December 7: Playing For The Planet — World Music Against Climate Change

The twentieth “Playing For The Planet” benefit concert showcases master musicians from three different musical traditions, in a benefit for the environmental advocacy group

Featured performers include the cross-cultural violin master Beth Bahia Cohen, the Hindustani singing of Warren Senders, and the intimate jazz improvisations of Stan Strickland & Josh Rosen.

The music begins at 7:00 pm, at The Community Church Of Boston, 565 Boylston Street (Copley Square), Boston. Admission is $20; $15 students & seniors. For information, please call 781-330-8032, find us on our Facebook event page, or visit the event website at

Online ticket purchasing is available through Eventbrite.

About The Artists

Pianist/percussionist Josh Rosen and saxophonist/flautist/vocalist Stan Strickland are two of New England’s most loved and respected jazz musicians. They have been performing together since 2007, creating a intimate, spontaneous music that showcases their deep rapport with one another and with their listeners.

“Finishing each other’s thoughts and phrases as these tunes wend their way from churchy soul-jazz to more abstract precincts, Rosen and Strickland are more than just in sync — they often sound like a single musician playing two instruments.” – Boston Herald

“With the soul of an improv jam session, these two are one of the tastiest new treats to come along in a while.” – Midwest Record

Beth Bahia Cohen is of Syrian Jewish and Russian Jewish descent and has spent many years exploring the ways the violin and other bowed string instruments are played in Greece, Turkey, Hungary, and the Middle East. She plays several Greek lyras, the Turkish bowed tanbur and kabak kemane, the Egyptian rababa, the Norwegian  hardanger fiddle, and more. She was a Radcliffe Bunting Fellow and has been the recipient of many travel and research grants, including an NEA/Artists International grant to study the classical music of Turkey.

 In addition to performing throughout the U.S., she teaches workshops and ensembles on Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Greek and Turkish music in conservatories and universities throughout the U.S as well as teaching privately in her studio in Watertown.  She performs solo concerts of traditional and original music on various bowed string instruments from many countries (The Art of the Bow), as well as concerts exploring traditional Jewish music from all over the world.

One of the world’s great improvisational song forms is khyal, the richly ornamented classical singing of North Indian tradition. Accompanied by the harmonium of Kaavya Velivati and the tabla of Harsha Hampapura, Warren Senders weaves a hypnotic tapestry of sound in his renditions of traditional ragas.

Acclaimed as the foremost non-Indian performer of this beautiful idiom, Senders lived in India for many years, learning the khyal style from master teacher Pt. S.G. Devasthali. He has performed throughout the world, enrapturing audiences and critics with a unique combination of authenticity and originality.   

Online ticket purchasing is available through Eventbrite.

About 350MA and

Co-founded by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, is the hub of a worldwide network of over two hundred environmental organizations, all with a common target: persuading the world’s countries to unite in an effort to reduce global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million or less. Climatologist Dr. James Hansen says, “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 400 ppm to at most 350 ppm.” (Dr. Hansen headed the NASA Institute for Space Studies in New York City, and is best known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue.) Activists involved in the 350 movement include Rajendra Pachauri (Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Vandana Shiva (world-renowned environmental leader and thinker), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a global activist on issues pertaining to democracy, freedom and human rights), Van Jones, Bianca Jagger, Barbara Kingsolver and many more. is the Massachusetts Chapter of this worldwide advocacy group, and the hub for the Better Future Project.

About The Community Church Of Boston

The Community Church of Boston is a free community united for the study and practice of universal religion, seeking to apply ethical ideals to individual life and the democratic and cooperative principle to all forms of social and economic life. We invite you to join us one Sunday for a thought-provoking and joyful time, or contact the church to find out more:

Making It Happen!

The Beauty of Khyal — A Recital of Night Ragas

I’m as happy with this recording as I’ve ever been. The recording session we did on August 16 of this year was wonderfully productive, and this CD represents the first installment of the raga performances Milind Pote, Chaitanya Kunte, and I laid down that night.

Please pitch in. You’ll love this music.

Dadar Concert, August 13, 2013

Ragas Purvi, Nayaki Kanada, Khamaj (Tappa-ang thumri), and a Sindhi lok-geet — all performed in what appeared to be the world’s largest shower stall. With Mukta Raste – tabla, and Ravindra Lomate – harmonium. Thanks to Nandu Dhaneshwar and Neela Bhagwat for arranging this program at Shivaji Park Nagarik Sangh.

Music videos are below the fold:

more »

Toronto Concert, July 20, 2013

Toronto, June 20, 2013. Ragas Kamod, Nayaki Kanada, Pahadi, Bhairavi. With Ravi Naimpally on tabla and Raya Bidaye on harmonium, performing under the auspices of Toronto’s Raga Mala society.

Music videos below the fold:

more »

V. R. Athavale

V.R. Athavale – born December 20, 1918. A khyaliya of Agra gharana, he learned with Pt. V.N. Patwardhan and Ustad Vilayat Hussein Khan, and was known as a teacher and author (a biography of Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar). These recordings are from an All India Radio broadcast.

Raga Dhanashri

Raga Lalit Pancham

Raga Bhupali Todi

Raga Bahaduri Todi

Raga Lachari Todi

Raga Hussaini Todi

Raga Samant Sarang

Pune Concert, August 20, 2011

This concert was arranged by Chaitanya Kunte, the extraordinary musicologist, composer and harmonium virtuoso.

It was a pleasant and unusual experience to have two melodic accompanists — Chaitanyaji on harmonium and Eeshan Devasthali (my Guruji’s grandson) on violin. Milind Pote provided the rock-solid and very sympathetic tabla sangat.


Shyam Kalyan
Puriya Dhanashri
Tilak Kamod

Here’s the concert, embedded as a single playlist:

Nasik Concert, August 19, 2011

Finally getting around to uploading and embedding the concerts from last summer’s trip to India. Here is the concert from Nasik embedded as a single playlist, leading off with Puriya Kalyan, and including Mian ki Malhar, Kafi tappa, Tilak Kamod, Khamaj, Pahadi and Bhairavi.

I greatly enjoyed this evening. Nitin Ware’s accompaniment was extremely solid, and Dyaneshwar Sonawane gave very supportive sangat on harmonium.

Note the cascade of inaccuracies in the news clipping. I began studying khyal in 1977, went to India first in 1985. I never studied with Nana Joshi, who was my Guru’s first teacher. Etc., etc., etc.

I’m grateful to Asmita Sevekare and her father for arranging this program. With luck I’ll go back there again next year.

This review is remarkable for its near-complete inaccuracy!

More Early Mallikarjun Mansur To Delight Your Ears

Three more gems from Buwa’s Gwalior period, for your enjoyment:

“Karnataka Kafi”


Raga Puriya


Raga Brindabani Sarang

23 Jun 2011, 10:00am
Indian music music vocalists:


  • Meta

  • SiteMeter

  • Brighter Planet

    Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
  • Faiyaaz Khan: Aftaab-e-Mausiqi

    Raga Darbari Kanada


    Ustad Faiyaz Khan is so far the best known exponent of Agra Gharana in Hindustani classical music. He was the master khayal vocalist of his time. Born at Sikandara near Agra in 1886 (contested as 1888, 1889)[1], he was the son of Shabr Hussain, who died three months before his birth. He was brought up by his maternal grandfather, Ghulam Abbas (1825?-1934), who taught him music, up to the age of 25. He was also a student of Ustad Mehboob Khan Darspiya, his father-in-law and was a for short time a disciple of Ustad Jagadguru Mallick of Calcutta who had the famous sarodiya Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan and the renowned sitarist Ustad Enayet Khan in his tutelege.

    An extraordinary performance of Raga Desh.


    The vocalist and historian Susheela Misra writes:

    Faiyaz Khan’s musical lineage goes back to Tansen himself. His family is traced back to Alakhdas, Malukdas and then to Haji Sujan Khan (son of Alakhdas who became a Muslim.) Genius, musical ancestary, and training combined to give us this wonderful artist-one of the most reputed and respected exponents of Hindustani classical music in recent times. He had the exceptional good fortune of receiving his talim in Dhrupad singing from his grand father, Ghulam Abbas Khan; and in Dhamar from his grand uncle, Ustad Kallan Khan, both of whom were leading musicians of the rangila gharana in the second half of the last century. Kallan Khan was the younger brother of Ghulam Abbas Khan and, therefore, the grand-uncle of Faiyaz Khan Sahib. Ghulam Abbas Khan was his maternal grandfather, and Rangeela Ramzan Khan his paternal great grandfather. Faiyaz Khan’s uncle, Fida Hussain was a court musician in Tonk (Rajputana). Faiyaz was born at Sikandra near Agra in 1880 and he died in Baroda on 5th November 1950. As his father Safdar Hussain died very early, his grandfather adopted him and brought him up as his own son. Ghulam Abbas Khan, the son of the great Ghagge Khuda Bux and an intimate friend of Bairam Khan, not only imparted to the boy the authentic taleem of his gharana, but also took the promising young Faiyaz on a “pilgrimage of music”, visiting all the important centres of music, listening to great contemporary musicians, and bringing him practical experience in concert singing. By the time he was 18, Faiyaz Khan had become such a “polished” artist that he began to give recitals in places like Bombay, Calcutta and Gwalior. Once at Bombay, 24 year-old Faiyaz got a chance to hear the great Miyanjan Khan, a pupil of the great Fateh Ali Khan of Patiala. Immediately after him, Faiyaz was asked to sing. At first he copied Miyanjan Khan’s Multani in the latter’s style and then he demonstrated in his own style-both in such a masterly way that Miyanjan Khan embraced the young singer and exclaimed in genuine appreciation: “Tum hi ustad ho” (you are a true descendant of the masters of the art.) It was an age of gentlemen-musicians. Link


    The canonical chiz in Raga Chhayanat, Jhanana jhanana.


    While people used to admire his flawless diction in Urdu, Hindi, etc, they used to be amazed at his graceful and fine pronunciation of Braj-Bhasha in which a large number of Khayals, Dhamars, etc, are couched. This was because Faiyaz Khan spent his early years in the Braj-Bhasha areas like Mathura, Agra, Atrauli, etc. His father-in-law, Mahboob Khan of Atrauli, was none other than the reputed composer Daras Piya whose khayals in ragas like. Jog, Anandi, etc, are still so popular. Another relation–Suras Piya- was a wellknown composer who lived a recluse’s life in Mathura.

    The song Man Mohan Brij ko Rasiya (in Paraj) which Faiyaz Khan has made famous, is a sample of Saras Piya’s compositions. Faiyaz Khan himself composed many songs under the penname Prem Piya.

    In his youthful “halcyon days” Faiyaz Khan sat in the company of great artists like Moizzuddin, Bhaiya Ganapatrao and Malkajan. That was how he had imbibed the romantic Thumri style and could render Dadras and Ghazals so imaginatively. Many a time I have witnessed Faiyaz Khan rendering the Bhairavi Thumri “Babul Mora” and drawing tears out of the listeners’ eyes. Faiyaz Khan used to say that Malkajan’s Bhairavi-Thumris were peerless. And Malka even in her obscure later years never missed the Ustad’s concerts in Calcutta. Unlike some highbrow musicians, Faiyaz Khan never looked down on light classical types of songs. He used to say:- “It is not a child’s play to sing a Thumri or a Ghazal. The essence is the bol-but one has to be very imaginative and original.” Even into a simple Dadra he could pour a lot of genuine emotion. Link


    Another “Payal baaje” bandish, this time the classic in Nat Bihag.


    Ramkali: Un sanga laagi ankhiyan. His layakari is very enjoyable.

    Ustad Faiyaz Khan would render a full scale ‘Nom-Tom’ alap and follow it up with khayal compositions, thus blending dhrupad and khayal and giving his gayaki more flexibility. His bol-banawo, bant, layakari, and his inimitable style of reaching the sam are unmatched even today. He was a great composer himself, his pen name being #145;Prempiya’. His compositions in raga Jaijaiwanti, Jog etc. are treasured by Agra singers to this day. In fact, Faiyaz Khan’s Agra gayaki became so famous that most of his students and followers would actually copy him to the very last detail, imitating even his voice.


    Baju band khul khul jaaye in Raga Bhairavi. One of the pivotal renderings of a timeless classic. Enjoy his layakari and occasional tappa-ang taans in the laggi section.

    Another Bhairavi, Banao batiyaan. This wonderful dadra performance is packed with emotion. Note his heartfelt pukaras as he approaches the top Shadja; nobody can evoke emotion like this anymore, alas. Also notice his inclusion of vernacular, “speechy” utterances like “Aare haan” (“Oh, yeah!”) in the course of his rendering, rather like a contemporary bluesman.

    Mallikarjunbua Before Jaipur-Atrauli Training

    Here are some more of the 78 prm discs from Mallikarjun Mansur’s early period, when he was still singing Gwalior gayaki. These recordings are utterly delightful.

    Gaud Malhar: