Advancement and Promotion of Charitable Activities

Akram Khan

Much acclaimed and traveled, young Akram is being hailed as one of the leading tabla players of the present day, and is the most frequent accompanist to the living legend of sitar, Ustad Vilayat Khan. Akram belongs to the Ajrara Gharana family or style of playing), which is one of the leading schools of tabla on the subcontinent. One of the best-known Ajrara players was Ustad Habibuddin Khan. Akram received his initial training form the late Ustad Niyazu Khan of Meerut city, and his grandfather, Ustad Mohammad Shafi Khan, considered a giant in the realm of tabla. He continues his training with his father Ustad Hashmat Ali Khan. Having performed at music conferences from a very young age, Akram is accustomed to critical acclaim. But his most prized comments have come from audiences in the cities of Lucknow and Benares, the homes of two rival tabla traditions. Here, audiences put aside their gharana loyalties and went all out to praise Akram. Since 1987 when he accompanied Ustad Vilayat Khan on a tour of Japan, Akram has toured many times with the maestro. In 1992, he accompanied him on a tour of the United States, performing at Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Center. The November 20 performance will be his Seattle debut. Akram has accompanied most of the leading instrumental musicians in India, and has been recorded on disc/compact disc/cassette with Ustad Vilayat Khan ; Pandit Bhajan Sopori, santoor; and Buddhaditya Mukherjee, sitar. In 2003, Akram will tour North America with Ustad Shahid Parvez.