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Remembering the maestros

Music is the medium through which we can immortalise the great geniuses of our times



IN MEMORIAM Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan FILE PHOTO: V.V. KRISHNAN

It has been a year since the untimely demise of popular tabla maestro Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan. To mark the varshik shraadha of the artiste, who is sorely missed by both friends and fans, the Kashi Sangeet Sabha led by Rajendra Prasanna has organised a festival of music this coming Monday and Tuesday.

Celebrated vocalist

The festival is also dedicated to the memory of Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan who passed away on July 5. The ustad was a celebrated vocalist of the Rampur-Seheswan gharana. During the 1970s he spent a decade in the U.S. teaching vocal music and his contribution to the propagation of this art in that country is significant. Prasanna is a well-known shehnai and flute exponent and one of his major disciples.

Shafaat Ahmed Khan was certainly a `people's artiste'. One rarely comes across anyone who has met him who does not have tales of his exemplary compassion and humility, not to mention his artistry. For long a teacher at one of Delhi's reputed public schools, he never allowed his star status to come in the way of dedication to the school.

The festival features instrumental and tabla programmes on both the days. The venue is Poorva Sanskritik Kendra, Laxmi Nagar District Centre, on Vikas Marg in East Delhi. The proceedings open with a tabla jugalbandi (duet) by Akbar Latif and Babar Latif, two brothers who were disciples of Shafaat Ahmed Khan. As such they will be representing the Dilli gharana of which Shafaat was a brilliant exponent. The tabla duet will be followed by a Hindustani flute recital by Kailash Sharma.



Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan

The second evening's programme begins with a sitar recital by Prateek Chaudhuri, son and disciple of sitar maestro Debu Chaudhuri. The culminating performance is by tabla veteran Ustad Zamir Ahmed Khan who performs a jugalbandi with his son and disciple Haseen Ahmed Khan.

"I felt it was important to include disciples of Shafaat bhai, so I invited the young brothers Akbar and Babar. Then, Ustad Zamir Ahmed Khan is a great tabla player of the Farukkhabad gharana."

Kashi Baithak Sangeet Sabha was established in 2005. Prasanna, who hails from a long musical tradition himself, established the Sabha in memory of his father. He says the plan is to hold monthly programmes to commemorate the punya tithis (death anniversary) of great music maestros. If the venue continues to be PSK, the Sabha's activities will certainly be a boon for residents of the an area of the Capital that is culturally dry, relatively speaking.

Homage through music

Poorva Sanskritik Kendra,

Lakshmi Nagar District Centre,

Vikas Marg, Delhi - 92

Monday July 24, 6.30 p.m.

Tabla jugalbandi by Akbar Latif and

Babar Latif

Hindustani flute recital by Kailash Sharma

Tuesday July 25, 6.30 p.m.

Sitar recital by Prateek Chaudhuri

Tabla jugalbandi by Ustad Zamir Ahmed Khan and Haseen Ahmed Khan

ANJANA RAJAN

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