing ovation for her speech called "Celebrating our Differences".

She is on the steering committee for FaithsAct Canada, in collaboration with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and The Belinda Stronach Foundation. Through her work with diverse communities, she promotes the concept that there is unity in diversity and humanity is but one community.



Guest Artists:

Garo Altinian

Garo AltinianGaro is influenced particularly by the Vedanta and Sufi traditions & has been composing and playing inspirational and devotional music for many years. He sings songs in English based on Rumi's poetry, accompanied with his guitar.

Alka Nedungadi

Alka Nedungadi

Alka Nedungadi has trained in Hindustani Classical music since age 10, and is a huge proponent of all kinds of classical music both from Hindustani and Carnatic styles.

She has performed at various venues in India, the Middle East and Canada.

Fatih Tandogan

Fatih TandoganFatih was born in Zug, Switzerland. He moved to Istanbul, Turkey at the age of 12. After living 14 years in Istanbul and finishing his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Masters in Statistics he decided to immigrate to Toronto, Canada. The first instrument he played was the xylophone at age eight in primary school. He was introduced to the piano at age 10 after which he began playing the guitar during his University years in Istanbul. Once in Toronto, he enjoyed playing the frame drum (bendir) and Turkish dumbek (darbuka). He has been actively playing the darbuka since 2001.


Anuj Rastogi (aka Omnesia)

Anuj RastogiAnuj is a Toronto-based music composer, producer, writer and musician. With two highly innovative albums, and critical acclaim stretching from Canada, the US and UK to India behind him, he successfully bridges east and west, technology and tradition in his music. Anuj has worked with several local and international artists and the message of peace, unity, humanity and togetherness are a primary theme woven throughout his work.

Cindilee Li</strong>ttle Eagle Woman Ecker-Flagg, Wolf Clan AnishinaabeCindilee Little Eagle Woman Ecker-Flagg, Wolf Clan Anishinaabe

Visionary and Traditionalist is Cultural Programs Coordinator of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto Facilitates Women's Healing Lodges, Circles and Full Moon. Mother of 6, Auntie of 16.

Debra Joy Eklove

Debra Joy Eklove Debra grew up steeped in liturgical and Cantorial music with traditional nusach (melodic motives) of Jewish Ashkenazi lifecycle and prayers. Her clear soprano voice and training in classical music imparts an enchanting gift for interpreting Psalms, prayers and poems.

As a soloist and chorister she has sung worldwide. She expresses a lifelong calling to expand our involvement with sound and music as community builder, and medicine for the heart and soul.


Fahim Hamid Ali

Fahim Hamid AliFahim is a self‐taught artist who generally works in mixed media on paper/canvas. He is much at ease with the wash painting technique where he works with liquid oil paints flowing like water and useing his fingers to paint. Fahim’s works range from people, wild life, landscapes to historic events, Islamic Calligraphy and Hindu mythology. Fahim has the singular honour of having his original painting of Tipu Sultan being acquired by the National Museum of Pakistan for permanent display. Since 1991, Fahim has shown his works in Singapore, Canada, The United States, United Kingdom, Kenya and Tanzania.

Leslie Gabriel Mezei

Leslie Gabriel MezeiLeslie is an interfaith minister, of the Universal Worship. A speaker and writer, he often recites the poetry of great sages, like the Sufi master Rumi, with musical accompaniment. Founding publisher of the free Interfaith Unity newsletter.

Megha Nedungadi

Megha NedungadiMegha is a recent graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and an active member of Amnesty International. She sings songs which both speak of war and the effects they have on individuals and society. She is also a trained vocalist and plays the guitar as well.



Amir Amiri

Amir AmiriAmir Amiri was born in Tehran, Iran where much of his youth was spent fervently studying the santur, a 72-string hammer dulcimer that lies at the heart of Persian classical music. With a degree in composition from the University of Tehran, he also studied Indian classical music with some of the masters, including Ravi Shankar and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. While he is classically trained, Amiri has always sought to explore the limits of his music, stretching beyond the constraints of classical thought.

In 2003, Amiri was awarded Artist of the Year from CBC Galaxie Rising Stars.



HAMD is a poem or song in praise of God. A hamd is usually written in Arabic, Persian, Punjabi, or Urdu and its English translation is "Praise". Hamds are sung all over the Muslim world, from Indonesia to Morocco. A Qawwali performance usually includes at least one hamd, which is traditionally the first piece in the performance.

BHAJAN is a Hindu devotional song, often of ancient origin. Great importance is attributed to the singing of bhajans with loving devotion. Bhajans are often simple songs in lyrical language expressing emotions of love and adoration for the Divine, whether for a single God/Goddess, or any number of divinities. Traditionally, the music has been Indian classical music, which is based on rhythmic beat patterns & played on traditional Indian instruments but more contemporary music has also become a part of the expression.

SHABAD - The Sikh scriptures contain hymns or "shabads" which have universal themes of invoking connectedness and oneness with the one God and humanity. Shabad literally means to “cut the ego” as it carries with it the wisdom and strength to do so. It is said in Sikh scriptures that one who has conquered the ego, has won or conquered the world, “Man jeetay jug jeet”.

HARMONIUM is a free-standing musical keyboard instrument similar to a Reed Organ or Pipe Organ. It consists of free reeds and sound is produced by air being blown through reeds resulting in a sound similar to that of an accordion. The air is supplied by foot-operated (or, as with the type of harmonium used in Indian music, hand-operated) bellows alternately depressed by the player.

TABLA is a popular Indian percussion instrument used in the classical, popular and religious music of the Indian subcontinent and in Hindustani classical music. The instrument consists of a pair of hand drums of contrasting sizes and timbres. The term tabla is derived from an Arabic word which simply means "drum".


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