Its been a long time since my last post, but I couldnt have asked for a better topic to write about.
Last week a colleague of mine sent us a link ( http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?ID=8961 ) which said "Zakir Hussain - World-renowned tabla virtuoso returns". We decided to go to this concert , discussed at length about how much we loved this Ustaad and just about forgot about it afterwards. I being me , thought of seeing the maestro live never left my brain.. so I resurrected the idea again and convinced couple of people to join me.
We booked tickets without any delay and waited eagerly for Friday evening.
Ustaad Zakir Hussain , needs on introduction I am sure. I have always enjoyed all his performances that I have watched in TV.He brings in something extra to all his performances. Who can forget the flowing hair from "Tajmahal Tea" advertisement - if you didnt know already my title comes from Ustaad's dialog in the ad).
Anyways.. we set off early from work and strolled casually towards Barbican centre. The auditorium ( its actually much more than that ) , looks typical victorian building from outside. Moment we stepped inside, it took my breadth away. There is something about this place , that oozes art. We collected our tickets , and got into the auditorium.
Lights dimmed out and Sitar strains started slowly. Ustaad took to the mike , paying tribute to demise of Sarod maestro Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan. It was impromptu I think , but the performance that followed , tugged our hearts and I thought it was a honest tribute from one musician to another. Ustaad and Nilaadri Kumar on Sitar gave a brilliant performance.
After a 20 min break, the actual concert started. What followed afterwards for about 2 hours was out of this world to say the least. Manipuri dancing drummers were rhythmic , athletic and graceful , Saarangi , tabla combo and Sitar Tabla combo was mesmerising. Doyra by Uzbek performing was enthralling and the finale were all 6 performers came together was brilliant.We didnt want it to end and couldnt get enough of this variety performance.
The whole program re-emphasised my belief in the sheer variety of Indian Music. I believe performers like Ustaad Zakir Hussain , Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan , Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia have done and are doing a great service in continuing the age old tradition of keeping our art forms alive. They have also not shied away from improvising and jamming up with western musicians , thus spreading our music to the world as well as keeping the yougsters intrested.
I can only say " Wah Ustaad Wah ".