‘Two Shades of Raga’

2009-06-09 00:00

LOVERS of Indian classical music are in for a treat when sitar genius, Ustad Shahid Parvez, performs his concert tour, Two Shades of Raga, at The Playhouse at 7 pm on June 13.

Parvez, who will be accompanied by leading tabla player Akram Khan, descends from six generations of sitarists and is the leading exponent of the Etawah Gharana, a musical tradition committed to this most famous of Indian instruments.

Indian classical music has, over the past five decades, become an international phenomenon with ambassadors such as Pundit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Zakir Hussein and others being some of the foremost protagonists.

Parvez too has been helping to grow the cosmopolitan appreciation for this ancient art. The traditions of the Etawah Gharana have remained vital and productive in his hands and he has worked hard to emphasise the unique capabilities of the sitar itself, introducing highly energised and rhythmically innovative instrumental play (tantrakari) into a tradition heavily reliant on the models of classical vocal music (gayaki ang).

“Rhythm and music is so much a part of the people of South Africa. It will be my pleasure to share our music and the traditions of Indian classical music, as has been practiced by seven generations of our family, with the people of South Africa,” Parvez said. “I know that there is a large jazz following and audiences in South Africa will be pleased to discover the many similarities between jazz and Indian classical music.”

Sharing the stage with him at the concert, hosted by The Aryan Benevolent Home, is master flautist Rupak Kulkarni, accompanied on tabla by Anubrata Chatterjee.

Kulkarni is the senior disciple of flute legend Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and has become an outstanding exponent of the Maihar Gharana. His first solo flute performance was at the age of nine where he left a 1 500-strong audience spellbound. Since then he has performed all over India and abroad.

Chatterjee is the son of the world-renowned tabla maestro, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, who toured South Africa with santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma in 2007. He started his career performing with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and, since then, has performed regularly with Parvez, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Rais Khan and others.

Sitar player Ustad Shahid Parvez and flautist Rupak Kulkarni perform in Two Shades of Raga at The Playhouse at 7 pm on June 13. Tickets from R100 to R150 are available at Computicket

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