Hi, I heard Irshad Khan was coming to Ottawa soon and I found this announcement:
>>> http://ottawastart.com/briefs.shtml#newsitem1081210599,26465, The Hindustani Sangeet Mandal presents Irshad Khan in concert The Hindustani Sangeet Mandal presents a Sitar and Vocal performance by Ustad Irshad Khan at 6:30 P.M. on Sunday May 2, 2004 at Theatre Orleans, 210 Centrum Boulevard, Orleans. Irshad Khan is internationally recognized as one of the leading Sitar and Surbahar (bass Sitar) players of his generation, and will combine vocals with his Sitar to demonstrate the "gayaki-ang" style of playing the Sitar. This promises to be a great blend of pure classical and light classical music. Tickets are $15 for Students and $20 for Adults, and are available at the door.
For more information: N. Subramani Director, Hindustani Sangeet Mandal Ph: 613 841 5575 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The venue was small, c 100 seats. One tabla player, an electronic tanpura (which no one could really hear, fortunately), and Irshad Khan were on stage. I have several of his CDs, but to really appreciate Irshad's level of technical expertise, you have to sit in front of him. He tunes up with C# as the tonic and probably the most melodius tune up session I've heard None of the "plink plink plink, twist (repeat add nauseum) was present. Everything blended together nicely. He opened with Kherwani. His alap was absolutely captivating. Meending note after note melting together, it was hypnotic. Following that raag he played Desh, Bhairavi and several light classical songs with gayaki.
I was very impressed that he could change his set up from desh to bhairavi, moving fretts and retuning all the tarabs in just a few minutes! His fast taans with and without striking the mizrab(!) are truely a wonder to hear and behold.
During the intermission, I met several other sitar players and Anwar Khurshid from the Sitar School in Toronto. I had been corresponding with Mr Khurshid for some time and I was delighted to finally meet him. He is a very nice man, good character and very keen to promote ICM and sitar. He told me that is now travelling to Ottawa every sunday to teach! (I will drop by next sunday to see him.)
After the show, I hung around and my guru (Hardeep Bhakshi) introduced me Irshad Khan. He was very pleasant and positive, encouraging me to continue playing.
That was a very enjoyable evening. I was hoping for a 4 or 5 hour show, but 2.5 was just fine.