His first stage performance was at Jaipur. The Sangeet Natak Akademi recorded his performance at Jodhpur. Thereafter, at international festivals held in France, USA, USSR, Japan etc. Sakar Khan won worldwide recognition. Besides several other awards that came his way, Sakar Khan was honoured by the Madhya Pradesh government with the prestigious Tulsi Samman in 1990.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi award was bestowed on him in 1991. Although formally illiterate, Sakar Khan's musical insight is formidable. He plays Kamayacha with unflinching concentration, and delights the listeners with his captivating rendition. Profoundly inspired by Chuhar Khan, a great artiste, Sakar Khan is well-versed in six Ragas and thirty six Raginis.
His repertoire, both folk and classical, is soaked in Shringar Rasa. Sakar Khan passed away on August 10, 2013). He was the greatest exponent of the kamancha - a musician's musician renowned the world over, a treasure of India. Not just of the Thar desert where he lived, but for the vast swath of land extending west to parts of Europe. To those who love traditional music for its own sake, Sakar Khan is to the kamancha what Yehudi Menuhin is to the violin.
To those who subscribe to the view that the origins of several musical traditions including the Flamenco, and later, the Blues, are to be found in the songs of the nomads who traveled West from Rajasthan many centuries ago, Sakar Khan’s music takes on a deeper meaning. Sakar Khan’s kamancha is one of the last connections to the roots that fed the branches of music across continents. Sakarji performed with music royalty such as Lord Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison and Sultan Khan among others. He toured Europe, the US and Asia in the 70's and 80's and continued to play his instrument to the end. As a musician and a man, Sakarji is irreplaceable: he was a priceless ornament to the Indian folk tradition, and a pillar of his community, Rajasthan's Muslim minstrels, the Manganiyars.
The one comforting thought is that his sons Ghewar, Firoze and Dara Khan, highly accomplished musicians who learnt from their father, will now carry his legacy forward. The tradition is alive, and will be for at least another generation, thanks to the lifetime Sakarji devoted to his beloved kamancha. Career highlights: - Padma Shri awarded in 2012 - India’s highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian music - Has performed with violin legend Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison (of The Beatles). Numerous international performances, including those at major festivals in the US, France, Japan and USSR. - Tulsi Samman awarded in 1990 by the Madhya Pradesh government - Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991 - His album "At Home: Sakar Khan" was released September 2012 on Amarrass Records.
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