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.
Drawing on his extensive experience with youth and family audiences – with close to 200 shows per year – Kattam created his first solo performance, Kattam and his Tam-Tams. The show has been successfully presented in performance venues and festivals across Quebec and Canada and in 2018 received an International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Showcase. In addition to his solo show, in 2016 Kattam released his debut music album De Tombouctou à Bombay lending renewed momentum to his career due to various awards and nominations. In 2017, he released his English album Timbuktu to Bombay and in 2018 the DVD of his live show. Kattam also is an experienced teacher and team-building instructor. In 2019 he began touring to performance venues in the US performing for school-time and family audiences.
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. Kattam’s artistic path has also been enriched by other experiences. In 2009, he joined Cirque du Soleil for a special event in Washington and in 2010, he performed at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
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 communicator. His original pieces place children front and center. Watch, listen and, above all, participate! His aim is to foster a love 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.
Awards and Nominations
Kattam is proud to be a member of the Grammy’s Recording Academy
Tilly Award 2018 – Best Family Fun – DVD
Tilly Award 2018 – Best Family Fun – CD
Parent and Teacher Choice Award 2018 – Gold Medal – DVD and CD
Parents’ Choice Award 2018 – Gold Medal – Timbuktu to Bombay
Global Music Awards 2018 – Silver Medal Winner – DVD and CD – Outstanding Achievement
Independent Music Awards 2016 – Best Children’s Music Album
Gala ARISTA 2018 (Montréal) – Prix coup de coeur – Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal
Congrès Maghrébin au Québec 2017 – Prix Arts et culture
Académie Charles Cros 2017 (France) – Coup de coeur – Disques pour enfants
Prix Product’Or 2016 (Ontario) – Tournée Scolaire – Réseau Ontario
JUNO Awards 2017 – Children’s Album of the year
Gala ARISTA 2018 (Montréal) – Jeune travailleur autonome du Québec – Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal
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