Sitar virtuoso Shujaat Husain Khan and Kayhan Kalhor, master of the kamancheh (the traditional Persian fiddle, collectively known as Ghazal, will bring their unique blending of Indian and Iranian classical music—accompanied on traditional tabla by Samir Chatterjee—to UCLA Live’s Royce Hall Thursday April 21 at 8 p.m.
Performing together for the first time in seven years, the duo is known for an evocative and hypnotic improvisational style that reflects their respective cultures. They have toured extensively together worldwide and have released five albums as Ghazal, including Lost Songs of the Silk Road, As Night Falls on the Silk Road, Moon Rise Over the Silk Road and The Rain, which was nominated for the 2004 Grammy for Best Traditional World Music Album.
Son of the legendary Ustad Vilayat Khan, Shujaat Husain Khan is a virtuoso sitarist and scion of one of the greatest families of Hindustani (North Indian) music. Kayhan Kalhor is a master of the kamancheh, the traditional fiddle of Persian classical music who has performed with and composed for some of Iran’s greatest artists, as well as for Kronos Quartet and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project.
The Persian and Indian traditions are, in a sense, musical cousins with a connection that goes beyond the notes themselves. Several centuries of Moghul rule in northern India left a strong imprint on Hindustani music—a result of the mysticism, poetry, and musical subtleties of the Persian language and culture. The name Ghazal reflects that link. In the Persian tradition, a ghazal is a specific genre of poetry, characterized by an unusual blend of ecstatic spirituality and very earthy desires. In India, ghazal has evolved into a form of semi-classical music that remains popular to this day, and usually takes the form of a love ballad.
Single tickets are on sale now. UCLA Live at Royce Hall, 340 Royce Dr., Westwood. Friday-Thursday, April 21 at 8 p.m. $28-43 ($15 UCLA students). (310) 825.2101, www.uclalive.org