Monday, 22 June 2009
Friday, 19 June 2009
Sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan died in San Francisco in the US today after a prolonged kidney ailment, according to a family friend here. Eighty-eight-year-old Khan died at his music centre at 10 am IST, Rabin Pal, the secretary of sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar, said. He is survived by wife Mary, three sons and a daughter.
Pal, a family friend of the maestro, said he was informed of Khan's death by the ustad's family in San Francisco. Khan's secretary in Kolkata, Ashish Roy, said the maestro was on dialysis and had been ailing for over four years. His condition had deteriorated in the last four months.
A recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan, Khan had been a colossus in the world of Indian classical music for the last five decades. He became court musician for the maharaja of Jodhpur and continued for seven years, till his patron's death. The state of Jodhpur bestowed on him his title of "ustad".
At the request of violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, Khan visited the United States in 1955 and performed at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
He founded the Ali Akbar College of Music in Kolkata in 1956. In 1965, he began teaching in USA, later opening a branch of his college there, and in Switzerland. In 1997, Khan performed at a programme in the United Nations to celebrate the 50th year of India's independence.
He also composed music for films, creating the musical score for Chetan Anand's Aandhiyan(1953), Merchant-Ivory productions' The Householder, Tapan Sinha's Khudita Pashan, Satyajit Ray's Devi and Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha.
Khan married thrice. His son, Ustad Aashis Khan, is a sarod artiste of repute. The maestro once said: "For us, as a family, music is like food. When you need it, you don't have to explain why, because it is the basis of life."
88-year-old Khan, who had settled down in San Francisco in the US, was admired by both Eastern as well as Western musicians for his brilliant compositions and his mastery of the 25-string instrument.
The illustrious son of Ustad Alauddin Khan, he was once described by Menuhin as 'the greatest musician in the world'. He was the first to cut a long play record of Indian classical music in the US and to give a sarod recital on American TV.
Khan was also the first Indian musician to receive the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1991 and was nominated for Grammy Awards five time between 1970 to 1998.
Born on April 14, 1922 in Shibpur village of Comilla district, now in Bangladesh, Khan took up music at the age of three, learning vocal music from his father and percussion from his uncle, Fakir Aftabuddin.
His father also trained him in several other instruments, but Khan decided to concentrate on the sarod and on vocals.
A recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan, Khan gave his first public performance in Allahabad at the age 13 and made his first gramophone recording in Lucknow when he was in his early twenties."
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
R. Mahanthappa • Saxophones
Darry Jones • Bass
John Beasley • Keyboards
Badal Roy • Tabla
U. Shrinivas • Mandolin
Lenny White • Drums
Ndugu Chancler • Percussions
Vince Wilburn • Drums
Anantha Krishnan • Mridangan
Hidayat Khan • Sitar
V.K. Raman • Flute/Vocal
Selvaganesh • Khanjira