Lakha Khan, 69 is a sarangi player and vocalist, and perhaps the greatest exponent of the sindhi sarangi. He was born in the village of Raneri in Jodhpur district, Rajasthan, India into a family of traditional musicians from the Manganiyar community.
He was trained at an early age by his father Tharu Khan and later, by his uncle Mohammad Khan, in rendering the compositions of the Multan school of Manganiyars.
A living legend, Lakha Khan is not only a virtuoso on the sarangi, he sings fluently in Sindhi, Punjabi, Hindi, Marwari and a variety of dialects, his knowledge and skill spanning the divide between folk and classical music. He confesses "classical always remains in control while we, who have learnt on our own, take liberties. At times we go out of tune but at times we discover something new as well.”
His first public performances were in the late 60's and 70's under the guidance of the late Komal Kothari, a highly regarded Indian historian and ethnomusicologist.
Today, Lakha Khan is one of the last remaining Manganiyars to have mastered this complex instrument and to carry forward the centuries-old musical tradition of Rajasthani folk and Sufi music. He has performed extensively across Rajasthan and India, and internationally in the U.S. and Europe.
In 2011, he performed at the Edinburgh Folk Music Festival and The Amarrass Desert Music Festival.
The album features sindhi sarangi maestro Lakha Khan's Nashville concert from his debut US tour in 2013, and includes renditions of popular folk classics such as Kesariya Balam and Mast Qalandar, Sufi kalaams by the 19th Century poets Ghulam Farid and Bulleh Shah, Kabir bhajans and classical ragas. Lakha Khan (vocals, sarangi) is accompanied by his son Dane Khan (dholak).
Single take recordings at home in Raneri, Rajasthan. Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Lakha Khan, from the village of Raneri in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district is one of the foremost proponents of the sindhi sarangi, or Indian folk fiddle.
"In the master's hand, the Sufi-influenced melody he coaxes from it (the sarangi) is transformative" - Michael Sullivan on National Public Radio (NPR) Weekend Edition.
4 Stars for Lakha Khan: Live in Nashville - Songlines#106
"His songbook contains the roots of India's national popular music" - Aaron Cohen, Chicago Tribune
"At Home is a superb set of field recordings" - Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
"Lakha Khan’s At Home documents the master musician’s art with a series of field recordings." - Edd Hurt, Nashville Scene
**** "No frills needed; just great playing from an Indian master" - SIMON BROUGHTON Songlines
| "In the master's hands, the Sufi induced melody he coaxes from it (the sarangi) is transformative" - NPR
"meda mehar muraad na milda, kinnu haal sunaawan dil da?" My deepest wish (is to be with the one), and until i find you, what is the point in explaining the condition of my heart?
A Sufi kalaam performed by Lakha Khan (vocals, sindhi srangi) and his son Dane Khan (dholak) live in studio at WORT 89.9FM Madison Wisconsin for the Global Revolutions broadcast on April 22, 2013.
Haal Sunawan Dil Da, performed by sindhi sarangi maestro Lakha Khan, accompanied by his son Dane Khan on dholak at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, USA on April 18, 2013.
Lakha Phulani is a folk song from Rajasthan, India and about a rich donor Lakha Phulani, who settled in Bhuj (in Gujarat) and was reputed to donate one lakh (one hundred thousand) rupees before he sat down for a meal.. a testament to the many donors of Prospect Park, Brooklyn New York. Lakha Khan - vocals, sindhi sarangi, Dane Khan - dholak. Recorded on April 9, 2013. © 2013 Amarrass Records
Lakha Khan (sarangi, vocals) sings Khedan De Din Chaar, a poem by the great Sufi mystic Bulleh Shah.
Bhanwarji Kalali (or kalhali), a traditional folk song which references the king's hunting party and the liquor-still baron - sung by Lakha Khan, one of the greatest sindhi sarangi players from the Manganiyar community of musicians in Rajasthan. Accompanied on the dholak by his elder son Dane Khan. Recorded in Raneri, Rajasthan at a retired schoolmaster's farm storage shed (which had several bags of cumin stored in the room, and making this possibly the sweetest smelling session!)
Tulsi Kya Karoon - Lakha Khan. From the album "mitha bol", 2011 Amarrass Records. This recording was made late in the evening at Lakhaji's home in Raneri, our last stop before the marathon 10 hour drive back to Delhi. The sarangi is arguably the most difficult Indian instrument to master, and very few musicians—in either the classical or folk traditions—have been able to make its bow and strings do their bidding as well as Lakha Khan. The fourth in the line of master sarangi players, Lakhaji's home in Raneri is also somewhat of a museum where instruments, some more than a century old, have been carefully preserved. A philosopher musician with no classical training, Lakhaji's knowledge comes from his forefathers; his virtuosity from decades of practice. His genius, though, is a pure gift.
Sorath performed by Lakha Khan (sarangi) and accompanied by his son Dane Khan on the dholak, at the Amarrass Desert Music Festival on November 27, 2011 at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi, India