GemArts Masala Festival: Ashraf Sharif Khan (Sitar) and Shahbaz Hussain (tabla)

Sage Two

Ashraf Sharif Khan was born in 1969 in Lahore, Pakistan, the son of sitar master Ustad Muhammad Sharif Khan Poonchwala, who enjoyed a renown in India and Pakistan equal to Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar. Like his father and grandfather, Ashraf Sharif Khan belongs to the illustrious Poonch Gharana school of traditional sitar.

Ashraf’s music combines an astonishing technical proficiency with perfection in musical expression. The melodic beauty of his style, accentuated by his dynamic rhythmic development and the virtuoso technique produce a unique musical experience. His music transcends regional boundaries, and is accessible to all.

He was adwarded with the 2015 a lifetime achievement award from the All Pakistan Music Conference in Pakistan and was awarded with the Presidents Pride of Performance Award from the Govt of Pakistan in 2017.

Shahbaz Hussain is regarded as the leading Tabla virtuosos of his generation. He has received numerous accolades for his captivating performances, including receiving the prestigious “Son of Lahore” Award from the Government of Pakistan in 2008.

Shahbaz began in the art of Tabla at age five with his father, the late Ustad Mumtaz Hussain – a prominent vocalist. He later went on to study with Tabla legends Ustad Faiyaz Khan from the Delhi Gharana (school), the late Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan from the Punjab Gharana and finally the late Ustad Allah Rakha Khan.

Shahbaz is an extremely versatile Tabla player. He has mastered all the imperative traditional skills as well as the ability to project those skills to more contemporary styles. His solo performances have gained great recognition all over the world. He is also much sought after for his accompaniment skills by many of the great masters musicians of India & Pakistan – including Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Rais Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia and ghazal legend Ghulam Ali to name but a few.

Shahbaz regularly travels across the world to present performances, including throughout Europe, North America & the Asian subcontinent. He has performed in many prestigious venues, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center in New York and London’s Royal Albert & Queen Elizabeth Halls. His band, Indus, has received critical acclaim for their debut album Firefly and they continue to tour the UK & internationally.

Shahbaz is also passionate about passing on the knowledge of Tabla to others. He is a dedicated teacher and regularly teaches across the country, including at the University of Newcastle and the University of Huddersfield.

A Family Ticket is available for £32.70 (four tickets, must include one child under 16). Please call Ticket Office to book.

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