Stephen -- In your post the other day, you said, "I am meeting with Shafaatulla Khan (Ustads Imrat's son, Vilayat's nephew) to begin work on this instrument next week." Does this mean he is going to be in Kentucky? If so, I would like to meet him -- and you too.
Hey Bob, No, I'm meeting Shafaat in Cleveland where he is giving some lectures and a performance on the 16th. There is, however, a hindustani vocal performance by Santanu Bandopadhyay (Bannerjee) at Goodbarn Hall this coming Sunday the 11th. It is at 2:30 in the afternoon. Goodbarn Hall is right across the street from University of Kentucky's football stadium. This show is being put on by Treenaneel (Bengali for Bluegrass), the Kentucky Bengali society. Typically there are only a few ICM shows a year in Kentucky. Western KY. University hosted Smt. A. Shankar about 6 months ago, sans Ravi. Kartik Sheshadri before that. But I might add that these musicians are trekking into the ICM wasteland that is Kentucky. We do have a world music instrument shop in L'ville now sporting a sitar, esraj and tanpura. Some very fine instruments with emphasis on wind and percussion instruments. Hey, if you are ever in Louisville, get in touch. We can compare notes.
His website (http://www.shafaatullahkhan.com/) lists concert dates and contact info so that you can inquire about locations. I don't know where anything is being held as I'm staying at the same hotel and will just be wherever I am instructed to go. Hey, if you are going to make it up, we'll have to get together one evening, go sip some lassis or something.
Stephen -- Well, unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get any time off from work to get up to Cleveland this week. I hope you find the workshops and concerts informative, inspiring and enjoyable. I'm looking forward to hearing some comment from you as to what these sessions were like.
On another topic, living as close together as we do (2 hrs?), we ought to plan to get together sometime in the next six months or so.
Hey Bob, I spent several quality days with Shafaat and several of his students. Really enjoyed all of their encouragement and company. After a quick evaluation of what I could do with the surbahar, he started right in on me. We ran through a bunch of scale exercises that should keep me busy for several months and went through some of the ins and outs of playing the surbahar vs. sitar. He advised me to play only the surbahar now (I'll hang on to my sitar for sentimental reasons, however). Now I just have to convince my employer to transfer me to our PA office so I can receive talem on a regular basis. So I got a great private performance on both sitar and surbahar in the hotel room and two other performances each night (one a completely unplugged performance in a beautiful old house). The final show, he was joined by Ramesh Mishra on sarangi during his tabla performance. Great music, folks crying in the audience. My search for guru is over. But I'll still be in Louisville for the next few months anyway until I wrap up existing projects at work, so get in touch.