Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is one of the most creative instrumentalists of the subcontinent. Being a disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar, he traces his origins from the legendary Tansen and Swami Haridas. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt has made meaningful modifications to the Hawaiian guitar with his perfect assimilation of sitar, sarod & veena techniques, by adding 14 more strings so as to cater for the nuances of the Indian classical music. He named it MOHAN VEENA.

With blinding speed and faultless legato, Bhatt is undoubtedly one of the most expressive, versatile and greatest slide players in the world.

Pandit Mohan Bhatt has always been open to ideas and experimentations in music. He was awarded the highest music award of the world, the GRAMMY AWARD in 1994 along with Ry Cooder for their world music album, 'A MEETING BY THE RIVER'. He has done historic jugalbandis with a Chinese Ehru player Jei Bing Chang.

He also worked with ace American Dobro guitar player Jerry Douglas, and a rare combination with the Arabian Oudh player Simon Shaheen. ‘Tabula Rasa’ his album with Bela Flek, the Banjo player, and Jei Bing Chang was nominated for the Grammy Award in 1997.

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt has performed extensively in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, UAE, etc. and throughout India. He is giving his first performance in Pakistan at Tehzeeb Festival. Amongst his most memorable performances are:

* Concert at 'Madison Square Garden' (New York) on the 50th anniversary of the United Nation    (UN), 1995.
* Performances at 'Royal Albert Hall' (London) on the celebration of 'BBC PROMS 100 YEARS',    1994
* Performance at Lincoln Center (New York) on the '125th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi'
* Concert in the Festival of 'International Guitar Stars' (Toronto), 1995
* Performance at 'Jazz Festival' (Ottawa), 1995

Apart from the prestigious Grammy, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is a recipient of many awards including Padmashree Award (Government of India-2002), Sangeet Natak Academy Award (Delhi-1999), and many others.



  Salil Bhatt

Salil Bhatt represents the younger generation of musicians in India. Being the talented son of Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Salil has also introduced a new version of the traditional Veena and branded the same as ‘Satvik Veena’ which has been appreciated all over the world.

Salil has not only managed to marvel audiences in India, but also has a big fan base at the international scene and that too, in just a short span of his 25-year career!



  Ustad Rais Khan & Farhan Khan

The phenomenal Ustad Rais Khan is one of the most gifted musicians in South Asia. He commands equal respect in India, Pakistan and all over the world. Born in 1939, Rais Khan descends directly from the court musicians of the great Mughals, dating back to 15th century AD He belongs to Mewat gharana, known for gayeki ang - the musical diction to which Rais Khan himself has contributed positively.

Ustad Rais Khan has toured extensively, delighting packed audiences all over the world. He has indulged into highly creative jugalbandis with stalwarts like Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Sultan Khan and L. Subramaniam, to name a few.

Khansahib has been very choosy in selecting his recitals and recordings. In Pakistan, his public recitals have been few and far between, as he sets his own standards for accepting invitations. Recently, he made a studio recording for Tehzeeb Foundation - this being his sole studio recording in Pakistan.

Rais Khan was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance Award (Government of Pakistan - 2005)

Farhan Khan, the talented son of Ustad Rais Khan, has already made his impression as a stylish sitar-player. He has given beautiful performances all over the world. He has performed jugalbandis with Ustad Bismillah Khan and also with L. Subramaniam. Equally open to interactive / collaborative projects with foreign musicians, he has taken part in many jazz recitals. His sitar is featured in Indian films ‘God Tusi Great Ho’ and ‘Partner’.



  Ustad Fateh Ali Khan

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan is one of the most acclaimed exponents of kheyal gayeki in the subcontinent. A doyen of the Gawalior gharana in Pakistan, Fateh Ali Khan inherits a great tradition.

The kheyal tradition was inducted into Punjab’s music by Mian Bannay Khan, who was then followed by a list of stalwarts from Mian Piaray Khan to Ustad Umeed Ali Khan. Fateh Ali Khan got his basic training of classical music from his uncle Ustad Umeed Ali Khan. His art is characterized with intense tayyari and full-throated intricate taan patterns peculiar to his own gharana.

He was enlisted with Radio Pakistan as an outstanding classical singer in 1963 and subsequently at PTV. He worked with HMV/EMI by contributing in ‘Aahang-e-Khusravi’. The project comprising of ‘Gharanon ki gayeki’ and ‘Raag mala’ was executed by Khwaja Khursheed Anwar.

He made several specialized recordings ranging from pure raag to fusion and folk, and spreading over to soofiyana kafi and ghazal. ‘Bandish’ - a compilation of classical compositions was released in London in 2005. His recent contribution was towards ‘Music of Indus - The Essential Raag’, an international project of classical music of Pakistan, produced by IWM and Tehzeeb Foundation. Another 5-CD set representing the genius of his art has been produced by Tehzeeb Foundation.

Fateh Ali Khan has widely traveled to represent Pakistan in international conference/ festivals, such as London Youth Festival (1982), Recital at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Institute of Indian Culture, London (1982), Classical Performance at Sea-rock Hotel and Congress House - Bombay (1984), Uzbekistan International Music Festival ‘Sharq Taronalari’ Awards, Samarkand (1999), Performance of Peace Tune at United Nations Building - New York (2000), Vocal Recital at Chutney Banquet Hall, Springfield, VA (2000), Joint-Cultural Festival, Oslo (Mela 2002) Norway, and many others.

A recipient of the highest Civil Award ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ (2010) and prestigious Pride of Performance Award (1991) by the Government of Pakistan, he has a long list of awards to his credit including PTV Award for Best Performance for 10 years (1987-1997), Khwaja Khursheed Anwar Award (1990), PTV Superstar Award (1999), Uzbekistan Nightingale Award - Samarkand International Music Festival (1999), Lifetime Achievement Award from Government of Sindh (2006) and APMC-Lahore Silver Jubilee Award (2010). He has been nominated by the government as member Board of Governors, PNCA (Pakistan National Council of the Arts) Islamabad.



  Ustad Naseeruddin Saami

Ustad Naseeruddin Saami is a senior classical vocalist of Pakistan. He was born in Delhi in 1946, and migrated to Pakistan in 1954. He inherits the classical tradition from Mian Tanras Khan’s Delhi gharana, which he learnt from his Uncle Ustad Sardar Khan and late Munshi Raziuddin Qawwal. He is a strict follower of his gharana’s style and tradition - keeping sur uttam or supreme! Saami has traveled throughout the world including Austria, Afghanistan and India.

He stayed in Iran, Yemen, Syria and Gulf states for some time and assimilated his music with Irani and Arabic influences. He sings kheyal, tarana, sadra, thumri and dadra with equal competence. He has done a few studio recordings for Tehzeeb Foundation which will be published shortly.

Naseeruddin Saami is the recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Government of Pakistan-2007) and Lifetime Achievement Award (APMC Lahore- 2008).



  Asad Qizilbash

Asad Qizilbash Sarodnawaz belongs to the younger generation of instrumentalists in Pakistan. Born in 1963, he got his basic initiation into classical music by his father K.H. Qizilbash.

He started his music career with violin and guitar and made his first public appearance in 1973 at a UNICEF function in Islamabad. In 1981, he represented Pakistan at the Attaturk Festival in Ankara. The same year, he met the great maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan at his concert at Liaquat Hall Rawalpindi. Asad was so inspired and overwhelmed that he decided to learn and adopt Sarod. It was in 1997 that he met Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in Delhi to become his formal ganda bandh shagird.

    1990 - 1992 - Sarod recitals at the Tagore Institute in Bonn, Germany
    2000 - Live performance at the Marcus Mingus Jazz Club in Brussels, Belgium
    2003 - Performance for Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD in the UK
    2003 - PTV Awards: Best Musician of the Year 2003
    2005 - Performance at the 7th Asia Art Festival in Foshan, China
    2006 - Live performance at the Tree & Leaf in Brussels and at the Dranouter Festival for the Pax
                Mundial Project with Patrick Riguelle and Jan Hautekiet
    2007 - Played on the track 'Bodyless Friend' by Sutrastore (written by Christopher Calis)
    2007 - Together with Andrew Goldberg (Producer, Womb Editions) and Pely (Producer, Cut
                Productions), Asad recorded his first solo album - The Magic of the Sarod

Asad Qizilbash has been a permanent feature at diplomatic and official concerts. He has performed for dignitaries including Begum Khaleda Zia (Prime Minister of Bangladesh), Jiang Zemin (President of China), Fidel V. Ramos (President of Philippines), Suleyman Demirel (President of Turkey), Haider Aliyev (President of Azerbaijan), Islam Karimov (President of Uzbekistan), Enomali Rkhmaniv Sharifovich (Head of State, Tajikistan) and many others.

He has also interacted widely with foreign musicians in the form of jazz and folk projects.



  Fariha Pervez

Fariha Pervez is a leading pop singer of Pakistan. With her sweet voice and attractive looks, she took the music scene by storm some years ago. Her debut album ‘Nice & Naughty’ broke all records of popularity. The festive song ‘Patang Baaz Sajna…’” became a trendsetter and boosted Basant's popularity to unprecedented heights.

Catering to a limited but expanding market, she sings entertaining songs and her albums do include thought-provoking ghazals. Fariha is very selective and has done seven albums as so far. Being a gifted and talented person, she has also hosted TV shows and has sung for a number of films.

Fariha got her basic initiation into music by maestro Feroze Gill and Ustad Ghulam Hussan Shaggan. It was due to this training and her own commitment to music that her presentation of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s thumri Yaad Piya Ki was very well-received by music lovers. As a well-trained and cultured vocalist, Fariha has chosen a few beautiful semi-classical numbers for this year’s Tehzeeb Festival.



  Rakae Jamil  

Rakae Jamil began learning the sitar when he was 12 under the tutelage of Ashraf Sharif Khan. Rakae teaches music at the National College of Arts, and Beaconhouse National University in Lahore. His courses range from the History of Indian Classical Music, Analytical Readings of Music Literature, and the History of Western Classical Music. Rakae has performed in Coke Studio with Noori and has also performed with them in various venues across Pakistan.



  Beena Raza  

Beena Raza is one of the few female sitar players in Pakistan. She is currently a visiting faculty at BNU where she teaches History of Music at the School of Liberal Arts. She has had the privilege of availing guidance from the great Sitar maestros, Ustad Sharif Khan, Ustad Shujaat Hussein Khan and Ashraf Sharif Khan



  Turab Ali  

Turab Ali is one of the youngest sitar players in Pakistan and has been learning the art from his grandfather Ustad Imdad Hussain. At a tender age of 20, Turab is fast turning into a proficient artist



  Sajid Hussain  

Sajid Hussain is one of the most promising young artistes of Pakistan. He received his basic initiation into sitar from his maternal uncle, the late Ustad Kabir Khan of the Jaipur gharana. His art also shows the influence of Ustad Rais Khansahib.  Over the years, Sajid’s untiring hard work has taken him to the excellence of being an impressive and master star player. He is also teaching his son, Shehroze Hussain the art of his forefathers



  Amir Zaki  

Amir Zaki is a prolific guitar player, playing jazz, blues, classical, rock and alternative rock. He started playing music at the age of thirteen and hasn’t looked back. Amir released his debut album Signature in 1995. He has toured extensively with "Vital Signs" and played on their album "Aitebar" as well as an unplugged album.



  Farhan Khan  

Farhan Khan is the brilliant son of  Ustad Rais Khan and is emerging as a leading sitar player amongst the younger generation. He has given beautiful performances all over the world. His debut performance was at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata in 1989, accompanied by Ustad Zakir Hussain on tabla. He has taken part in many Jazz recitals. His Sitar has featured in Indian films ‘God Tusi Great Ho’ and ‘Partner’.



  Suhel Rais Khan  

Suhel Rais Khan is a gifted Sitar player, singer and a composer. He is the son of legendry Ustad Rais Khan. Suhel was awarded the Mitr Pradhan Award in 1998 by the  U.P Government. He has been travelling widely around the world for the past 15 years, his last performance being for London BBC. He has also composed music for a few movies. Coming from Mumbai, India, he is performing for the first time in Pakistan at our sitar festival.



  Huzoor Hasnain Khan  

Huzoor Hasnain Khan is the youngest son of the sitar maestro Ustad Rais Khan and will be accompanying his brother Suhel Khan on sitar. He started learning sitar at a very young age from his father.



  Ashraf Sharif Khan  

Ashraf Sharif Khan is talented son of the Sitar maestro Ustad Muhammad Sharif Khan. He started showing his immense talent in playing the sitar at a very young age.

Ashraf's music combines an astounding technical proficiency with perfection in musical expression. The melodic beauty of his style, accentuated by his dynamic rhythmic development and the virtuoso technique provide a unique style of his own. His music transcends regional boundaries, and appeals to all.

He was given the Khwaja-Khurshid-Anwar Award and the Hazrat-Amir-Khusro Award in 1990. In 1992, he was chosen by the United States Information Agency to represent Pakistan at the International Sound Celebration Festival in Louisville (USA). In 1997, he received the Colombo University Kelaniya Award (Sri Lanka). In 1999, he performed at the prestigious Medina Festival of Tunis in Tunisia, at Okinawa’s ‘Sugar Hall’ in Japan, at ‘Symphony Space’ at the Manhattan Broadway in New York, and at the ‘Cairo Opera’ in Egypt. Since then he has given numerous concerts in major cities of Europe and USA.

He also proved his genius in the jazz and world music field and has been appreciated widely by contemporary international musicians. Ashraf has done a few studio recordings for Tehzeeb Foundation’s upcoming projects.



  Ustad Bashir Khan - Tabla

Ustad Bashir Khan is one of the senior most percussionists in Pakistan. He is one of the stalwarts of Punjab gharana in tabla music. He is loved for his fine accompaniment aesthetics. As a soloist, he has an abundant knowledge of traditional fixed compositions as well as excellent improvisational abilities. He has toured United States, South Africa, England, Holland, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, India and Japan.

Bashir Khan teaches music at NAPA (National Academy for Performing Arts). He is a recipient of the Pride of Performance Award.


  Ustad Afzal Khan - Harmonium

Ustad Afzal Khan is a senior musician. He was born in Delhi in 1942. He learnt sarangi, violin and harmonium from his father. He has worked in the film industry with directors of high repute, including Khwaja Khursheed Anwar, Wajahat Attre, M. Ashraf and others.


  Himanshu Balkrishan Mahant
  - Tabla

Haminshu Balkrishan Mahant is a young tabla player from India. A recipient of many awards, Mahant teaches music at Faculty of Performing Arts, M.S. University of Baroda. He prides himself in being a disciple of Pandit Kishan Maharaj of Benaras Gharana.


  Ejaz Hussain - Tabla

Ejaz Hussain is well-known talba player in Pakistan. He was trained by Ustad Akhtar Hussain - a disciple of Ustad Allah Ditta Biharipuri of Punjab gharana. Ejaz Hussain, who lives in Islamabad, has represented Pakistan in many countries.


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