Artists Information

Ustad Abdullah Khan - Shehnai

Ustad Abdullah Khan is Pakistans foremost shehnai nawaz today. Scion of a shehnai gharana affiliated with the mausoleum of Baba Nathoo Shah Bukhari in Kotri, his diverse training began at the hands of his father, Haji Khan and uncle, Faqir Lakhana.Later, as per tradition, he was instructed from ‘outside’ by distant uncles, Ustad Muhammad Moosa and Ustad Zawar Basant. This was done in the interest of a stricter, more disciplined academic regime.Ustad Abdullah Khan also learnt from the Vichitra Veena ustad, Maqbool Khan sahib- a “darvesh aalim” of music in his own right.The confluence of styles in his diverse training, are manifested in Ustad Abdullah Khan’s skillful musical prowess for both, folk and classical performances today.

Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan - Sitar Player

President’s Pride of Performance recipient, Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan, got his musical training from his illustrious father Ustad Sharif Khan Poonchwaley of the Poonch gharana. A child prodigy, he gave his first public performance at the age of 10, collecting accolades from here on. He has performed at most prestigious platforms worldwide, to critical acclaim and has also received numerous awards.

Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan’s style is characterized by its aesthetic sensitivity, dynamic rhythmic development and technical proficiency. The Veena ang, of his sitar is undoubtedly an inheritance from Ustad Sharif Sharif Khan Poonchwaley.

He is presently settled in Germany and experiments with other genres of jazz and world music alongside his solo career. 

Ustad Akmal Qadri - Bansuri

Akmal Qadri, son of legendary Flute maestro late Ustad Alla-Ditta Qadri is one of the few classical flute players in Pakistan.

Tutored by his father from an early age he started performing at a very young age and made his mark both in classical and folk Flute playing. He has performed extensively in Pakistan and participated in music festivals/concerts throughout the world.

Ayesha Ali :

Ayesha Ali started her classical vocal training with late Ustad Nazir Ahmad Butt, and than has been in the tutelage of late Ustad Hafeez Khan Talwandi focusing on Dhurpad Gaiki. Ayesha is a mathematician by profession and teaches at the Lahore School of Economics. After the passing of Ustad Hafeez Khan, she has been training under Ustad Pervez Paras as well as Shahid Hameed sahib.

Akbar Khamisu Khan

Ayesha Ali started her classical vocal training with late Ustad Nazir Ahmad Butt, and than has been in the tutelage of late Ustad Hafeez Khan Talwandi focusing on Dhurpad Gaiki. Ayesha is a mathematician by profession and teaches at the Lahore School of Economics. After the passing of Ustad Hafeez Khan, she has been training under Ustad Pervez Paras as well as Shahid Hameed sahib.

Akbar Ali

Akbar Ali is one of the rising stars of classical music in Pakistan. With an inherited allegiance to the Naalan gharana of qawwali, his initiation to music was at the hands of his father Bashir Ahmad Khan sahib. Recognizing the nuanced sensitivity in Akbar’s voice, his uncle Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan, who follows a blood lineage to the Sham Churasi gharana of khayal gayeki, as well as a spiritual linkage to Ustad Amir Khan of the Indore gharana took him under his able wings.His diversified tutoring is ably demonstrated in his performance which fulfills all the requirements of raga badhat, taan tayyari and laykari with great skill. He has been performing to much acclaim in both India and Pakistan.

Ali Raza (Suntoor) - Suntoor

Ali Raza Khan is Suntoor player, started training with his grandfather – Ustaad Rahim Baksh, from Shahi Qutabi Gharana.

Started training with his grandfather at the age of 5

He has performed at national and international level. He has also been invited to live shows on channels such as Samaa, Dawn, Kay2 and AJK TV

Aizaz Sohail

Ustad Abdul Rauf was his first teacher in Lahore. Then he further polished his music skills with acclaimed Kasur Patiala vocalist Pandit Ajoy Charkraborty.

Aizaz Sohail also trained under Ustad Faheem Mazhar.
He developed his passion for singing when he was only 6 years old.
He is the only singer in Pakistan who learned Carnatic Music which is south indian classical.

Ahsan Ali khan

Young Aspiring Artist, took his initial training from Ustad Ghulam Shabbir Sahib. Performing from the age of 10.In 2010 winner of Chhotay Ustad in Inida. Learning for past 3 years from Ustad Reza Ali Khan of Patyala Gharana. Has already performed for Apmc khi and Tehzeeb Foundation

Ahsan Ali khan

Young Aspiring Artist, took his initial training from Ustad Ghulam Shabbir Sahib. Performing from the age of 10.In 2010 winner of Chhotay Ustad in Inida. Learning for past 3 years from Ustad Reza Ali Khan of Patyala Gharana. Has already performed for Apmc khi and Tehzeeb Foundation

Ustad Badaruz Zaman

is a leading practitioners of the Kasur gharana style. Coming from a non musical family, Khansahib received training from eminent ustads of the time – among them Ustad Faiz Ali, Ustad Iftikhar Ahmad of the Dilli gharana and Ustad Chhote Ghulam Ali Khan of the Kasur gharana.Ustad Badaruz Zaman has a repertoire including Khayal, Thumri, Kaafi and is considered a repository of Punjabi bandishes.Apart from his performing career, Ustad Badaruz Zaman has worked actively for the betterment and advancement of classical music through his teaching and scholarship. He has also authored a number of books on Musicology.

Ustad Bashir Khan – Tabla

Ustad Bashir Khan, one of the senior most artistes in Pakistan, is loved for his fine accompaniment aesthetics. As a soloist, he has proved his competence and abundant knowledge of traditional fixed compositions as well as excellent improvisational abilities. Bashir Khan was initiated into the intricate art by his father Ustad Miran Buksh but inherits the authentic baaj of Punjab gharana through his guru Mian Karim Buksh Pairna. He has toured United States, South Africa, England, Holland, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, India and Japan.Basheer Khan has also been conferred the Presidents’ Pride of Performance in 2007 in recognition for services rendered towards his instrument.He is presently teaching at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA).

Ustad Bashir Khan – Tabla

Sons of Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Gullo and grandsons of Ustad Nathu Khan Sb, rising young stars of the Pakistani classical scene, Suraj & Chand Khan are practitioners of the Patiala and Shamchaurasi Gharanas they master in South Asian Classical and Folk genres. Suraj & Chand Khan have experimented in Fusion forms with East European musical genresAre regular artists at All Pakistan Music Conference, Lahore. Have performed at Lahore Music Forum, Glasgow Common wealth UK , Fusion with Norwegian band.

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan - Khayal

Foremost exponent of the Gwalior gayeki in Pakistan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan learnt music from his father Ghulam Rasool Khan and uncle Ustad Ummeed Ali Khan.His art is characterised with the immense tayyari and powerful taans of the Gwalior gharana. Original banishes in his repertoire.A recipient of many awards including the Roshan Ara Gold Medal and the Presidents Pride of Performance, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan has represented Pakistan in many festivals and concerts around the world.

Ustad Faheem Mazhar - Khayal

Faheem mazhar is a classical singer with a career span of over 30 years.Faheem has a broad international repertoire and has performed in over 20 countries. Faheem covered the media in Pakistan. His classical endeavor, Firdous e gosh, on PTV earned him region wide acclaim. Faheem has taught art at the Birmingham University Conservetoire and continues to teach music at universities nationally

Farhan Khan - Sitar

Farhan Khan comes from a lineage of great musicians of the Mewat Gharana. Under the tutelage of his father, the late maestro, Ustad Rais Khan, Farhan underwent rigorous training of both the sitar and the surbahar, or bass sitar, starting when he was barely three.He gave his first public performance accompanying his father at the Nazrul Manch in Calcutta on January 9th, 1991 at the tender age of 9.The sophistication and delicacy in Farhan Khan’s playing truly represents the gayaki-ang style of sitar.

Faizan & Nadir Ali - Khayal

Faizan Ali Khan & Nadir Ali Khan are sons of Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan and Grandsons of Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, performing since the age of 13.

Gul Muhammad Sarangi

6th generation of Sarangi, S/O Akhter Hussain Sarangi Player, and His grandfather Ustad Ghulam Mohamad Khan used to play with Ustad Baray Ghulam Ali and Ustad Salamat Ali.Started training with his father at the age of 13.Spent 4 years in Napa learned and performed at the same time. He has also performed for Tehzeeb Foundation, Sounds of Kolachi Band, coke studios & APMC Karachi.

Humera Channa

Achieving recognition for her talent with PTV in the 1980s few people know that she started her career at the tender age of nine, when she sang for the film Darwaza Khula Rakhna written by her father. Her performance drew acclaim and her potential was immediately recognized by producer Nisar Haider, who gave Humera her first break on television where she was given the opportunity to perform the kalaam of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai on PTV Karachi. After this she was regularly seen on composer Niaz Ahmed’s music programme Khush Rang. In the1980’s Humera’s voice gave life to many actresses in both Urdu and Punjabi feature films. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with appearances in the popular show Silver Jubilee

A multi Nigar Award winning singer, Humera Channa sings in Urdu, Punjabi, Saraiki and Sindhi

Muhammad Hanif Khan

Muhammad Hanif Khan started his formal training under the guidance of Pandit Chandan Das and later on with Ustad Pervaiz Paras.The emotional and aesthetic content has been widely acknowledged. He adopts the “gaeyki ang” in his playing.He has performed variously at all major platforms of Pakistan and is also the moving spirit behind the Aalam Al-khayal society of promoting classical music.Muhammad Hanif was accompanied by Yousuf Basheer on Tabla.

Intezar Hussain

Intezar Hussain is an upcoming vocalist of the Patiala gharana style. Trained by the late maestro, Ustad Ilyas Khan, Hussain’s skill exhibits all the hallmarks of Patiala ga’eki like taan-tayyari, boltaan, tez sargam and laykari. He is presently part of the music faculty at National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), Karachi.

Imran Ilyas

Patyala Gharana. Prominent names are Ustad Amanat Ali & Fateh Ali Khan (father’s first cousins) Father Ilyas Hussain Khan Sahab trained him throughout.Performed for apmc Lahore, karachi and Tehzeeb foundation. Raag Madhu Kanth, taal Jhoomra, bundish 3 taal.

Imran Abbas khan - Khayal

Son of Ustad Rehmat Khan. Nephew of Ustad Ahmed Ali Khan and Ustad Umeed Ali Khan.Learned from his own father and then from older brother Roshan Abbas Khan and Ghulam Abbas Khan.Has performed for PNCA Lahore and Islamabad, Tehzeeb Foundation, LMF, Arts Council and APMC.

Izzat Fateh Ali Khan - Khayal

6th generation of Khayal, s/o Ustad Fateh Ali Khan- the flag bearer of the Gwailor Gharana.Started training with his father at the age of 7.

Jaffer Hussain – Clarinet

Jaffer Hussain follows in the tradition of master Sohni Khan, the legendary Clairnet player who transformed a wedding brass band into a serious display of classical music. Jaffer leads his 12 person Punjab band with the clarinet, he also plays solo Clarinet with command and has performed extensively in Pakistan.

Labraiz Afzal & Ali Hafeez Talwandi

They are Dhurpad performers.Talwandi gharana is one of the oldest and still carrying the same traditions and value of their heritage. Talwandi style emphasizes on the Alaap considered exceptional and strong gamak. Their dhurpad is also known for its laykaari. Comes from a very famous family of Chand Khan& Suraj Khan sahib of Talwandi Gharana. Only representatives of this gharana in the world. Homegrown dhrupad gharana.

He is the 134th representative of this gharana. His initial training was by his father ustad abdul Afzal khan & uncle Ustad abdul hafeez khan. They have performed on different forums including apmc, LMF and Alamal khayal.They also have the honor of being the only artists being invited to perform in Harballah Mela in Jalandhar in 2012Raag Chandni Kedara. Pakhawaj by Qamer Abbas from Faisalabad Chautala (14 beats)

Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan - Khayal

He received his training in music from his uncle Ustad Ghazanfar Ali Khan but considers Ustad Ameer Khan Sahib his spiritual guide. Indeed, this influence is most evident in his style.Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan sahib started his career from Radio in 1964, and has had a prolific career with performances nationally and internationally. His unique tonality and aesthetic presentation make him a favourite among classical music listeners.

Ustad Mumtaz Sabzal - Benjo

Mumtaz Ali Sabzal’s forefathers had the pride of introducing Binjo – originally a Baloch folk instrument into classical music. His grandfather Ustad Khaliq Dad was a shagird of the Gwalior gharana and Mumtaz is upholding up his legacy.

Muslim Shaggan - Khayal

Muslim Shaggan is the son of Ustad Mazhar Shaggan, belong from gayeki gwailor gharana. Started training from his grandfather Ustad Ghullam Hassan Shaggan & Uncle Ustad Qadir Ali Shaggan at the age of 7. He demonstrates taan tayyari and laykari with great skill and has been performing to much acclaim in both India and Pakistan..

Maimoona Sajid - Khayal

Maimoona Sajid is started training of classical music at the age of 7 years with her Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan. She has performed in different TV Channels, winner of Bano Samaa Ki Awaaz and also Gold medalist in sufi singing.

Muzzamil Akmal Qadri

Muzamil started his musical career as a guitarist when he was 14 years old. He has been learning guitars since he was 10 years old.He performed his first concert at US embassy in Islamabad then he has performed at national and international level. He has also been a recording artist at various studios recording guitars for a variety of artists .

In 2019 he appeared on Nescafe Basement season 5, and recently he has also been featured in Coke studio season 14, he played Sarod in that season; Muzamil is the only youngest Sarod player in Pakistan, an instrument that is on the edge of extinction.

Ustad Naseeruddin Saami - Khayal

The sole representative of the Qawwal Bachcha/ Dilli harana in khayal, Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, traces his lineage back to Mian Saamat Bin Ibrahim and Mian Tanras Khan, one of the original ‘Qawwal bacchas’ and royal tutor to Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar, respectively.Trained under the profound tutelage of his late uncle, the eminent Munshi Raziuddin, he imbibed the wide-ranging repertoire of his gharana, which encompasses khayal, as well as qawwali. On the instruction of his mentor, he also trained under other elders of the Dilli gharana, namely Sardar Khan and Pyaray Khan.

Keeping in the tradition of his forefathers, Saami Sahib’s music is intrinsically linked to his religiosity and spirituality. He invokes his forefathers’ claim to ‘SudhBani’ (founders of purity in an expression), in the realization of the immaculate ‘Sur’.

“When the sur was given stillness, it revealed the realities of ‘muqaams’*  aligned to it. It is on the basis of the one Sa that we find all the other surs:  re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, as well as, what lies between them… And our Sa bears witness to their truth.”

This, undoubtedly, is the cornerstone of the uniqueness of his singing, in which he employs a microtonal structure of 49 intervals per octave, much above the prevalent 22 intervals per octave.Ustad Naseeruddin Saami was conferred the prestigious President’s Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan in 2007.

Paul Livingstone

International performing artist Paul Livingstone is one of the few American disciples of the legendary Pt. Ravi Shankar and studied also with Pt Rajeev Taranath. He has performed around the US, Mexico, and India & Southeast Asia with leading tabla artists from India & Nepal such as Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri, Homnath Upadhyaya & Abhijit Banererjee. Paul is a dedicated sitarist for over 30 years, a multi-instrumentalist and composer of ‘ragajazz chamber music’ in the realm of world music synthesis leading his own Arohi Ensemble.

Paul has composed and recorded for film & television, as well as creating music for live theater & dance productions. He has been featured on two Grammy Award-winning records and performed & recorded with popular artists such as Alanis Morrisette, Ozomatli, Rickey Kej, Emmanuel and as well collaborating with traditional & jazz crossover artists from Guinea, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, Venezuela, Spain, Syria, North & South India as well as artists from around the US & Canada.

Paul received his undergrad and master’s degrees from Cal Arts and currently is on the music faculty at Glendale Community College teaching Indian and world music. Paul is also a committed community activist & educator with a vision for cross-cultural collaboration that reflects his innermost social, political & spiritual values through the transcendent joy of music.

Ustad Raza Ali Khan - Khayal

Ustad Raza Ali Khan, grandson of legendary Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, inherits the Qasur-Patiala tradition from his father Ustad Munawwar Ali Khan. Raza Ali Khan is taken as one of the most promising young vocalists in the sub-continent.

Ustad Shafqat Salamat Ali

Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan is a famous classical and Sufi singer of Pakistan son of legendary Ustad Salamat Ali Khan belongs to Sham Chaurasi Gharana carrying the legacy of legendary musicians since 500 years.Sham Chaurasi Gharana successfully combines the “angs” of Dhrupad, Kaafi, and Khayal in its distinctive styles.

Ustad Shahbaz Hussain - Tabla

Shahbaz Hussain Khan started learning from his father Mumtaz Hussain at the age of 5.

He is a disciple of Ustad Faiyyaz Khan of Delhi gharana. He also received training from Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan of Punjab gharana and Ustad Allah Rakha. His tabla playing is a beautiful blend of Delhi and Punjab traditions. He has had the privilege of playing with several greats of hindustani classical music including Ustad Imrat Khan, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Ustad Rais Khan, Ustad Husain Bakhsh Khan, etc. He also has the distinction of accompanying Ustad Vilayat Khan, one of the greatest sitar players of our times, on his last concert.

Ustad Salamat Hussain – Flute

Gentle and unassuming, Ustad Salamat Hussain received his training from the famous sarangi player Ustad Hamid Husain Khan of Rampur gharana. Salamat is a great admirer of Panna Lal Ghosh and follows his style.He has the distinction of having played in front of many heads of state and is the recipient of many awards including the President’s Pride of Performance.

Ustad Shahid Hameed :

Shahid Hamid sahib’s musical journey is a story of real dedication and passion of music. Born into a non- musical household, it was his relentless pursuit of the art that have flowered into the artist he has become today.

His initiation into music was at the hands of Maqsood Ali Khan sahib (a student of Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan) from whom he learnt the sitar. He went on to learn from Ustad Ziauddin Khan Alwari of the National Academy of Theatre Arts, Karachi (NATAK), settling for his own voice to be the chosen medium of expression. After taking early retirement from his day job as a banker, he has dedicated himself fully to his passion.

Shahzaib Ali

He was a student of Ustad Hameed ali khan and Ustad Mahmood Ali of the Gwalior gharana. He has performed in various tv channels. He is current giving classes at arts council and Habib University and has also been part of APMC’s module on Eastern Music. He started learning music when he was only 15 years old.

Shahid Ali Khan

He belongs to the Jaipur-Senia Gharana. He gave his first performance when he was only 10 years old.. He learned music from Ustad Ahmed Baksh, Ustad Ghani khan, Ustad Jamal Khan Bhartia, Ustad Akhtar Hussain who is also present here. His grandfather Ustad Yaqoob Khan and father, Ustad Abid Hussain were also instrumental in his learning.

Saeed Hussain

He learned music from Ustad Raseed Ahmed Khan who was a practitioner of the Bhindi bazaar tradition . His father and his taya, Ustad Bashir Ahmed both were his mentors and taught Saeed Hussain the art of Qawali. Also learnt the tabla from his grandfather, Ustad Farhatullah Khan and uncle Ghulam Hussain sahib. Has performed on PTV

Salman Haider

He is based in Shikarpur City, Pakistan. He learned classical music from Gwalior Gharanas, later on, he was trained by Ustad Pandit Waryal Dass- After the death (2005) of his Ustad, and he started training with his father Ustad Muhammad Saleem.

Shayaan Saquib

Shayaan has been learning the sarod for the past 8 years and this is his first public performance. He is a disciple of Pandit Arnab Chakravarty who is one of the leading representatives of the Lucknow Shahjehanpur Gharanas. Shayaan has also received additional guidance in the gayaki ang from Rampur Sahaswan Gharana’s Ustad Ghulam Niyaz Khan and sitar maestro Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan.

Turab Ali khan - Sitar

Hussain Khan sahib and his uncle Ustad Ikhlaq Hussain khan sahab , Turab has imbibed the gayaki ang of his forefathers. He was recognized as a child prodigy and gave his first public performance at the age of 13.Since then he has performed at all prestigious platforms in Pakistan and also internationally to acclaim. Turab Ali will be accompanied by Waqas Gulab on tabla for this recital.

Urooj Saami - Khayal

Urooj Saami is the son of Dilli Gharana luminary, Ustad Naseeruddin Saami. He inherits the strong traditions of Qawwal Bachcha gharana through direct lineage to Miyan Taanrus Khan and Miyan Saamat Bin Ibrahim. Urooj Saami received his training from his father and also his maternal grandfather, Munshi Raziuddin. 

Vijay Kumar

He is one of the classical musicians based in Quetta, Pakistan. He belongs to the Gwalior Gharana (school of classical music). Born in 1986 in Quetta, Baluchistan Pakistan. Moreover, comes from a musical background. This helped him in getting an opportunity to start his carrier as a classical musician in his childhood.

Additionally, when he was ten, he received his initial training from his father Ustad Moti Lal. Further after his basic training, he received his formal education from a Kabul based- teacher (Ustad Payinda Khan)

Later on, he was trained by Ustad Attah Ullah (one of Ustad Payinda Khan’s senior pupils based in Quetta Pakistan, and also played in Kabul and in other cities of Afghanistan.He has also participated in various national and international music festivals like Tehzib Festival Karachi: All Pakistan Music Conference, Lahore, PTV Quetta, Radio Pakistan, etc. Recently he has recorded many of his albums on various platforms too.

Virginia Nicoli - Bansuri

dreamed of playing the flute since she was three years old. She often listened to a Dean Evans CD called “Ocean Dreams” in which different flutes were accompanied by harp and ocean sounds, this was her first inspiration to become a flutist. She finally began to play at six and at ten began her silver flute studies. She studied privately for five years with different teachers and participated in seminars run by RezaNajfar. She studied for three years at the” Accademia della Musica” in Milan with Lucio Nanni, she is also a graduate of the visual arts Steiner school “Progetto Michelangelo” in Milano. She has a master’s in Music Therapy from the “Modello Benenzon”.

Formed “Samvad” with Igino Giovanni Brunori In Italy they studied with the great maestro of Indian classical music Gianni Richizzi, who dedicated over thirty years of his life to the study and teaching of Indian Classical Music. They also participated in many workshops with great maestros such as HariprasadChaurasia.

Since 2009 they study under guru-shishya-parampara with Gundecha Brothers in Bhopal, and since then live at the Dhrupad Sansthan of Bhopal for several months a year, to deepen their knowledge of the art of dhrupad and dedicate themselves totally to the music. They study with the Bansuri, the Saxophone, and the silver flute and Virginia with the voice as well.

In 2012 they started performing with their Gurujs the Gundecha Brothers performing in many of the biggest Indian Classical Music festivals of India such as the Saptak festival in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru Habbain Bangalore, and recently in Sawai Gandharva in Pune, and Doverlane Music Conference in Kolkatta. Thanks to the suggestions of their Gurus they have started to use their Western instruments to play Dhrupad, creating a unique sound. The microtonal movements and ornamentations of this style of music have brought them to the physical limits of their instruments whilst leading them to discover new ways of playing. It is no longer the instrument that plays, but the music itself that plays the instrument. To those who ask: “How can you play dhrupad on these instruments?” they answer: there is no limit to music, only the mind…

They deepen the study of Bansuri with Pandit Rajendra Prasanna and his son Rishab Prasanna. Samvad is active with performances all over the world, in India, Europe, America, and Canada, with their duo Samvad or in different collaborations.

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali , Mazhar Hussain

Dr. Zulfiqar Ali, Mazhar Hussain have achieved renown, not just as practitioners of the Gwalior tradition, but also for their academic contributions to music. After his engagement with the Musicology Department at the National College of Arts, Lahore, Zulfiqar Ali is presently heading the Musicology Department of Mehran University