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Carrying forward musical legacy

Carrying forward a great tradition, Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan, Ustad Jawaad Ali Khan and Ustad Raza Ali Khan have proved to be outstanding grandsons of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

music Updated: Apr 08, 2003 13:09 IST

Carrying forward a great tradition, and proud descendants of a lineage of great masters, Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan, Ustad Jawaad Ali Khan and Ustad Raza Ali Khan are the very outstanding young grandsons of Padmabhushan Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, doyen of the Patiala Gharana and one of this century's greatest vocalists.

The initial guidance and musical environment for Mazhar, Jawaad and Raza came from their father Karamat Ali Khan, elder son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. He nurtured their love for music and focused their thinking towards the greatness of this art form. Later they started formal training under their uncle and guru Ustad Munawar Ali Khan, second son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. He groomed them in the intricate Chaumukhia style of the Patiala Kasur Gayaki. Their Guru's vigorous talim of many years coupled with their own untiring riyaz has moulded them into mature and capable vocalists.

Speaking of their grandfather, the Khans say, "It is our grandfather who concentrated on the more classical aspect of singing. Even three decades after his death, there remains an indelible impression of his style on this gharana. The Patiala gharana lays emphasis on swiftness in presenting taans."

The Khan brothers, in their several of their concerts in India, Pakistan and Canada, have been flooding audiences with nostalgic memories of their beloved grandfather with their expertise in weaving complex taan patterns, and their control over swara and laya. Their broad and virile voices compel attention and their performances never fail to impress the audience. While remaining within the norms of their gayaki, they innovate and create a definitive aura and brilliance in their renderings encompassing perfect technique and aesthetics.

Concludes Jawwad Ali Khan, "Singing has got to wear the requisite look of a determinate expressiveness; and to this aesthetic semblance, a choice of appropriate words, distinctly spoken, should be allowed to contribute."