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Ustad Wasiffuddin Dagar / Dhruvpad Vocal Music "Baithak"
In concert Ustad Wasiffuddin Dagar with Percussion maestro Shri Mohan Shyam Sharma on Pakhawaj and two tanpura players

The Dagar family contribution to the perpetuation and enrichment of this art, while pre­serving its original purity, has been so precious, and the fact that the history of this family can be traced back for 20 generations without a break is so unique, that the family can be said to represent a microcosm of the history of Indian classical music.

Dhruvpad reached its apogee in the 16th century, during the reign of the Moghul emperor Akbar. At that time there were four Schools of Dhruvpad, representing this art in all its diversity. Brij Chand Rajput was of Dagar lineage, so the school of Dhruvpad that he headed was called Dagar Vani. The other three Vanis, Khandar, Nauvahar and Gobarhar. respectively, almost disappeared in the course of time, and only in the Dagar Vani has the pure tradition of Dhruvpad been maintained and brought down to our day. Until the 16th century the Dagars were Brahmins, but circumstances constrained their ancestor, Baba Gopal Das Pandey, to embrace Islam, and he came to be known as Baba Imam Khan Dagar. One of his two sons, Ustad Behram Khan Dagar, was the most famous and learned musician of his time, in the 18th and 19th centuries. He applied himself to the acquisition of a thorough knowledge of the Sanskrit sacred texts. He devoted the greater part of his life to the rigorous analysis of these texts in order to translate the formal musical rules into a pragmatic teaching method. He distilled the style of singing, the gayaki, to a degree of purity and clarity never known before.

Ustad Wasiffudin Dagar represents the 20th generation in the unbroken chain of this haloed vocal tradition

Wasif performs regularly and extensively on Indian television and radio, at music festivals, and concerts. He performed for the UNESCO in France, and also toured the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary in 1998, for the United Nations Peace Summit, and the World Festival of Scared Music of the Dalai Lama in 2001. In several very successful concert tours, he has performed extensively in the United States including at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, at Harvard University, and several other prestigious venues. He has also toured Japan and Europe. A May-June 2003 concert tour is scheduled in France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Finland. Wasif teaches many talented youngsters grooming the next generation of torchbearers for this ancient august tradition.

Mohan Shyam Sharma is one of the leading percussionists of his generation. He has held the distinguished classification of an A-grade Artist of All India Radio since 1987, and has participated in a variety of prestigious local and national radio and television programs in India since that time. His accomplishments include a wide range of accompanying performances with the leading practitioners of vocal and instrumental music in the ancient Dhruvpad style. He has appeared widely in concerts in Europe, Great Britain, the former Soviet Union, Japan and throughout South Asia. He has appeared on a number of CD recordings on the Jecklin, JVC, Music of the World, Music Today, Nimbus, and Raga labels. He toured the U.S. with Ustad Asad Ali Khan in 1997; with Pandit Ravi Shankar and Shubha Sankaran in 1998; with Wasif Dagar in 2000; and with Wasif Dagar, Bahauddin Dagar, and Shubha Sankaran in 2001. He currently lives in New Delhi.

Date: 10/24/2004
Location: Mahatma Gandhi Center, 58 Tell Street, Providence, RI 02909
Time: 3:00 pm

Cost: $10

Contact: 508-676-5706 / 401-369-0177

Web: www.dagarvani.com
Directions: From 95 North take exit 21 then turn left onto Atwells Avenue From 95 South take exit 21 and turn right onto Atwells Avenue. Go about ¾ mile on Atwells Avenue and take a left onto Knight St. Take a third right onto Tell Street. The center is the second building on the left. Please allow time for parking.

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