Popular tabla player, M.S. Maniam (or more affectionately known as Tabla Maniam), died of cancer last Friday, 22 Dec 2017. He was 70 years old.
Maniam was not just considered one of the most important classical Indian musicians in Singapore. The well-loved percussionist was also known for collaborating with musicians from other genres such as jazz and Latin music due to his love for improvisation. In particular, he was known for his jamming sessions with local and international DJs (including Paul Oakenfold) at Zouk.
With a music career that spanned over four decades, Maniam was a recipient of the COMPASS Artistic Excellence Award (Singapore) and was the National Heritage Board’s Indian Cultural Ambassador three years in a row.
Last year, Maniam was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. About a month ago, he was hospitalised at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and subsequently moved to Assissi Hospice where he passed away surrounded by family.