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Family Dynasty of Wajahat Khan

"In the history of my gharana, the name Wajahat Khan will be written in golden letters."
- Ustad Vilayat Khan

The revered family of Ustad Wajahat Khan holds a unique position in the world of Indian Classical music. The most distinguished dynasty of sitar and surbahar players, it traces its origins 400 years back through an unbroken line of celebrated musicians to the court of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century. With its roots in Agra (home town of the Taj Mahal), the family moved to Etawah on the outskirts of Agra, thus acquiring its name as the Etawah Gharana. The gharana (musical dynasty) is also famously known as the Imdad Khani Gharana after Wajahat Khan's great-grandfather Ustad Imdad Khan. Its many lasting contributions over successive generations have profoundly influenced the course of North Indian instrumental music up to the present day.

Some well known contributions include:

Belonging to the 8th generation, Wajahat Khan is the first member of this illustrious family to take up the sarod. Whilst preserving the ancient traditions, he brings his own visionary innovations to the styles and techniques of this beautiful instrument. Through his paternal grandmother, he is also descended from a line of famous singers, from whom inherits a deep love and understanding of vocal music. Thus Wajahat Khan represents the finest of India's vocal as well as instrumental traditions. Follow this link for more info on Wajahat Khan's sarod style.

The world's most musical family ?

Son and nephew of the legendary Indian maestros Ustad Imrat Khan (sitar/surbahar) and late Ustad Vilayat Khan (sitar) respectively, Ustad Wajahat Khan is the sarod playing torch bearer of this remarkable family tradition. All of his three brothers Ustads Nishat Khan (sitar), Irshad Khan (surbahar, sitar) and Shafaatullah Khan (tabla, sitar, surbahar) are also world renowned and established maestros in their own fields. Their unique ensemble performance, celebrated as the Fifty Fingers and led by their father and guru Ustad Imrat Khan, has mesmerised audiences all around the world.

Wajahat Khan continues this tradition by nurturing many deserving students internationally, including his two young sons Azeem Hussain Khan and Alishaan Hussain Khan, who represent the ninth generation of perhaps the world's most musical family.

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The Fifty Fingers