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Thane 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 & Qawaali. The Group leader Bagga Khan is his uncle 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, Bagga Khan has been his inspiration. 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.
Thane Khan is a family oriented person. He understands the value of education and is trying his best in order to engage his child in studies unlike other parents in his community. He considers education as very important component in the development of the person’s personality. He believes that a person is considered as successful, only when he is educated and well- behaved. But being a responsible Mirasi he also wants their traditional music form to be carried on by their children and teaches them their traditional music. He explains a famous proverb about their community, that when a Mirasi Child cries, that cry itself is a Raga. His personal belief is that the songs of other subjects like love and romance shall also be promoted and people should not be ashamed when these songs are sung in public or private occasions.
Mustaq Khan belongs to Balewasi Village of Barmer District of Rajasthan. He is from Manganiyar Mirasi tribe and is a skilled Percussionist who can play Dholak & khartaal 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 Bagga Khan’s nephew and has been a part of his 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 like Canada, South Africa and England, he feels quite satisfied. Now, after being an established musician alongside Bagga 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.
Prabhu Raam comes from Meghwal Tribe where singing Bhajans is done as a tradition since generations. This 56 year old folk singer started singing when he was around 15 years old and currently performs in Bagga Khan’s group as a backing vocalist and plays Manjira along with it. He majorly performs with Bagga Khan’s group. Besides that, he also performs with various other groups also where the size of groups varies from 4-7 members as per the requirement. He has visited various countries to perform and is highly appreciated worldwide. He considers this as the blessing that has showered upon him as a result of Bhajans. He gives due credit to Bhajans for his success and for meeting various personalities around the globe. He also says that hard work always pays off and it is the only key to success.
Prabhu Raam lives with his family where his elders and children also sing. His philosophy in life is that there is no end to the worldly matters, the more you get attached with this materialistic world, the more it tends to take you away from spiritual thoughts. He is a disciplined man and follows a tough routine. He wakes up at 4 in the morning, takes bath and commits daily rituals and sings prayers (Bhajans) to God. He does not have interest in Bollywood music or any music apart from Bhajan. Currently, his only source of income is singing Bhajans. Apart from this, he has also worked as a farmer, but used to always learn music in the evening even at that time. According to him, listening is the first step in order to learn singing. He possess good command over reproducing the Bhajans/ Ragas after listening to it just once.
Devram comes from Jhandra village of Jaisalmer district. He belongs to Meghwal tribe who sings only devotional songs. Their group plays at various auspicious occasions in their community, e.g. festivals, birth of infant, marriage, death and also at inaugurations of newly constructed buildings etc. Their main activity – Jaagran, comprises of prayers that go on throughout the night starting from evening till morning. This 44 years old folk artist is a vivid musician who plays both Tandoora and Manjira along with backing the vocals of the group leader. He began singing Lord Krishna’s bhajans (devotional Songs) when he was in 3rd standard, after which he further learnt from his grandmother & father. Now, his devotional songs consist of songs written by Kabir Das, Sheikh Fareed, Mirabai, Ravidas. His primary source of income is Jaagrans (nightlong devotional prayers). He is a Follower of Dungu Ram Ji Maharaj, but has learnt mostly by himself.
His Philosophy about their folk music is that one who sings these devotional songs disengages himself from worldly matters and it is then only, it is easy for an individual to understand that he has come to this world alone and will go back all alone and empty handed. They have this belief that you can’t commit any sin when you chant these songs in daily lives. Apart from this, he strictly emphasises on education, as he has experienced that a group of illiterate men are considered as herd of sheep. Therefore, education is very important to create a unique identity. Bhajan is a very important component of his life & in order to pass on this legacy, he teaches his children at evening after getting back to home. He is very hopeful with several non-profit organisations coming forward to promote their cultural heritage, their traditional music is being recognised worldwide. After performing in several countries as a part of Manganiyar Seduction, his only dream is to work with trained musicians and to learn more and more.
Anwar Khan is a traditional folk singer who started singing when he was 16 he was years old. He started leaning from his father and brother when he realised that the people in his village are really fond of his singing. For him his music and his voice is a gift by God and his past seven generation who have immensely contributed in the society. He wants that the upcoming generation should learn the traditional folk they sing so that they are able to carry forward this legacy to their next generation.
Shaukat Khan plays Khartal in the group. He started learning Khartal when he was 12 years old from his uncle Samandar Khan was his Ustad (teacher). He has always been dedicated towards his music and passion for it grows with every day. Since he was child, he travelled with his father for almost all his shows and from there his will to learn evolved. Therefore, from that moment till today he has contributed all of his time to music. For him his seven generations have been not only associated with music but has also been exceptionally good in it. When it comes to play and perform his favourite genres are Sufi and Bollywood. Shaukat firmly believes that their music should improvise with every generation and highlight this kind of music in the whole world. He wishes to walk on the footsteps of his father, Sawan Khan so that he could entertain the world by his music throughout his life.
Askar Khan is another young 18 years old lad in this group. He has been playing Dholak in the group mostly to all the events throughout the country. Askar started learning from his elder brother when he was merely 11 years old. He wants to work hard and go ahead in life in this field and earn name for his family by doing something in music.
Birbal Khan is a budding artist who plays Khartal exceptionally well at his age. He has been playing it with the group at various music festivals all over India since he was 14 years old. All he wants to do in his life is to teach his next generation this art of playing khartal. His dedication and hard work towards the same is commendable.
Tareef Khan is a very talented Dholak player who learnt this art from his family. He is nephew of Sawan Khan. He started learning from the very tender age of 8. His first performance was in a music festival in Pondicherry. In such a young age he has travelled all over India and have performed in prestigious festivals like NH7, Blue Frog, etc. He has travelled to various countries like Netherland, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Germany, USA, South Africa, Muscat, Jordan, Israel, etc for music festivals. Tareef has also played for ads of brands like Titan, Blackberry, etc. He has played for artists like DJ Alfredo from South Africa, Dilip Kumar in Jaipur Literature Festival, etc. For him his means of livelihood is Dholak which provides him and his family meals. With his performances he wishes to teach the upcoming generation Dholak.
Sawai is a promising harmonium player and vocalist. He got his training from his father. Just like Rayees, he can also play any kind of instrument and in any taal. He with his group has travelled all over India and have performed. He wants to represent traditional folk rajasthani music all over in the world and teach dholak to who wish to learn.
Rayees, Mangniyar by caste is a Dholak player. He has learnt playing dholak from his father. He has six brothers and all are into music, each one of them play one or the other instrument. Rayees can play any instrument and in any taal. He with his group has travelled all over India and have performed. He wants to represent traditional folk rajasthani music all over in the world and teach dholak to who wish to learn.
Ramesh plays khartal, dholak and even sings. His interest rises from his mother while she used to play dholak. Apart from all of above he is also a puppeteer and have been displaying his skill since 30 years. He is an exceptionally amazing puppet creator. He makes a living by selling puppets. He has visited several countries like Spain, Lahore, Pakistan and all over India to display his talent. He sings and play with his puppets to demonstrate stories of Amar Singh Rathore, Raja Bhoj, Prithviraj Chouhan, etc. He also focusses on teaching the next generation everything that he knows. He is a strong believer of conveying stories through music and puppetries.
Hari Ram Bhopa belong from Bhopa caste. His ancestors used to do paint and play an instrument called Ravanhatta. Hari Ram not only plays but also make and teach Ravanhatta. He has learnt this art of playing this instrument from his ancestors. Since his childhood he wanted to be a performer and lead way with the existing tradition of music. He shifted to Jaisalmer to promote traditional music and instrument. Currently he earns his living from Ravanhatta. In present day it’s only the Bhopa caste that makes this instrument. He has performed in major cities all over India. He has given music of his Ravanhatta in Bollywood movie “Tell me Oh Khuda” also. Ravanhatta has gave him high recognition in the society which considered his caste as a lower caste. Many tourists come to Jaisalmer just to learn and buy Ravanhatta from him and that is the source of income for him. He sits by the lake and sells the Ravanhatta, hand made by him. Just like his nature his music is also innocent and simple in nature. He plays such mesmerizing music with the Ravanhatta that allures tourist from all over the world.
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.
Living in peaceful and quiet boutique stay outside of the town at Mool Sagar, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, Taga Ram Bheel plays his favourite instrument Algoza. Taga Ram Bheel belongs from Bheel caste which is a tribal caste but they are considered Rajputs. Taga Ram who was also a shepherd learnt the art of playing Algoza when he was a kid from his father’s Algoza by stealing it in his absence. He has been playing since he was 10 years old. He has spent 30 years of his life in the jungles of Ranthambore where he used to play Algoza.
Algoza is not an easy instrument to play it’s about the game of breath. Taga Ram bought his first Algoza when he was 11 years old, he learnt himself by coordinating tunes. In 1981 he gave his first stage performance in Jaisalmer when he was 18. He has been performing every year in the famous Rajasthan desert festival since 1981. Taga Ram has given various programs for AIR, Jaisalmer. Nehru Yuva Kendra Sansthan (NYKS) too invited him to perform for them which is a matter of great honor for him. With Rajasthan Tourism he travelled to all over India and delivered amazing shows. Apart from being a professional Algoza player, he follows mining also as a profession to earn his living. He not only plays the instrument but also makes exceptionally fine Algoza with his own hands. These instruments are so well made that people from all over the world buy it from him. He also conducts workshops of Algoza and people coming from all over the world attend it with great enthusiasm. Taga Ram had gone to France in 1996 for his first international tour, since then he has been to 15 countries in Europe, Singapore, Russia, Japan, Africa, the USA for shows and workshops. He not only plays Algoza in instruments, he plays matka and flute also.
Ridhu is gives backing vocals in the group. He is multi-talented who is skilled in playing various different instruments like dholak, sarangi, Khamaicha, khartal, etc. Ridhu has been playing since he was 12 years old. He too has learnt from his father, Dapu Khan. When it comes to singing he sings traditional sufi, maand, etc and even composes his own songs in traditional rajasthani styles. His favourite tune is pahadi kalyan. Ridhu’s inspiration in this field is Dapu Khan who is his father and teacher. Ridhu wants to establish a music school for children and teach them there.
Kailash is a wonderful vocalist in this group. He was very young when he decided to leave his education and go to Pune for a starting a business. While he was in Pune to start his business, Kailash started singing in Jagratas in Temples. He dropped the idea of business and decided to go ahead with his singing as he was doing exceptionally well and was praised by everyone. He learnt music from his uncle and father with harmonium and by participating for school functions. He even self composes songs which are mostly with messages on social issues like education, environment, save girl child, etc. He sings in four languages Sufi, Punjabi, Gujrati and Rajasthani. Kailash played in Delhi for the first time in audience in IGNAC on
birth anniversary of Indra Gandhi and since then there is no looking back. He too with his group has travelled to most of the major cities in India and wishes to convey moral messages through his songs throughout the world.
Jassu is 19 years of age and happens to be nephew of Dapu Khan. He has been playing since he was 10 years old. He is young lad but he is an extremely skilled dholak and khartal player. Jassu has done his learning from his uncle and father. He is a keen learner and hence wishes to go ahead in the field of music and make his family and village proud. He wants to learn more under the guidance of Dapu khan as he is still young and needs to learn a lot from him. For now he enjoys to go with his father and uncle for group performances and loves to compose new songs together. He has toured in all over India with the group.