PROFILE: Ustad Raees Khan

Ustad Raees Khan | PakistanTribe.comUstad Raees Khan, born at Indore in 1939, belongs to one of the oldest and renowned musical families that still exist today.

He is a direct descendant, through thirty generations, of the court musician to the Mughal Emperor in the 15th century. Khan Sahib’s compelling presence and a unique and inimitable style of playing has captivated audiences all over the world. His music has an intriguing if not hypnotic effect even on those listeners who are not aware of the complexities of the Sitar. The fact that Khan Sahib is an accomplished vocalist also adds to his popularity. At the end of his recitals, he often sings and demonstrates the same on the Sitar which thrills his listeners. They immediately see how vocal music closely relates to instrumental music.

Ustad Raees Khan’s forefathers settled in Indore and hence the stamp of “Mewat Gharana Baaj” to his style. His father, Ustad Mohammed Khan, started giving taalik to his son when he was only two and a half years old by presenting him a coconut shell Sitar. At the age of five, Khan Sahib gave his first public performance at the Sundarbhai Hall in the presence of the then Governor of Bombay Sir Maharaja Singh and his wife. By the age of nine he became an established artist of Hindustani Classical Music. In 1955, he was selected from a huge list of competitors from all over India to represent the Indian Nation at the International Youth Festival in Warsaw. At this event he won the Gold Medal in the string instruments category in which there were 111 competitors. This is the only gold medal received by an Indian in this category till today. Since then, Khan Sahib has been touring extensively throughout the world and delighting packed audiences at major capital cities. Ustad Raees Khan has also been involved with the Indian Film music for about 30 years. Khan Sahib is married to the one of the most popular singers of Pakistan, Bilquees Khanum. He is the first Indian to have a recital televised on the PTV network in 1985. Season 7 will mark Khan Sahib’s debut at the Coke Studio platform.

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