Tari Khan takes New Zealanders by storm

Ghazal singers look for Tabla players who can match their vocal prowess, for it is a proper match between the two that makes any concert a resounding success.

However, if the singer compliments himself as a percussion artiste, the result is melody of unprecedented quality as New Zealanders discovered in Tari Khan on May 6 in Auckland.

The Pakistan-born, Californian Tabla Prince went home with hundreds of hearts that belonged to his fans who had gathered to experience the ‘Tari Khan Effect.’

Tabla enthusiasts had to wait until the second part of the programme but Ghazal lovers were enthralled by his execution of compositions of a number of maestros including the recently the late Mehdi Hassan and Jagjit Singh.

Rhythm School of Indian Music Director & Principal Manjit Singh had organised the programme at Avondale College Auditorium, at which National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was among the Guests of Honour.

Inspiring songs

Accompanied by Manjit Singh (Tabla), Dharmesh Parikh (Key Board) and Shoaib Safi (Harmonium), Khan rendered a number of popular Ghazals such as ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi,’ ‘Baat Karni Mujhe Mushkil,’ ‘Rafta Rafta Wo Meri Hasti Ke Saman Ho Gaye’ and ‘Hothon Se Chulo Tum Mera Geet Amar Kardo.’

His rendition of ‘Damaa Dam Mast Kalandar’ was a fitting finale to the singing segment.

As most lovers of North Indian music would know, this is a spiritual song (Kalaam) in Punjabi, composed by Sufi Saint Baba Bulleh Shah more than 300 years ago in honour of the Most Reverend Sufi Saint of Sindh, Sahahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan Sharif, near Larkana (now in Pakistan). The song, rendered in praise of Hindu-Muslim unity continues to inspire people from India and Pakistan.

It was her superb rendition of this number that made Runa Laila, a Bangladeshi singer (who this reporter interviewed 27 years ago in Bahrain) world famous.

Singer excels

The post-interval session saw Khan in his elements as a Tabla player, accompanying first Daljeet Kaur of Rhythm School of Music. As she magnificently rendered a Dadra (Hindustani Semi-Classical) in Raag Pilu, the Tabla master was impressed and inspired to deliver his best.

Beginning his solo performance in Rupak Taal, Tarik kept the audience under his spell for the rest of the evening. Accompanied by Manjit Singh, he demonstrated why he is rate on a par with the best in the world.

World styles

He excelled himself in executing the ‘Taal Keherwa’ in different rhythmic patterns, in African, European and Indian styles, all in the same four-beat rhythm cycle.

The programme opener was a Tabla Jugalbandhi in Teen Taal by Gurpreet Singh, Vinayak Dev and Vipul Dev (Tabla) and Harpreet Singh (Harmonium) students of the Rhythm School of Music.


1. Tari Khan with Manjit Singh, Shoaib Safi and Dharmesh Parikh

2. Daljeet Kaur renders a Dadra, inspiring Tari Khan

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