An experienced musician
Kattam – who is part Quebeçois and part Morrocan – first trained in classical music, studying piano, singing and percussion. His keen interest in world music and travel has served as the basis for manifold musical experiences abroad. He studied conga, timbales and drum in Havana in 2005, djembe and doum doum in Guinea in 2007 with such international masters as Mamady Keïta and Famoudou Konaté, and derbouka in Morroco with Mustapha Antari. He has also studied dhol through The Dhol Foundation since 2012, and Indian tabla with Hindole Majumdar since 2015. He was able to perfect his skills in pop percussions with Paul Picard, Céline Dion’s percussionist.
On the music scene, Kattam is currently part of Ayrad, winner of a Felix Award and several other distinctions, and has been an active member of several other bands, including Wesli Band and Bambara Trans, named Révélations Radio-Canada; La Mandragore, nominated at ADISQ and winner of an Opus Award; La Famille Zon; and the multi award-winning Niyaz. His experiences have included collaborations with such renowed artists as Marie-Mai, Lynda Thalie, Mes Aïeux, Mélissa Lavergne, Manu Militari, The Losts Fingers, Luc Boivin and the Belle et Bum team, Kissima Diabaté and Saïda Fikri, etc. Kattam also earned his stripes as a teacher and team-building instructor.
Kattam’s artistic path has also been enriched by other experiences. In 2009, he joined Cirque du Soleil for a special event in Washington. In 2010 he performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and in 2012 he was dancer among the cast that presented a Bollywood dance performance at the Gala des Jutras. In 2013 and 2015, he recorded the percussion under the direction of Martin Léon for the movies A good lie and Guibord s’en va-t-en guerre by Philippe Falardeau. He has also been featured in several television performances, including the Série Montréal Québec reality show, for which he created the opening dance-percussion choreography. He played also the lead role in the play Ali au pays d’Alice, presented at Place des Arts as part of the 2012 Festival du Monde arabe.
Drawing on his extensive experience with youth and family audiences – with close to 200 shows per year – Kattam created his first solo performance, titled Kattam and his Tam-Tams. The show has been successfully presented in daycare centres and elementary schools, as well as in performance venues across Quebec and Canada. In addition to his solo show, Kattam release in 2016 his debut music album De Tombouctou à Bombay lending renewed momentum to his career due to various prizes and nominations. In 2017 he release his english album Timbuktu to Bombay and in 2018 the DVD of his live show. In 2019 he starts touring in US.
Tilly Award 2018 (USA)- Best Family Fun - DVD
Tilly Award 2018 (USA)- Best Family Fun - CD
Parent and Teacher Choice Award 2018 (USA) - Gold Medal - DVD and CD
Global Music Awards 2018 (USA) - Silver Medal Winner - DVD and CD - Outstanding Achievement
Gala ARISTA 2018 (Montréal) - Prix coup de coeur - Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal
Parents' Choice Award 2018 (USA) - Gold Medal - Timbuktu to Bombay
Congrès Maghrébin au Québec 2017 - Prix Arts et culture
Académie Charles Cros 2017 (France) - Coup de coeur - Disques pour enfants
Independant Music Awards 2016 (USA) - Best Children's Music Album
Prix Product'Or 2016 (Ontario) - Tournée Scolaire - Réseau Ontario
Gala ARISTA 2018 (Montréal) - Jeune travailleur autonome du Québec - Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal
JUNO Awards 2017 - Children's Album of the year
Trille Or 2017 (Canada) - Artiste du Qc s'étant le plus illustré dans la francophonie canadienne
ADISQ 2016 (Québec) - Album de l'année - Jeunesse
Canadian Folk Music Awards 2016 - Artiste solo de l'année - musique du monde
Canadian Folk Music Awards 2016 - Album jeunesse de l'année
Travel is Kattam’s chief source of inspiration. From East to West, he has drawn on inexhaustible and ever-evolving traditions to nourish his world view. Be it to experience what is sacred or to celebrate, music is the instrument he uses as his passport to discover different cultures. Guided by his passion for percussion as well as for dance and theatre, Kattam is constantly setting a course for new horizons that bring out the depth of the human experience.
Among the music groups with whom he works, Kattam strives to strike a balance between technical and intuitive styles, inspired by the masters under whom he has trained. While staying true to the respective traditions of the instruments he plays, he also blends styles and genres, in keeping with the 21st century trend toward genre-bending.
In his youth projects, Kattam acts as both a transmitter and a communicater. His original pieces place children front and centre. Watch, listen and, above all, participate! His aim is to foster a taste for music, discovery and self-expression among these children, to partake in celebrations specific to different cultures, and to make both popular and spiritual music accessible—ultimately in order to teach children that beyond cultural differences lies a shared humanity...
For Kattam, the stage, first and foremost, is a way to share this enthusiasm and the life force that drives him.