Dara Khan with the Manganiyar Seduction at Purana Qila, New Delhi Nov 2011
Dara Khan (b. 1976) Born in village Hamira (district Jaisalmer, Rajasthan), and son of Padma Shri awardee Sakar Khan, Darra learnt to play the kamancha at a very early age. Growing up in a family steeped in musical tradition, he was fortunate to be surrounded by uncles and cousins to play, practice and learn with. At age 12, he performed at the Sangeet Natak Akademi in Delhi. His first international performance was in 1999 at the Theatre du la Ville in Paris. Today, he is regarded as one of the best kamancha players around, having taken over performance duties from his father (who has now semi-retired and instead teaches youngesters at his home in Hamira). Dara Khan is part of the world-touring Manganiyar Seduction, has performed with Grammy-winning artists such as Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and has played at London's Royal Albert Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and at festivals in Europe and Australia.
Banko Ghodo: Volume two of field recordings from the Indian Desert
The second volume of field recordings from the Indian desert is out now! Released on February 7, 2012, Banko Ghodo (majestic horse in Sindhi) continues the series of recordings that showcase outstanding folk artists from Rajasthan. Banko Ghodo is now available in CD and digital formats at select independent music stores, on iTunes and CDBaby, and right here on our website:
Banko Ghodo: Volume 2 of the Amarrass field recordings from the Indian desert
The album has a poignant tale associated with it. Our sense of urgency to capture, preserve and present this music has been reinforced by the passing of Rukma Bai who we recorded in December 2010. Afflicted with polio at an early age, Rukma Bai challenged odds at every stage in her life. One of the few female Manganiyar singers (and unarguably one of the best) she died aged just 50 due to poverty-induced illness and lack of access to basic healthcare. Banko Ghodo is a tribute to Rukma Bai and features two tracks by her. Sadly, perhaps her last recordings. She sings and plays the dhol on both tracks.
Mangey Khan makes a reappearance on this volume, with the track Challa Challa making you sit up and listen. A recent review (Hindustan Times Feb 3, 2012 edition) states "Mangey's voice needs to be heard to be believed" and we at Amarrass are true believers!
Mitha Bol: Volume 1 of the Amarrass field recordings
We have some good news to share. Our second album, ‘Mitha Bol’, volume one of Amarrass’ field recordings is now in stores! Featuring six outstanding folk artists, the album showcases the diversity in sounds from Rajasthan. It is proof that traditional music—from bhajans to qawwalis—has been preserved undiluted. You can order your copy of these limited edition CD’s now!
Mitha Bol - Volume 1 of the Amarrass Field Recordings (AMAR002) (Buy online now)
In December last, after our hugely successful Manganiyar Seduction show at Purana Qila, we embarked on a series of ambitious journeys. Fascinated by the music of the Manganiyars, a 400-year-old community of Muslim musicians, we criss-crossed Rajasthan to look for the finest among them. We wanted to research and document their rich musical heritage, and most of all, we wanted to record their music in its purest form: with traditional instruments – all in one take and acoustic.
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