Subject: Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Concert
Dated: Oct 15, 2000
Dear Member,

Bengalis of the SF Bay Area have a very special reason to be proud of:
the pride of the whole musical world, pride of India, and specially
pride of Bengal, Swara-Samrat Padma-Bibhusan Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
Sahib lives here amongst us. And the Ali Akbar College of Music,
through which he realized his mission, is here. Taking no fees, Khan
Sahib lovingly played for Prabasi members and friends in 1992.

On the eve of Khan Sahib’s concert at the Chabot College Auditorium on
the coming 21st October, I have prepared the write up in the attached
file ‘khanconc’ for circulation amongst the whole Indo-American
community of the Bay Area. I am also sending it to all of you for your
perusal and action. Please plan to attend the concert for your joy and
for supporting the great mission Khan Sahib has pursued for forty five
years. Vijoya greetings and sincere regards.


- Ardhendu Raha
Member, Prabasi Board of Directors.




Friends,

This letter, at first, invites you to attend a concert by one of the
greatest musicians of the twentieth century world. But beyond that,
and more importantly, this is really an invitation to you to support a
great cause and mission that every Indian should feel involved in and
be proud of. While the following paragraphs will explain the above
statement, please be informed that THE ARTISTS ARE NOT RECEIVING A
PENNY from the proceeds of the concert. IF YOU LIKE THIS LETTER,
PLEASE CIRCULATE IT TO YOUR FRIENDS WHO WILL NOT MIND RECEIVING THIS
KIND OF COMMUNICATION, AND ASK THEM TO RECIRCULATE (HELPING TO
NETWORK).

Accompanied by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri (Tabla), Swara-Samrat Ustad Ali
Akbar Khan Sahib is going to perform (Sarode) at the Chabot College
Auditorium on the night (8:00pm) of Saturday, the coming 21st October.
More details are given below in the section "The Concert". The concert
is being held at this location so that the huge Indo-American
community of the South, East, and West Bay Areas may easily attend it.

Hundreds of lines will be unable to give a comprehensive enough
picture of Khan Sahib’s music (his music has been the subject of the
Ph.D. thesis of so many music scholars, and of books by so many music
authors). But most Indian music lovers do not need that treatise!
Suffice to say that almost all possible honors that may be bestowed on
a musician in India, and many highest kinds of honors in the USA, have
been bestowed on him by both the Governments and major institutes &
universities in India and USA.

The more important fact, however, is that this is a benefit fund
raiser concert to support the noble mission of Khan Sahib, what he has
done and is continuing to do in order to brighten the image and
heighten the prestige and respect of the art and culture of his
country in the eyes and minds of the elite art lovers and scholars of
the world outside India. Today, all major universities and institutes
of the highly civilized world, the East or the West, offer in their
music courses at least some study of Indian classical music. The music
text books contain one or more chapters on Indian classical music,
which happens to be the most exquisitely intricate creative art form
on earth. It was not so even in the nineteen fifties! Until then the
Western scholars were indifferent, and even indignant, to Indian music
and the value of other rich Indian traditions and cultures.

Khan Sahib’s music, the first Indian classical music performance in
USA, by invitation of the world famous musician Sir Yehudi Menuhin,
broke the cold ice. Khan Sahib’s concert in the very prestigious
Carnegi Hall of New York on that 1955 night did the right magic.
Suddenly, in the minds of western scholars, Indian Music arose on a
solid foundation and stood tall receiving high esteem. Soon, the first
ever LP record on Indian music was produced in New York presenting
Khan Sahib’s sarode, and Khan Sahib became the first ever Indian to be
felicitated on a commercial TV show in America.

That was just the beginning. A few other great Indian musicians soon
joined in and contributed to the mission. Khan Sahib remained in the
fore front of the mission and guided it to ensure the lofty place that
Indian classical music and cultural traditions are at today in the
western world. Khan Sahib made that happen by his continuous presence
in USA and teaching serious students the grand structure and format of
Indian classical music, its beauty, intricacy, and its infinite
creative character. If you are interested in some more details please
read the section below titled "KHAN SAHIBS’S MISSION".

Khan Sahib established the Ali Akbar College of Music in the SF Bay
Area in 1967. Thousands of North American students, as well as some
from Europe and Japan, have studied here. Through these students, and
their students, and their friends & music connections, Indian
classical music has struck a deep root in the west (among the main
stream Americans, not merely Indo-Americans). The Ali Akbar college is
the main instrument and inspiration in the mission of propagation and
promotion of Indian classical music in the west.

The college is primarily supported by government and private
foundation grants, and by donations from individuals. Khan Sahib and
Swapanji performs in three or four concerts every year in the SF Bay
Area as fund raiser for the college. NOT A CENT FROM THE CONCERT
PROCEEDS GOES TO THEM. The college has been striving to expand by
building rooms for an archive (to save highest quality music
compositions), a library, and a moderate sized concert hall. Your help
and support are solicited.

For about half a century, Khan Sahib has been a foremost ambassador of
Indian classical music and culture to the West. The US Asiatic
Society, while honoring India’s Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari
Bajpayee, also honored Khan Sahib very rightly (7th September, 2000,
at New York), for his outstanding contribution to East-West
understanding, and world peace and harmony.



                   ** The Concert **

Sarode: Swara Samrat Ali Akbar Khan and Sri Alam Khan

Tabla Pdt Swapan Chaudhuri

Place: Chabot College Auditorium, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward.

Time: Saturday, the 21st Oct, 2000, at night 8:00pm \

Tickets: through Ticketweb.com; 510-594-1400, www.ticketweb.com;

$40 Reserved, $25 General, $15 AACM Students & Members

$12 Discount Section

** KHAN SAHIBS’S MISSION **

Contributions of a few European scholars like Max Muller, the great
mission of Swami Vivekananda, and the poetry of the great Tagore,
taught the Western scholars to respect the mystic and rich
philosophical visions of India. But they, however, remained
indifferent, and even indignant, to Indian music and the value of
other rich Indian traditions and cultures. Khan Sahib’s music, the
first Indian classical music performance in USA, by invitation of the
world famous musician Sir Yehudi Menuhin, broke the cold ice. On that
occasion, a prominent critic and impresario of Western Music in New
York did not believe that there could be structured classical music in
India, and, initially, refused to come to listen to a ‘snake charmer
music’. However, Khan Sahib’s concert in the very prestigious Carnegi
Hall of New York on that 1955 night did the right magic. Suddenly, in
the minds of western scholars, Indian Music arose on a solid
foundation and stood tall receiving high esteem. Soon, the first ever
LP record on Indian music was produced in New York presenting Khan
Sahib’s sarode, and Khan Sahib became the first ever Indian to be
felicitated on a commercial TV show in America.

That was just the beginning. A few other great Indian musicians
immediately joined the band wagon, and contributed in keeping up and
augmenting the recognition of Indian classical music and cultural
traditions in the west and in Europe. Khan Sahib remained in the fore
front of the mission and guided it to ensure the lofty place that
Indian classical music and cultural traditions are at today in the
western world. Khan Sahib made that happen by his continuous presence
in USA and teaching serious students the grand structure and format of
Indian classical music, its beauty, intricacy, and its infinite
creative character.

Merely presenting dazzling performances in concerts all over the world
could bring money, fame, and fans to Khan Sahib himself, and create a
transient interest in Indian music among the music lovers outside
India. But a lasting interest and proper appreciation in people’s
hearts, and acceptance in major academic institutions as a subject of
serious study, become possible for a particular art form only when its
enthusiasts receive enough education to understand and appreciate the
beautiful aspects and creative elements of that art form. Khan Sahib
made that happen by his continuous presence in USA and teaching
serious students the grand structure and format of Indian classical
music.

Khan Sahib’s father and guru, Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan, the
greatest ever music teacher of India, instructed him to
"spread our music to wherever on earth the light rays from the moon
and sun reach." And Khan Sahib has been doing just that. After
teaching in several universities and institutes for about ten years,

He established the Ali Akbar College of Music in the SF Bay Area in
1967. Over the last thirty-three years since its inception, thousands
of North American students, as well as some from Europe and Japan,
have studied here this system of music which provides infinite, yet
strictly disciplined, freedom to improvise melodic and rhythmic
phrases and segments, which range

From the simple to the very complex and intricate. Alongside Khan
Sahib, Pdt Swapan Chaudhury has been teaching in the college since the
end of 1980. Over the years, many great luminaries of Indian classical
music have taught at the college beside Khan Sahib. They include Pdt
Ravi Shankar, Pdt Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Ustad Alla Rakha, Pdt V.G. Jog,
Pdt Jasraj, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pdt Mahapurush Mishra, Pdt Shankar
Ghosh, Smt Lakshmi Shankar etc etc.

Through the students of the Ali Akbar College of Music, and their
students, and their friends & music connections, Indian classical
music has struck a deep root in the west (among the main stream
Americans, not merely Indo-Americans). The Ali Akbar college is the
main instrument and inspiration in the mission of propagation and
promotion of Indian classical music in the west.