Dhamme Khan hails from a quaint village, some 20 km from Jaisalmer. The musical art has been propagated in his family since generations. He plays the dhol, and all the members in the group are related to each other. He is mainly interested in percussion instruments like Dholak. He has performed mainly in India and wants to travel abroad for performances. He wants to impart and spread this musical knowledge as much as possible. His son is 4 years old and he has already began teaching music to his kid. His Ustad(teacher) was Gutte Khan, his father.
Dilaawar Khan comes from Kotra village in Shiv Tehsil of Barmer District. This 30 years old khartaal player is also a backing vocalist n his group. He is the Disciple of Ustaad Ghafoor khan, who is his maternal uncle. He has been a performer since the last 8 years. Apart from performing is this group, he has also formed his own group with the name Dilaawar Khan & group, where he is the frontman. & also teaches music to his group members. The size of his group ranges from 4-25 folk musicians, as per the demand.
Coming from a family having rich background in music, Dilaawar Khan described that he learned from his family members only and never had to go outside to learn music. He does riyaaz for 6 hours daily & has already started training his children in singing. He generally performs the songs written by their forefathers. He himself has written a few songs along with his Uncle. The songs generally describe the event of birth of prince, their Marriages and other family events. He is well versed performer of Sufi Music. Apart from performing traditional Rajasthani songs, they also perform Bollywood songs, but only on request.
He has travelled to various countries like U.S.A., Russia, U.K., Japan, Turkey, Egypt, etc. For three years, he was a part of Gypsy all Stars group, where they were making Fusion Music & performed all around the globe. He has worked with various artists from Classical music & classical dance (kathak) background too. He claims that he can perform with artists of different genres and is very comfortable to play & sing along with them. He can understand English as he has been to various countries now. His dream is to work with more artists of various different backgrounds, be it musicians or dancers.
Dilbar Khan, 18, is a school student in 10th grade and is currently pursuing his school education. He has been associated with the group for more than 3 years. His father has been a major source of inspiration and is also his fellow group member. Dilbar plays dholak and it’s been 6 years since he started learning it. Being from a musical family background, he is always surrounded by musicians and artists and that is where his drive towards excelling as a folk artist comes from. He has performed mostly in Barmer and nearby areas. Recently he started vocal training with his father, he dreams of becoming a renowned folk singer someday and shares the stage with his father. He believes their art form is dying away day by day and they are one of the very few lefts to carry the heritage.
Farooq Khan is a versatile folk musician who is mainly plays Khartaal. He is 21 years old and is playing these instruments from quite some time now. He started learning this instrument at a very early age after he got inspired from his Uncle. Being a student he used to practice regularly & tried his best to upkeep both his education and his journey towards being a musician. He started Performing in 2010 & since then he is a regular performer, and has travelled to almost all parts of the country to perform live shows. Apart from his regular percussion instruments, he is also learning to play Khamaicha and is also keen on learning to sing folk songs.
Firoz Khan comes from Chattangarh Village of Jaisalmer district. He is a well versed Harmonium player and he is also a backing vocalist. He primarily sings Bhajans, Ghazals, Sufi and even Qawalis. The group leader Talab Khan is his cousin and he has been a part of his group since the starting of his career. He was in 9th standard when his uncle started training him in traditional singing and helped him in learning the musical instruments. Ever since then, Talab Khan has been his inspiration for him. Their group sings a variety of songs in various different Ragas. He has been to various foreign countries with the group to perform and found that the people of foreign countries are also getting inclined towards Indian folk Music & appreciate their art. He takes a great pride to be carrying on the legacy of their traditional Tribal Music. He wants Indian folk music to flourish in India as well as in abroad.
Fote Khan belongs to Khuri Village of Jaisalmer District of Rajasthan. He is from Manganiyar tribe and is a skilled Percussionist who can play Dholak and khartal as well as other instruments like Harmonium, Veena too. He got musical instruments as heritage in his family and is trained by his family members only. He is Talab Khan’s nephew and has been a part of this group since the beginning of his career. Apart from that he has been a part of various other groups from time to time and finds it easy while performing with the new artists as well and adjusts very swiftly. He finds himself quite comfortable in playing percussion to Marwari, Bhajans and Sufi music.
He always had a dream to travel abroad and showcase his talent. Now, after travelling to various countries he feels quite satisfied. After being an established musician alongside Talab Khan he gives full freedom to their children to pursue music as a career, but still encourages them to get basic education. He himself is an illiterate but still considers education as the utmost necessity of the today’s generation. He feels that the Rajasthani folk music need a better platform from where it can reach out more number of audience as he believes that folk music has the quality of touching the soul of the audience. He wishes to prosper more along with his group and wants to travel the whole world to showcase the magic that folk music possess. He wants to perform more of live shows as he enjoys the appreciation that he gets from the audience.
Gaffur is a 40 years old man who has devoted all his life to music. He went to primary school, but was always interested in music. His family has been into music since generations and he sings in the group. He has been working with this group since a long time now. From September to January is the peak season for these singers, and he performs in family functions during the remaining part of the year. Every child, even when he cries, has a melody in his voice, so music runs in their bloodline. He has performed in most of the cities in India and other places outside India as well, and wants to perform more in abroad because he wants to more .
Gaffur Khan is 56 and belongs to the Maanganiyar community of Rajasthan, a community of folk singers who were the musicians in the Royal court of Jaisalmer. Tutored under Ustaad Nihaal Khan, Gaffur Khan has been singing since he was 8 years old, and has been the recipient of Radio Station Aakashwani Rajasthan Award too. Like all musical families, music has been transferred through generations in his family, and he drew his inspiration from his father. So far, Gaffur Khan has performed in about 40-45 countries and wants his children to continue this tradition of the “Guru-Shishya” (Teacher-Disciple) parampara(tradition).
He also teaches music at home to his children and to over 50 students. Apart from vocals, he and his group are also proficient in playing other instruments like Dholak, Khadtaal(castanet), Harmonium and Khamaicha. Talking about the importance of music in his life, he says, that even when a newborn cries in their family, it’s in a perfect melodious pitch! Personally his favorite genre is Sufi music. As is the case of most popular manganiyaar singers, his patron is also Komal Kothari. While he has performed in many countries till date, his favorite place to perform is Paris. He fondly speaks about the importance of education in his and his children’s life. Apart from music, this talented man from Jaisalmer wants his children to be well educated apart from providing them a training in music. His children are equally passionate about music, and want to pursue it further. As Ashraf Khan (his son) says, he mainly sings in Raag Sorath and is learning harmonium as well. His guru is his father. Gaffur Khan also takes music workshops in training camps. His musical themes are deeply inspired by and embedded in the culture of Jaisalmer.
Gaffur has been learning music, especially singing, since he was an eight-year kid. He tells that he was automatically inclined towards the music and therefore left his studies in school just after class third. He started learning just by hearing his father who also happens to be a well-known singer in his times. Gaffur Khan learnt music with all his dedication and sincerity, resultant, today he is known for his effortless marvelous classical singing folk voice. Today, he is 50 years old in age and out of these 50 he has given been associated with folk music learning ever since he was 5 years old. Gaffur Khan, apart from singing and being drenched in music takes care of the Water Management Department of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, as a PHED. He works as a Government employee and thus still takes care of his life in music. Gaffur has performed in almost all the states of India and even foreign countries like, London, Paris, the USA, etc. On asking him about the roots of the songs, he tells that they had been written by his ancestors. He is from the Yaduvanshi Manganiyaar community and hence starts his performances with religious bhajans like that of Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesh, etc. Gaffur Khan, not only sings folk songs but is more inclined towards classical folk songs.
Ghewar Khan is the younger brother of Rahim Khan, who is also his Ustaad, he is a khartaal player who is passionate about music. Ghewar Khan considers music his top priority and is not educated. He wants name and prosperity for both his ustad and himself.
Gopal Khan, 32, lives in a village named Badresh near Barmer city. He plays khartaal in the group and also plays dhol occasionally. He belongs to the Manganiyar caste which is listed as a scheduled caste under the constitution of our country. He learned music from his father and after his death he decided to pass on those teachings to the future generations. At present, he is teaching more than 15 students. He dreams of opening up a music school where students can learn folk music and keep the culture and traditions alive. Most of the songs he sings are about marriage, child birth and the glory of the kings. He does not believe in the idea of competition in terms of music. For him, folk artists are the messengers of God. He gets shows on the basis of recommendations and word of mouth. He has 3 kids and all of them go to school. Even his children are into music. He lets his kids experiment and play around with the musical instruments as he believes in the fun learning approach. He has been involved with the group for more than 15 years. His friendly nature and engaging personality has helped him grow his connections and that is one of the prime reasons that he gets shows. Gopal does around 4-5 shows per month and also works with other groups from time to time.
Goram Khan plays Dholak, he found inspiration within his family to learn various musical instruments. He is just 23 years old and plays Dhol, Harmonium as well and can sing too. At a very young age of 8 years, he started playing dholak and has been learning and performing ever since then. Manwar is a multi-instrumentalist and has performed with various bands, and with time has become very comfortable in performing with new artists. He recently got associated with Gazi Khan’s group and has been quite satisfied as he is getting to learn a lot from the master himself. He wishes to achieve fame in Bollywood, thus giving recognition to Manganiyar community and their art form globally. He has played in various parts of the country and wishes to perform in abroad as well and wants to experience showcasing his skills to foreign audience. Manwar has a very distinctive vision as far as folk music is concerned. He wishes for dholak playing competitions to happen just like singing competitions take place in large numbers throughout India, which he thinks will give a platform to young and talented dholak players and will encourage them to do better. He wants his children to learn traditional folk music as well as classical music so as to come up with an innovative style of music.
Gullu Khan is a folk singer from Jangra village in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He is from the Managaniyar community and is blessed to perform in Hindu’s temple and as well as Muslim’s mosque. He is welcomed by both the religions whether Hindu or Muslim. He has been singing and following his age old generation’s traditions of cultural folk songs. Talking about the importance of music in his life, he says, that even when a newborn cries in their family, it’s in a perfect melodious pitch! Personally his favorite genre is Sufi music. As is the case of most popular Manganiyaar singers, his patron are the Thakurs. While he has performed in many countries till date, his favorite place to perform is Paris. He fondly speaks about the importance of education in his and his children’s life. Apart from music, this talented man from Jaisalmer wants his children to be well educated apart from providing them a training in music. His children are equally passionate about music, and want to pursue it further. His musical themes are deeply inspired by and embedded in the culture of Jaisalmer.
he name is huge in Jaisalmer; he is one of the best royal court singer the royal Jaisalmer family ever had. His voice and in depth knowledge of folk music makes him exceptionally amazing. Hasan has been singing in royal courts for the royal family since 55 years and has witnessed the four generations of kings. He hails from a family of musicians that has for generations made its home in Rajasthan. He being a Manganiyaar, has singing in his blood and has learned everything about music from his father, who was also a singer in royal court. His name is Hasan Khan but he prefers to be called as Hasan Khan Darbari. He is currently 70 years old but has a voice as strong as any of his young music student.
He presents valuable insights into maand, the form of Rajasthani music that once flourished in the courts or rajwadas of Rajasthan. He is the best source where one can get to hear the original Mand and other folk ragas, curated, sung by acclaimed royal court singer, Hassan Khan. A chance to hear him brings to the listener a sense of the rich repertoire of Rajwadi music, of the many varieties of maand like Piloo maand and Jhinjhoti maand, and of the many raginis and ragas like Maru, Sorath and Goond Malhar that form part of the musical treasures of Rajasthan. Liner notes with his songs tell us that Hindu and Muslim singers from hereditary families of musicians that belong to the Dholi, Damami, Mirasi, Kalavant, Patur, Langa and Manganiyar communities are keeping the tradition alive. In the past, Hasan and his family have received the patronage of Rajput kings of Jaisalmer from more than 900 years. His songs include elements of elaboration that seem to overlap with the elaboration considered typical of thumri and shows greater affinity to folk music with a touch of classical. The majority of songs he sings is in the praise of the Rajput kings and their families.
Hayat Khan, 18, jokingly describes himself as a kid who was never academically inclined, and was always drawn towards a musical environment. He can play Dholak, Khadtaal, Dhol and Harmonium with equal ease but prefers to play Dholak in group performances. As a kid, Hayat Khan also used to sing, but his voice broke at an early age and hence, he became more inclined towards playing instruments. Even though Hayat Khan was never interested in studies, he studied till class 9, before finally committing himself to music. When asked about education, Hayat Khan says: “Manganiyaar ki padhaai bhi sangeet hi hai”, (For a Manganiyaar, music is knowledge). For him, music is like a tradition.
Hayat Khan was one of the top 3 contestants of India’s Got Talent in 2016, and has also been a part of the “Manganiyaar Classroom”. Manganiyar Classroom directed by Roysten Abel is, in a way, continuation of his earlier work Manganiyar Seduction. With 35 little Manganiyar boys what Abel attempts in this production is not just an introduction to the glorious musical reserves of this community, but a kind of activism. He brings to center stage an India that is not so shining but left far behind.Hayat Khan has also performed for All India Radio and was selected for a scholarship by CCRT. Hayat Khan hasn’t been abroad yet, and is eagerly looking forward for his next performance with his group which is going to be held in Dubai. Currently, he is associated with Gunsaar Lok Sangeet Sansthan, which is an association based in Jaisalmer, and selects the artists based on their auditions. His favorite place to perform has been Himachal Pradesh and he has also performed in almost all Metro cities of India.
Immamuddin is basically from Bikaner. He was born and brought up in Jaisalmer. He is a Mangniyar, who are considered so auspicious that they are invited at all the special occasions whether it is a wedding, celebrations at temples, etc. People prefer to call him Imam with love. He is an outstanding khartal player. He has learnt this art of playing khartal from his father when he used to accompany his father for shows and perform with him in hotels, etc. from the tender age of 6. He used to follow music with education simultaneously. He believes that every artist should be given a chance and should be treated fairly.
Apart from his indulgence in music he works as interpreter for foreign tourists. Imamuddin goes to all possible extent to help the artists who are illiterate and cannot complete their documents for their shows held abroad or in India. He strongly believes that for all the musicians education is a must. According to him, in order to inculcate the art of traditional music into the upcoming generations financial support is very essential with the age old practice of “guru shishya” tradition. He favors proper research work done on different traditional music and depth of it should be outlined and presented in a proper form such that upcoming generation could perceive it in the same way as it is. Imam is a happy and contended soul who dreams to give best musical education to all the future generation and promote them and give rights of musician to them.
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