Ghulam Abbas
Ustad Ghulam Abbas Khan was born in Lahore, into a family steeped in the Patiala and Punjab traditions of vocal music and tabla. Ghulam Abbas received his foundational training in tabla and vocal music from his father Ustad Ghulam Hasan Khan with whom he trained throughout his life until the latter’s death in early 2004. Having provided tabla accompaniment to the likes of Ustad Nazakat Ali Khan and Salamat Ali Khan since the age of 13 Ghulam Abbas also became a shagird of Ustad Allah Rakha of Bombay with the blessings of his father in a ceremony in London in 1977. Ghulam Abbas’ tabla is the embodiment of the traditional tabla of Punjab as espoused by the late Khalifa of the Punjab gharana, Ustad Miyan Qadir Baksh. Indeed Ghulam Abbas is a torchbearer of the gharana today. He has inherited the “maidan ka tabla” style of the great masters of old including Ustad Inayati Khan, Baba Malang Khan, Miyan Faqir Baksh, Ustad Meeran Baksh, Miyan Nabi Baksh Kalriye, and many other luminaries. His sound is marked by a truly sparkling presence and the use of the full hand in exploiting the variety of sounds available on the tabla. Being an exponent of the Punjab baaj his sound is marked by the unmistakable sound of the pakhawaj resonating throughout his bol selection. His minute understanding of matra and taal - typical of the Punjab gharana - is shown through his accompaniment and his solo performances. Indeed, his playing of rare and difficult taals like Ikwai, Punjabi Dhammar, Punjabi Kafi, Sooltal, Ada Chautal, Jhoomra, and Laxmi Taal provide examples of the extensive training he has received from his mentors over the years and the maturity of his tabla playing.

Ustad Ghulam Abbas has performed in virtually every part of the globe. He has participated in prestigious festivals and dazzled audiences at the most respected venues. He has also broadcast from PTV, Pakistan Radio, the BBC, ITV, and TV Rome. He has recorded numerous albums with Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and others predominantly for EMI, Lok Virsa, Nimbus Records, and Water Lily Acoustics - among others. Ghulam Abbas is an extremely versatile tabla player being equally at home accompanying classical vocal and instrumental performances as well as light classical including thumri and ghazal. A list of some of the luminaries he has performed with is given here. Ghulam Abbas has received critical acclaim for his accompaniment and solo performances by fellow musicians and music connoisseurs around the world.

Ustad Ghulam Abbas has held workshops, seminars, and teaching assignments in cultural institutions and universities throughout the world. He is also permanently affiliated with the Allah Rakha School of Music in Mumbai. Ustad Ghulam Abbas has been honored by many public and private organizations both in Pakistan and abroad. He has been awarded the prestigious Ameer Khusro Award in 1987 as well as an honorary citizenship of the city of Baltimore in 1985.

In addition to tabla, Ustad Ghulam Abbas also received training in vocal music from his father and from his maternal grand father, Baba Ghulam Ali, who taught him special traditional classical vocal compositions. Ghulam Abbas is an expert singer being familiar with special gharanedar techniques and compositions of the Patiala gharana.

Ghulam Hasan Khan

Ustad Ghulam Hasan Khan (aka Kuk Khan) was born in Dina Nagar, Punjab. His was the son of Ustad Natthu Khan. Ustad Natthu Khan was a ganda band shagird of Ustad Bare Fateh Ali Khan (Karnail) of Patiala. He was himself a cousin of the legendary Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan the son of the famed Karnail Fateh Ali Khan. Ustad Ghulam Hasan Khan was a ganda band shagird of Ustad Inayati Khan who was a shagird of Ustad Miyan Qadir Baksh. Ghulam Hasan Khan also received the blessings and guidance of Miyan Qadir Baksh himself who bestowed many rare and beautiful compositions of the Punjab gharana on him directly. Ustad Ghulam Hasan Khan was a representative of the style of tabla known as “maidan ka tabla” in which the masters of old would gather regularly to show off their newest forays into the world of rhythm by presenting their newest compositions, techniques, and ideas to their fellow tabla and pakhawaj masters. Ustad Ghulam Hasan Khan was also a favorite accompanist of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan of Kasur as well as Ustad Nazakat Ali and Salamat Ali Khan of Sham Churasi, and Ustad Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali Khan of Patiala. His is the father and Ustad of Ghulam Abbas Khan. He Passed away in early 2004.

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