Pakistan’s Ustad Tari Khan for Queen’s Hall show
By SEETA PERSAD Friday, August 3 2012
Pakistan-based tabla player Ustad Tari Khan will perform in Trinidad and Tobago alongside TT’s Gayatones Orchestra with Rishi Gayadeen and singer/dancer Sangeeta Jagdeo.
This star-studded show will take place at Queen's Hall in Port-of-Spain on Sunday (August 5) at 5 pm. It is being produced in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Independence of TT by the Antar Rashtriya Sanskriti Pratishthaan Incorporated of Chaguanas.
Khan will be accompanied by fellow musicians from India, Pandit Ramesh Mishra, Mohammed Basheer Khan and Haroon Alam .
According to Jagdeo this concert is a tribute to the legends Mehdi Hassan and Jagit Singh. “We have grown up in TT listening to music and songs of these two stars of India and although they have gone to the great beyond we can still enjoy their music from their own disciples,” she said.
Khan, born in Lahore, Pakistan, hails from a family of musicians whose lineage can be traced back to the legendary Bhai Mardana. Today he is acknowledged as one of the foremost tabla players of all time by musicians all over the world. In addition to his superb mastery of the tabla, Khan is also an accomplished vocalist. He has performed in virtually every part of the globe, participating in prestigious festivals and concerts, dazzling and captivating audiences with his extraordinary versatility. Tours abroad have taken him to almost every major city of the world, and he enjoys a large following, including former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.
His work has led to collaborations with artists and producers from all spectrums of the musical world, among them award-winning film director Mira Nair and famed producer Rick Rubin. He has also composed music for several films, such as Nair’s Mississippi Masala, starring Denzel Washington. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, among them the prestigious Hazrat Ameer Khusro Award, the President’s Pride of Performance (Pakistan’s highest artistic honour), and the title of “Tabla Prince of India and Pakistan.” Regardless of what Khan chooses to present, his performances never fail to exhilarate and inspire audiences.
Trained in India, Sangeeta is the daughter of the renowned music teacher, Deodath Ramlagan Jagdeo, and has spent her entire life learning music. “I was born in a home where classical music was entertained everyday,” said the Chase Village, Carapichaima resident.
The dholak (hand drums), harmonium and dhantal (steel instrument) surrounded her. At age three she was already singing the scales of music. She is versed in tabla, harmonium, vocals and the sitar. It was not difficult for her to master dance which she did as a side study while in India. She is a qualified khatak and Bharat Natyam dancer. With her wealth of talent, Sangeeta will carry on the school of arts which her father founded more than 40 years ago.
About her mission she says, “I have worked hard through the years to accomplish the goals I set. I believe that a person is capable of doing a lot during their lifetime. Those who are fortunate to stick to art in music or vocal, not only gain popularity, but are able to live more fulfilled lives,” she said.
Jagdeo is also one of the few TT women who holds diplomas both in Hindi and Sanskrit, which she speaks fluently. During her stay in India it was quite easy to communicate with her fellow students and professors. “I guess this is why I was able to excel in my studies within a quick time. While the others had to spend time translating, I was already practising my subjects,” she related.
On the topic of her music she says that the more you delve into music the more you discover and the more you want to learn. “Music came from the gods. An ancient art might be difficult to master, but for those who take the time to do so then they are transported to a different world. Music is a magnificent art that frees the soul from bondage. It elevates the soul to a higher region even while on earth,” she said.
Jagdeo is now working on a magazine titled Dharmic Sangeet Patrika. This she hopes to publish on a quarterly basis. It will contain notes on music and dance, fashions, Indian cuisine, the politics of both India and Trinidad and Tobago, and a whole lot more.
Jagdeo is versed in tabla, harmonium, and the sitar.