Houston, Texas (4 September 2013): Way back in 1963, a young sarod player from India named Amjad Ali Khan first came to perform Indian classical music for American audiences. Half a century later, the now highly-regarded masterof the stringed instrument definitive of the Indian classical music sound is set to launch a 50th anniversary U.S. concert tour this Saturday in Houston, Texas. The four-week trek that runs September 7th through October 4th will incorporate ateaching residency at Indiana University, a book launch event at the Indian Consulate and a performance at the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence in New York City (October 2nd).
Continuing a family lineage that makes him a sixth-generationperformer, the Grammy-nominated Khan will be accompaniedon the concert swing by his sons, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, prodigious sarod players trained by the virtuoso. The concerts are comprised of three sections. Amjad Ali Khan performs the first half backed by a pair of tabla(percussion) players. Brothers Amaan and Ayaan perform asarod duet to open the second half before Amjad Ali Khan joins to interact with his scions - disciples of the master – for the final portion performed as a sarod trio, during which the audiences witness the time-honored rite of passage as the father passes down his musical inheritance to his sons.
"The occasion of the 50th anniversary of my first concert in the United States allows me to reflect on the growth of Indian classical music there and change with the sarod in particular.There is no essential difference between classical and popular music. Music is music. I want to communicate with the listener who finds Indian classical music remote," said Amjad Ali Khan, who splits his time between living in India and New York. “Since my childhood, I always wanted my instrument (sarod) to be able to express the entire range of human emotions…to sing, shout, whisper, and cry. All the emotions! It has been a long journey so far and by the benevolence of theheavens, the sarod has become far more expressive than it was 25 years ago.”
Amjad Ali Khan’s five-day residency for course credit at Indiana University from September 23-27 will examine the fundamentals of Indian classical music along with the lifestyle,relevancy to the modern world and how composition aids in thepreservation of its tradition and techniques. He gave a similar class at Stanford University last winter. Having been taught by his father, Haafiz Ali Khan, Amjad Ali Khan penned arecently published book on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his father-guru’s passing entitled “My Father, Our Fraternity,” which will be feted at the Indian Consulate on October 1st in New York City.
Together the Khans have performed all over the world since 1996, including at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall,Royal Albert Hall, Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House. Following Indian classical music precepts, their performances are improvisational with the compositions often determined the day of the show inspired by the moods and emotions of the artists. Amjad Ali Khan, who has receivedesteemed honors from UNESCO, UNICEF, World Economic Forum, the Indian, French and Japanese governments and had Amjad Ali Khan Day declared by Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in 1984, considers the audience to be the soul of his motivation. The musicians collaborate with each serving as the performer, composer and conductor. Having made their U.S. debut in 1991, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan have proven their own mastery of the sarod, which has garnered awards and acclaim for recording projects in Indianclassical and contemporary music settings. After the American tour, the Khans will perform in France, Belgium and Amsterdam in November and return to the U.S. in late February for concert dates through March. Additionalinformation is available at www.sarod.com,www.AmaanAliKhan.com and www.AyaanAliKhan.com.
September 7 Houston, Texas Wortham Center (joined by Rahim AlHaj) September 10 Philadelphia, Penna. Philadelphia Ganesh Festival September 13 Chicago, Illinois Chicago World Music Festival September 14 Baltimore, Maryland Johns Hopkins University September 15 Boston, Massachusetts Berklee Performance Center September 16 Boston, Massachusetts New England Conservatory of Music September 19 San Francisco, Calif. SF JAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium September 22 North Brunswick, NJ North Brunswick Township High School September 23-27 Bloomington, Indiana Indiana University residency September 28 Bloomington, Indiana Lotus World Music & Arts Festival October 1 New York, New York Book launch at the Indian Consulate October 2 New York, New York UN’s International Day of Non-Violence (private) October 4 Louisville, Kentucky Kentucky Centerfor the Arts