Explore Music! INDIA | Webster University

Explore Music! INDIA

Experience the Music & Culture of India


Friday, May 16, 2014 
Community Music School of Webster University
535 Garden Avenue
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Timeline of activities: Ustad Imrat Khan
5:00-8:00 p.m. Bombay Food Junkies Food Truck in parking lot K
5:30-6:30 p.m. Indian Cultural Activities
6:15 p.m. Meditation, Breathing, and Yoga demonstration
7:00 p.m. Performance-demonstration by Ustad Imrat Khan with Todd Mosby

Explore Music! INDIA will feature a performance-demonstration of classical Indian music by legendary sitar and surbahar player, Ustad Imrat Khan. Khan will perform Classical Indian music and provide a cultural perspective including the important role of improvisation. Assisted by guitarist, Todd Mosby, Khan will demonstrate the relationship between eastern and western music, particularly the connection of Jazz improvisation with Indian music. The performance-demonstration will begin at 7 p.m. at the CMS Center.

Preceding the performance, audience members are invited to participate in a variety of Indian cultural activities led by teachers from the Center of Indian Cultural Education - Bal Vihar of St. Louis, MO. This India cultural school teachers and youth will hold activities that include Henna hand painting, Rangoli designs, Calligraphy, and a display of instruments from India. These activities will take place at the CMS Center from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Participants are also invited to experience a Meditation, Breathing, and Yoga demonstration led by Surekha Raju beginning at 6:15 p.m. at the CMS Center.  Surekha Raju is the leader of Yoga Teachers at the Center of Indian Cultural Education - Bal Vihar school.  

Bombay Food Junkies Food Truck

Delicious Indian cuisine will be available for purchase from the Bombay Food Junkies food truck. The food truck will be parked outside the CMS Center in parking lot K from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Bombay Food Junkies is the only 100% vegetarian/vegan friendly Indian food truck in St Louis - specializing in Street eats from Bombay!!  The menu will include:  samosa chole - pastry filled with mix vegetables doused with chickpea curry, chutneys and marinated onions (Bombay Food Junkie's top seller), Masala / Paneer tikka wraps, mango lassi, and homemade kulfis (ice creams) and more....!  For more information about Bombay Food Junkies food truck visit: www.bombayfoodjunkies.com

Explore Music! INDIA, Experience the Music and Culture of India is presented as part of the Community Music School’s global music program, which was established to develop increased exposure to and experience with music of all cultures.  With the belief that all musical styles are equally valid, the CMS endeavors, through the Explore Music! Program, to foster social harmony, trust, understanding, and appreciation of all cultures.  Students, teachers, and those with a general interest in music and exposure to diverse cultural music practices are invited to participate and observe. 

Admission:  FREE and open to the public. For all ages. 

Questions?  Call (314) 968-5939 or email cms@webster.edu 

Ustad Imrat KhanUstad Imrat Khan
is widely recognized as one of the giants of Indian classical music, celebrated for his virtuosity, musicality and regarded as a poet of sitar and surbahar. Khan’s work in the dissemination and wider appreciation of Indian classical music throughout the world is almost unparalleled. A musicians’ musician, he has made the melodic nuances of raag and the rhythmic intricacies of taal accessible to varied audiences around the world without once diluting the pure classicism that lies at the heart of this ancient tradition. 

Imrat Khansahab is the senior-most member of the famous Etawah Gharana (musical dynasty), which includes a long line of illustrious Ustads (master musicians) dating back to the Mogul courts. In addition to his renown as a sitar player, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes Imrat Khan as "the greatest living exponent of the surbahar, a bass version of the sitar developed by his great-grandfather Sahabdad Khan." Imrat Khansahab is mentioned in the textbooks in London as bringing Indian classical music to the United Kingdom.

Khansahab’s grandfather, Ustad Imdad Khan (c. 1848-1920), and father, Ustad Enayat Khan (1895-1938), were the greatest sitar and surbahar players of their day, as was his elder brother, Ustad Vilayat Khan (1924-2004), who was Imrat Khansahab’s mentor. For more than half his life Khansahab played sitar and surbahar duet with his elder brother and those performances are still considered the greatest musical events of that era. Their duet recordings like Night at the Taj, Great Heritage and Mian ki Malhar and many others are considered the finest musical recordings of the 20th century. These two brothers became known as the “Ram aur Laxman ki Jori”. Because of Imrat Khansahab’s knowledge of surbahar, he introduced the innovative jorh ang baaj into the sitar repertoire allowing a much wider exploration of sitar performance.

Over a career spanning more than half a century, Ustad Imrat Khan has toured extensively in India and the United States as well as throughout Europe, Asia, China, and South America. In 1971, he made musical history as the first Indian musician to play at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the first ever all night performance of Indian classical music in the BBC Promenade Concert Series. By that time in his life he had four most gifted sons Nishat, Irshad, Wajahat and Shafaat who he was training by the highest standards of his gharana. He again performed at the BBC Proms in 1978 where he introduced his sons as the “50 Fingers of Imrat Khan” at Royal Albert Hall. They are now widely regarded to be amongst the most outstanding Indian musicians of today. In 1979 Khansahab also presented Europe's first all-night concert of Indian classical music, at the National Gallery in Berlin. Imrat Khansahab has given 36 concerts at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall more than any other Indian classical musician. He has recorded more than two-dozen albums and his music has been featured in films by Satyajit Ray and James Ivory, among others.

In 1988 Ustad Imrat Khan received India's musical honor, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

Many memorable sitar and surbahar performances were played gracing audiences with his music across the globe as well as the remarkable performances with his sons. In 2006 they again presented this unique musical experience at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and at the Tata Theatre in Mumbai to celebrate Ustad Imrat Khan's 70th birthday.

Khansahab was born with a passion for not only becoming the finest performer of sitar and surbahar but also possesses a passion for training and teaching classical music.

As a professor Imrat Khansahab lectured and held teaching positions starting at Dartington College of Arts in 1968 and continued to various distinguished universities around the world including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and UCLA where his courses on Indian music were introduced to which many PhD holders benefited.

In 1990, Imrat Khansahab joined the faculty at Washington University as distinguished artist-in-residence in the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences and is currently residing in St. Louis, Missouri USA.

During this period Imrat Khan not only lectured the value of bridging two musical cultures of Western and Indian music in the classroom, he also carefully researched and created two unique instruments—ImratGuitar and ImratViolin. These are considered the finest research of the development of the sound and technique in violin and guitar.

In an age when music education has passed largely into the hands of institutions teaching a mixture of styles, it has become rare to encounter the kind of musical purity that comes from direct father-to-son teaching, a largely oral tradition that is still strictly observed by the gharanas of Indian classical music, which have produced some of the finest artists of India.

After establishing his 4 sons onto the international platforms he was again gifted with a fifth son, Azmat Ali Khan who is now only 9 years old. Belonging to a great heritage he started showing great promise at the early age of 4. Khansahab recently introduced him for the first time in India as the youngest blossoming flower of the Imdadkhani gharana.

Khansahab’s presence in St. Louis and his efforts have now established St. Louis as an important center for Indian classical music, art and culture.

For more information, please visit: www.imratkhan.com


Todd MosbyTodd Mosby 
“I come from a family of inventors,” says composer/guitarist/educator Todd Ferris Mosby. “It ties into the whole Daniel Boone ideal of marching to your own drum and having no preconceived ideas.” Mosby’s vibrant creativity has led to numerous innovations in music, spanning inventive compositions, imaginative techniques on the guitar, to co-developing a new instrument, to an assortment of products to enrich and enhance artistic expression.

“In my household growing up, there was always this freedom to go your own way. It was ‘Yeah, you can do it! You can do whatever you put your mind to!’” the St. Louis, Missouri based artist says. “Why not build an instrument? Why not be a guitar player but play Indian music? It wasn’t rebelliousness, it was curiosity and passion.”

Mosby has played symphony halls, pubs, charity events, headlined jazz festivals, accompanied dance companies, and was one of the first artists to enter Russia on a 3-city tour after Perestroika in 1994. He’s shared the stage for such diverse and respected artists as The Rippingtons, Michael Franks, Spyro Gyro, Chris Bonti, and performed concerts with Imrat Khan, Shafaat Khan and Deepak Ram, among others. He was voted one of the top guitarists by the St. Louis Riverfront Times. Currently, he is a professor of guitar at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mosby made history as being the only guitarist to become a member of the famed Imdad Khani Gharana, India’s royal family of sitar ustadt musicians with an unbroken chain dating back 500 years. His music has been featured in numerous films, television, shows, and advertisements, synch licensing highlights have been Run Away Girls and So You Think You Can Dance, and Runway Moms.

“My goal as an artist is to be a musical force to align people, places, and things in such a way as to assist them in finding their own truth and beauty,” Mosby says. He’s an intrepid artistic adventurer deeply exploring traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, classical composition, modern classical, new music, classical North Indian rags, and acoustic music. Mosby effortlessly fuses these musical idioms within his New Music Ensemble, for which he’s just released an astounding live CD/DVD package. His thorough immersion into Indian music has helped him co- conceive of the ImratGuitar so that he could access the sensually slithering melodies found in Indian music along with all the choral possibilities found in Western music on the standard 6-string guitar.

Mosby is a visionary who considers every facet of creativity. In addition to the ImratGuitar, he’s developed a finger oil to ease fret hand friction, and he’s developed a revelatory line of instructional books that tidies up Western music theory abstractions as related to guitar, putting them into useful groupings to jump start actual music playing. He’s also written a landmark book that appropriates the highly developed picking chops of Indian musicians and applies it to Western musical melodic exercises.

As a young musician, Mosby began his music career immersed in the bluegrass revival movement of the 70‘s with Doc Watson, Vasser Clemens, Bill Monroe, The Flying Burrito Bros, and Earl Scruggs, as well as the music of James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. From there, his tastes expanded to fusion, folk, jazz and sophisticated pop. A chance opportunity to catch a concert and workshop on Indian music in college opened up Mosby up to the winding microtonal capabilities possible in non-Western music, and he pursued these new paths with steely conviction. “The music was so difficult, but I was so passionate about it. I used to get headaches and pass out trying to learn it,” he says candidly. Parallel to this, he became more spiritually centered through yoga and meditation, and his rigorous music practice routine slowly blossomed into a kind of prayer. These awakenings and introspection also led him to numerous charitable pursuits.

As Mosby explores a life of creative purposefulness, sharing his knowledge and innovations along the way, he is a seeker and learner who stays close to the transformative power of music. In all his pursuits, that’s his missive. “When I went to Russia, songs were not blaring out of cars, stores and all public places. As a result, the music retained this freshness for the people. It served a special spiritual and emotional role, and that’s the feeling I’m devoted to putting out there, I want to cater to these needs for the audience.”

For more information, please visit: www.toddmosbymusic.com