Tehzeeb Festival ends on high note | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Tehzeeb Festival ends on high note

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: The queue outside the auditorium on the third day of the 10th Tehzeeb Festival showed no signs of abating despite the cold winds blowing through the city.

The three-day festival ended on Sunday on a high note, after treating the audience to different genres and styles of traditional music — khayal, thumri, ghazal and folk — by musicians from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Many in the audience could be heard whispering that the sitar was the true star of this year’s Tehzeeb Festival with several classical music performances wowing the audience, leaving them craving for more.

Turab Ali Khan was one such delightful performer. His Raga Jaijaiwanti was effortlessly executed and coupled with tabla maestro Bashir Khan, and the perfect start to the evening. Turab has come a long way from his early days and has been learning the sitar for almost 20 years.

He has mastered the intricacies of an instrument that has a presence of its own and can easily overwhelm an average performer. The sitar was handled beautifully and one looks forward to him performing again.

And does one need to say much about Bashir Khan when he is performing on the tabla? His nonchalant demeanour cloaks a powerhouse performer and very easily he is able to wrestle away glory from the other performer; it is truly a sign of the greatness of his art that he doesn’t have to try.

Brothers Karam Abbas Khan and Waseem Abbas Khan gave an emotional and heartfelt performance through their powerhouse vocals. From the Gwalior Gharana, they have been singing khayal, ghazal and thumri across the country and internationally.

It is interesting to see the humble demeanour of Ustad Salamat Hussain when he talks about his art, and his confidence when he plays the flute.

There was a sense of peace and tranquillity when he began his performance and mesmerised the audience.

Tehzeeb Foundation director Sharif Awan spoke to Dawn about the evolution of the festival. “This is a very important year for us as we have completed 10 years and the 10th Tehzeeb Festival was also a successful venture. We aim to encourage and promote music — classical and otherwise — and other finer things in life such as literature and fine arts. We host literary gatherings, and encourage philosophical discourse, apart from organising this music festival and the Tehzeeb Awards.”

Criticism, suggestions and appreciation all have helped to hone the festival over the years, he added, and contributed to the success of the Tehzeeb Festival.

As for the performers, the organisers in no way dictate what is to be performed at the event. “We leave it to the performers to decide what to play; they choose themselves and practise over time,” he added.