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Ustad Rashid Khan is an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani music tradition. He belongs to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, and is the great-grandson of gharana founder Inayat Hussain Khan.
Rashid Khan gave his first concert at age eleven, and the following year, 1978, he performed at an ITC concert in Delhi. In April 1980, when Nissar Hussain Khan moved to the ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), Calcutta, Rashid Khan also joined the academy at the age of 14. By 1994, he was acknowledged as a musician (a formal process) at the academy.
The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play. Rashid Khan includes the slow elaboration in his vilambit khayals in the manner of his maternal grand-uncle and also developed exceptional expertise in the use of sargams and sargam taankari (play on the scale). He is influenced with the style of Amir Khan and Bhimsen Joshi.
He is also a master of the tarana like his guru but sings them in his own manner, preferring the khayal style rather than the instrumental stroke-based style for which Nissar Hussain was famous. There is no imitation of instrumental tone.
His renderings stand out for the emotional overtones in his melodic elaboration. He says: "The emotional content may be in the alaap, sometimes while singing the bandish, or while giving expression to the meaning of the lyrics." This brings a touch of modernity to his style, as compared to the older maestros, who tended to place greater emphasis on impressive technique and skilful execution of difficult passages.
Rashid Khan has also experimented with fusing pure Hindustani music with lighter musical genres, e.g. in the Sufi fusion recording Naina Piya Se (songs of Amir Khusro), or in experimental concerts with western instrumentalist Louis Banks. He has also performed jugalbandis, along with sitarist Shahid Parvez and others.
In a story told in several versions, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi once remarked that Rashid Khan was the "assurance for the future of Indian vocal music". He was awarded the Padma Shri, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006.
Catch Ustad Rashid Khan live in performance only at the Krishnakriti Festival of Art and Culture 2017.