Lewis Pragasam

By September 12, 2019 KLIJAF 2019 No Comments
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Lewis Pragasam is one of the most highly-regarded musicians to emerge from Asia. He is considered virtually an
icon in his homeland and has been hailed as a music legend in Asia. He has garnered international critical acclaim
as one of Asia’s leading percussionists and an innovator of new trends in world music. Lewis is the founder and
moving spirit of the pioneering Asiabeat project, started in 1979, whose recordings and performances are now
legendary in the merging of Asian and Western musical styles.

The Asiabeat project has 5 recordings released worldwide since 1982, namely: Asiabeat, Dare To Dream, Spirit
Of The People, Drumusique 
(live) and Monsoon. The project under Lewis’ leadership has toured/performed in
festivals all over the world including the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Perth Festival of Music and Nigata Cultural Festival
(Japan).

He has toured, performed and/or recorded with many internationally renowned artistes – Paul Jackson, Tony Levin,
Billy Cobham, Jeff Berlin, Ernie Watts, Andy Sheppard, Randy Bernsen, David Mann, Anthony Curits, Randy
Crawford, John ‘Kaizan’ Neptune, Bob James, Ottmar Liebert, Torninho Horta amongst others. Lewis has performed
at major festivals around the world including a Royal Command Performance for HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince
Charles (Prince Trust Concert) in Edinburgh.

He has produced and organized numerous percussion festivals all over South East Asia working with various
percussion exponents/groups – Steve Thornton, Yaya Diallo, Pete Lockett, Shanxi Drummers, ‘Parry Pan’s’ Steel
Drum Orhestra, ‘Tokyo Dagaki’ Taiko ensemble, Guru Karakkudi R. Mani, ‘Guardians of the Flame’ Mardi Gras
Indians, ‘Tepak Rampak’ Drum Ensemble of Indonesia, Drum Drum & the Siale Dancers and many other
percussion ensembles from South East Asia.

Lewis also travels extensively conducting drum and percussion clinics/workshops. His ‘Trash’ percussion group
perform and conduct workshops for children utilizing recyclable material to make interesting percussion instruments.
Pragasam received the prestigious ‘Fulbright Scholarship’ from the US government in 1990. He served as ‘Artiste In
Residence’ at East Carolina University, NC, as well as lecturing at various academic institutions all over the US.

He has recently published a series of methods for learning drum styles with Mel Bay entitled “Drum Talk.