Famed sarangi player and vocalist Ustad Sultan Khan died Sunday, November 27, 2011 while being rushed to a Jodhpur, Rajasthan hospital. Mr. Khan, who had suffered in recent years, succumbed to kidney failure after battling diabetes for several years. Mr. Khan was 71.
Born in 1940, Mr. Khan began his musical career under the tutelage of his father Ustad Gulab Khan and gave his first public performance at the tender age of 11. He would go on to become a force on the Hindustani classical music scene and perform with Ravi Shankar, George Harrison, and lent vocals and sarangi to Gavin Harrison’s recording Sanity & Gravity. Mr. Khan was also a member of Tabla Beat Science with fellow musicians Zakir Hussain and Bill Laswell. He will be remembered for his vocals for “Albela Sajan Aayo Re” and “Piya Basanti Re”in the 1999 Indian film Hum Del De Chuke Sanam, as well as appeared and performed on the title track “Yaarodu Yaaro” for the Tamil film Yogi.
His honors include India’s civilian honor the Padma Bhushan, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Gold Medalist Award of Maharashtra and the American Academy of Artists Award.
Mr. Khan is survived by his wife, son Sabir Khan and his daughters Reshma and Sehra. His memorial and burial are expected to take place on Monday, November 28, 2011 in Jodhpur.