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Sur Ka Safar

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Sur Ka Safar


Ustad Mumtaz Ali Sabzal represents the fourth generation of artists responsible for defining the musical tradition of the banjo in Pakistan. He mastered the instrument under the tutelage of his illustrious grandfather, Ustad Khaliqdad Baloch, who was himself a student of the great Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan of the Gwalior Gharana before dominating Radio Pakistan for over forty years as a solo classical banjo player.

Ustad Sabzal has made his own highly valuable contribution to classical as well as folk music in Pakistan since making his debut on Pakistan television as a teenager in the mid-1980s. He has displayed his skill both inside and outside the country, collaborating with renowned musicians around the world, including Abaji, Hiroko Yasunori, and Ustad Kamal Sabri.

He has received numerous awards, including multiple awards from the Tehzeeb Foundation, Gold and Silver Awards from Global World Music Awards, the PTV Award, the Pakistan Film Award, and many others.

Aaron Mulvany is an anthropologist and erstwhile American jazz musician who has also studied mrdangam, a Karnatic relative of the dholak, with Govindarajan Narayan and Ramnad Raghvan. He has been studying the banjo with Mumtaz Ali Sabzal since August 2016.


The banjo itself is based on the Japanese taishogoto, a 2-foot long, rectangular instrument with 25 keys and six strings tuned to the same note. In 1919, Ustad Gul Muhammad Baloch was given a taishogoto, which he reinvented by extending it to 3.5 feet, giving it a larger sound box, adding additional keys to extend its range, and retuning the drone strings. While the banjo enjoys a vibrant life as a folk instrument in Pakistan, at present Ustad Sabzal is the last remaining solo classical banjo player in the world.

This evening’s songs will come primarily from the Makrani coast, including Balochi and Qalandari songs as well as Siddhi lewa.

Date: 12th October 2017
Time: 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Entry: Rs.500/-



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