An evening at Alladiya Khansaheb Music festival

Last weekend I was able to attend some of the concerts 30th Annual Music Festival held at Mumbai as a musical tribute to Ustad Khansaheb Alladiya Khan, the doyen vocalist and founder of Jaipur Atrauli Gharana of music. This school has provided many wonderful gems such as Smt. Kesarbai Kerkar, Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur, Smt. Mogubai Kurdikar and her daughter Kishori Amonkar, Pt. Nivrtibua Sarnaik, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan etc.

I got to listen to a vocal recital by Pandit Sudhit Pote from Kolhapur and a sitar recital by Smt. Shaswati Ghosh. Panditji commenced his recital with Raga Bhimpalasi-Dhanashree. (I missed the announcement and racked my brains during the initial half to figure out the raga. This being a JOD(combination) raga proved to be a Herculean task.) This was followed by Raga Gauri from Bhairav Thaat and not the one from Marwa Thaat that is more commonly rendered by the Jaipur school.
Smt. Shaswati Ghosh was born in a musical family and initiated into Sitar played by her parents. She is also a disciple of Padma Vibhushan Sitar and Surbahar player Mata Annapurna Devi and a graded artist of AIR(Daughter of Ustad Allaudin khan Baba and former wife of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Mata Annapurna Devi is a musical genius and many stalwarts like Pt. Chaurasia, Pt. Nityanand Haldipur, Pt. Pradeep Barot are her disciples.) Shaswatiji isplayed a beautiful Yaman followed by Raga Jaijaiwanti.

Another plus was I got to meet a few of my old friends. Since my aunt and I have been attending this festival since the last 15 years we have plenty of fellow music lover friends. The organizer Shri. DR Khadke who has conducting this festival since the last 30 years is now in his early nineties and he made an appeal (as he does every year) to people from younger generations to come forward and assist him in his endeavours. I sincerely hope and pray that people respond to his plea and this festival continues for ever and ever.


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