When agile fingers
play on the strings of a sarangi, producing mesmerizing
music that brings forth ecstasy, romance and yearning for
more, one would know that the music is from none other than
than Kamal Sabri. 24-year-old Kamal inherited the dexterity
to generate soulful music from his father, renowned Padmashree
Ustad Sabri Khan Sa'ab. Kamal says, "Of course I inherited
this rich tradition from my father who is also my guru.
But what really inspired me was when I saw him perform with
world famous artists like the Beatles and Ravi Shankar."
Kamal is an international performer and has been conferred
numerous awards and accolades. He has also performed on
both national and international stages. In India, he has
performed at Sab Rang Sangeet Sammellan, Haridas Festival,
and Baba Harballabh Sangeet Sammellan and the Heritage Series
of Concerts under the aegis of ICCR. He also gets the credit
of being the youngest performer at the youth programme organised
by the SPIC MACAY. Given the khitab of 'Young Maestro' by
the Indo-Sri Lanka Cultural Council, he has made a mark
for himself and for the Indian classical music at the international
level. Touring intensively for almost six months a year,
he has performed as a solo artist and an accompanist in
UK, Finland, West Indies, Pakistan, UAE, Germany, and South
America. But this was not served in a silver plate. What
went behind was rigorous training and complete commitment.
He says: "I have been practicing ever since the age of five
and it's almost a ritual to practice six hours daily (two
hours each in the morning, afternoon and night)."
Starting at a very
young age, Kamal's first performance was recorded by the Doordarshan
when he was only six. "However, I still remember when I gave
my very first public performance with my father at a concert
when I was 12.I was quite nervous and like all first timers
wanted to do my best. In the beginning, I was quite jittery
but when I saw the audience appreciating and responding to
the tune of my sarangi, it boosted my confidence."
Apart from music
and sarangi, Kamal loves reading and visiting religious places.
He adds: "I love to mix with people, find out about their
culture, religion and interest. When I am performing abroad,
I am an artist and not a celebrity and I try to spread this
message everywhere. This is when I interact and mingle with
people." However, his favourite pass-time remains composing
fusion music that generates interests among listeners of all
ages. He has collaborated with some well-known musicians to
create interesting fusion trends — Ricky Niles from Barbados,
Raul Bjorkenheim from Finland, Jukkatolonen from Sweden.
Kamal dreams of
starting a music school that will give all the aspirants an
opportunity to master and spread this dying art across the
world. According to him, "Sarangi needs more attention — be
it in terms of more opportunities and exposure for performers
along with gainful employment — or opening of an institute
to propagate this art form among Indians and foreigners which
would be an encouragement to young talents to return to Sarangi."
HT Horizons wishes him all the best in his future endeavours!