Adnan Sami & Zakir Hussain : the chosen ones

Some people are born to be self destructive.. like Adnan Sami. Take a look at his career graph. Once known to possess the fastest fingers on the piano keyboard, Adnan Sami took his classical music lessons from none other than Santoor maestro, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. Two decades ago, in 1990 he, together with Tabla wizard Ustad Zakir Hussain, created music that can safely be termed as sheer magic. It was at a live concert in Karachi, Pakistan. Classical instrumental music, Adnan is playing the piano, cannot get better than this. Wonder why the two magicians never collaborated again. Also wonder why Adnan Sami made a mess of his career and ..personal life.

Adnan Sami & Zakir Hussain – Raga Durga :  Download

Adnan Sami & Zakir Hussain – Folk Tune :  Download

Adnan Sami & Zakir Hussain – Raga Bageshri :  Download

Adnan Sami & Zakir Hussain – Dhun in Raga Khamaj :  Download

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Four enchanting folk tunes

Indian folk music is diverse because of India’s vast cultural diversity. Folk music has been influential on classical music, which is viewed as a higher art form. Folk instruments and styles have impacted classical Ragas since ages. It is not uncommon for classical artists, both vocalists and instrumentalists, to perform in semi-classical or Thumri style. Presented here are a few musical pieces performed by some of the most renowned artists, in the light classical mood or folk form.

Bismillah Khan – Banarasi Folk Dhun (Shehnai) :  Download

Ali Akbar Khan – Come Back My Love (Sarod) :  Download

Sultan Khan – So Ja Re (Rajasthani Folk on Sarangi) :  Download

Shujaat Khan – Lajo Lajo (Punjabi Folk on Sitar) :  Download

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Ali Akbar Khan passes away

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the sarod maestro who took Indian classical music to the West along with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, died in San Francisco on Friday, 19th June 2009. Once described by the famous violinist, Yehudi Menuhin as the greatest instrumentalist in the world, the 88 year old ustad had many firsts to his credit. The list includes introducing classical music in film scores. He also taught thousands of students from the West and set up his first institute in Kolkata in the late 1950s.

Born on April 14, 1922 at Shivpur in the then undivided Bengal, Ali Akbar Khan was the only son of Ustad Alauddin Khan, one of India’s greatest musicians. He grew up in the princely state of Maihar under the watchful eyes of his father, a strict disciplinarian. He had to start riyaaz at dawn and practise for several hours till he was allowed to eat.

Mand :  (Download)

Madhu Malati :  (Download)

In 1955, on the request of violin master Yehudi Menuhin, Ali Akbar Khan first visited the US and performed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. By the sixties, the West was clamouring for more and he pushed India on the world music map, with a little help from his friend Pandit Ravi Shankar (who was earlier married to Ali Akbar Khan’s sister, Annapurna Devi).

Darbari Kanara :  (Download)

Panihari :  (Download)

Responding to a wave of interest in the West, he began teaching and living in the US and, in 1967, founded the Ali Akbar College of Music in California, where he had been teaching since, along with tabla stalwart Ustad Zakir Hussain. Khan Sahib also opened a branch of his college in Basel, Switzerland, run by his disciple Ken Zuckerman, where he taught when on his world tours. Speaking from London, Ustad Zakir Hussain said, “He was one of the greatest musicians ever, a musician’s musician.”

P.S : One of my many wise visitors has very rightly pointed out, my not mentioning the name of tabla maestro, Pandit Swapan Chowdhury in this post. Yes indeed, Pandit Swapan Chowdhury is one tabla player, who had one of the longest association with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, not only as an accompanyist, but also as a principal teacher at the A A K College of Music.

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