The Blue Dot Ensemble explores world music and dance with a focus on cultures from the Middle East, Mediterranean, Balkans and Central Asia. The band’s vision of fusing elements of different traditions brings a unique blend of multi-cultural influences, celebrating the interconnected nature of our world through artistic expression.
The Blue Dot ensemble
Pedro Bonatto - Percussion
Pedro is a Brazilian-born, Toronto-based percussionist, focusing on Arabic, Turkish and Persian music. He is the leader of the world music and dance group The Blue Dot, and has performed with Arabesque Orchestra, Ventanas, Nomadica and Troupe Obskurah. Pedro was first introduced to Arabic music by Lebanese singer Shaker Akiki and fell in love with its complex rhythms and melodies and learned percussion with master drummer Suleiman Warwar. He sees his passion for percussion as a life-long project in self-exploration and bringing cultures together. Pedro is also a fine art photographer who infuses his love of Middle Eastern culture in his photography work. Learn more about Pedro here.
Iana Komarnytska - Dance
Iana Komarnytska is an award-winning dancer and choreographer based in Toronto, Canada, specializing in Middle Eastern and Central Asian dance styles. Over the last few years she has taught and performed in dozens of countries including Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Ukraine, USA, Cyprus, Hungary and others. Iana is a graduate from professional dance program of York University, as well as winner of Star Bellydancer Canada 2014 Competition, and International Dance Competition Cairo by Cyprus 2015. Learn more about Iana here.
Demetrios Petsalakis - Oud
Originally from Athens Greece, Demetrios Petsalakis is a Toronto based musician performing in a variety of styles with a focus on Greek and Middle Eastern lutes. He is involved with bands such as Ventanas, Nomadica, Near East, Zephyr, The Maryem Tollar ensemble, Samba Squad, The Ken McDonald quartet and the Heavyset Quartet where he is featured playing a variety of stringed instruments including guitar, outi(oud), lyra and baglama. Demetri has a Master of Music degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music from York University. Learn more about Demetrios here.
Sanaz Nakhjavani - Kanun
Sanaz has been playing Iranian/Turkish instrument called Kanun for over 15 years. She also holds a diploma in piano from Tehran Music School, as well as B.A. in Music from Soureh Higher Education Institute. For several years she lived in Istanbul, Turkey where she obtained a master's degree in 2010, and then continued her study towards a Ph.D. in Music at Istanbul Technical University. As a performer, Sanaz had several performances on both Piano and Kanun in Iran and Turkey, and has played in several albums.
Georgia Hathaway - Violin
Georgia Hathaway is a classically trained violinist (Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra) with a long-standing passion for traditional music from different cultures, including Celtic, Middle Eastern, Roma, and Klezmer styles (Klezfactor). She has also worked as a music therapist for children with special needs (The Listening Centre, Toronto).