SHUJAAT KHAN, SITAR Shujaat Husain Khan is the seventh in an unbroken line of musicians in a family that has produced a galaxy of musical geniuses: his father and teacher, Ustad Vilayat Khan; his grandfather, Inayat Khan; and his great grandfather, Imdad Khan. Shujaat continues to explore the "Gayaki Ang," (the vocal style of playing) which his father pioneered. He illustrates this vocal style by singing some passages, in the manner of his father. Growing up in a family where music is a way of life, it was natural for Shujaat to imbibe the intricate sitar technique: at the age of three he was already practicing on a small sitar specially made for him, and by the age of six, he was performing as a child prodigy. It is to his credit that Shujaat also picked up a fine sense of aesthetics uniquely his own. Shujaat's music is marked by a lyrical musicality. Since 1974, Shujaat has been touring all over the world, giving concerts, lecture demonstrations, and master classes. He has performed in nearly all the countries of western and eastern Europe, Scandinavia, America and East Asia. In addition, he has performed in Siberia, China, Mongolia, and the Seychelles. Seattle audiences will remember his performance at the Ragamala Festival in May, 1990. Discerning audiences in India hail him as one of the foremost musical ambassadors of his generation. A Calcutta newspaper commented on a performance given when he was ten: "Shujaat played with the supreme confidence expected of a musician by birth." Shujaat continues to draw praise from the world's press. A recent review from the San Francisco Chronicle sums it up: "His lyrical eloquence was like someone humming phrases, it was magical." Shujaat's music can be heard on cassettes/compact disc bearing the HMV; India Archives; and India Today labels. AKRAM KHAN, TABLA Much acclaimed and traveled, young Akram is being hailed as one of the leading tabla players of the present day, and is the most frequent accompanist to the living legend of sitar, Ustad Vilayat Khan. Akram belongs to the Ajrara Gharana (gharana means family or style of playing), which is one of the leading schools of tabla on the Indian subcontinent. Akram received his initial training form the late Ustad Niyazu Khan of Meerut city, and his grandfather, Ustad Mohammad Shafi Khan, considered a giant in the realm of tabla. He continues his training with his father Ustad Hashmat Ali Khan. Having performed at music conferences from a very young age, Akram is accustomed to critical acclaim. But his most prized comments have come from audiences in the cities of Lucknow and Benares, the homes of two rival tabla traditions. Here, audiences put aside their gharana loyalties and went all out to praise Akram. Since 1987 when he accompanied Ustad Vilayat Khan on a tour of Japan, Akram has toured many times with the maestro. In 1992, he accompanied him on a tour of the United States, performing at Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Center. The November 20 performance will be his Seattle debut. Akram has accompanied most of the leading instrumental musicians in India, and has been recorded on disc/compact disc/cassette with Ustad Vilayat Khan ; Pandit Bhajan Sopori, santoor; and Buddhaditya Mukherjee, sitar.
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