Imran Khan belongs to the famous lineage of the Sikar Gharana (school of music) that has given many stalwarts to Indian classical music. He was born in Jodhpur on 4th June 1983 and is the ninth generation of Gharana. He started his training in sitar at 6 years of age under the guidance of his grandfather Ustad Gulab Khan Sahab, who is a highly acknowledged sarangi player and vocalist of his time. He has also taken training from his father, Ustad Niyaz Ahmed Khan Sahab, who is a famous sitar player and an ‘A’ grade staff artist at ALL INDIA Radio, Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
Additionally, Imran has also taken training from his uncles; the world famous sarangi player and vocalist, Ustad Sultan Khan, who was a part of Beatles’ George Harrison’s and Pandit Ravi Shankar’s group “Dark Horse” and Ustad Nasir Khan, who is also a sitar player.
Imran gave his first solo performance aged 12 at the youth festival of All India Radio and since then he has been taking his music to concerts and festivals all over India and abroad. He has given performances in Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Thailand, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, the U.K., Croatia,Switzerland, Malaysia, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and many others.
Imran Khan was awarded the first prize and a two year scholarship in a competition organized by Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Academy. With years of hard work, thoughtful creative analysis and dedication, he has developed a unique style that is distinguished for its fine sense of sur and laya (melody and rhythm).
He has been fortunate to share the stage with his uncle, late Ustad Sultan Khan, and tour with him for 22 concerts in different cities in India. He has had the honour of performing with the great vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, the versatile singer Shanker Mahadevan, Ghazal Maestro Talat Aziz, melodious artists Richa Sharma and Madhushree Bhattacharya and also international artists like Mozartium Orchestra, Louis Chedid, Lithuania Chamber Orchestra, Django Django, Jens Pollheide, Officina Zoe, Nabil Bey, Lorenzo Mantovani, Scylla and many others.
Besides being a classical music artist, he equally excels in fusion and world music; he has played for films like Mr.Hot & Mr. Cool, Utsav among others. Albums. He was also part of MTV Coke Studio series in India, collaborating with the famous Bollywood singer Shaan. Additionally, he has worked for Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s Coca Cola advertisement. He is also the founder and festival director for the Raaga Taala Retreat and runs his own music label and events company “Creative Karma” based in Mumbai.
National and International collaborations
Imran has performed at many concerts and music festivals throughout India and abroad and at various prestigious venues like the Nehru Center, NCPA, Royal Opera House in Mumbai, Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal and the Kamani Auditorium in Delhi. He has also performed for King Charles of England during his visit to Jodhpur Mehrangarh fort in Rajasthan, at the Kuala Lumpur music festival at the Istana Budaya National Theater in Malaysia. Also his album “Journey of Joy” was featured in International U.K. Music Magazine Song Lines. He has also played at festivals such as the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, the World Sacred Spirit Festival, the Jaipur Literature Festival, Kala Ghoda Art Festival, Dortbunt, the Berlin Carnival, Moers Festival, World Yoga Festival, Imagodei Festival, WOD Festival, Sori Festival, Culturas 360 Festival, Vurige Tongen Festival and many others.
Imran is also a composer in his own right having several albums to his credit; he has worked for his uncle, the Late Ustad Sultan Khan Sahab’s last album “The Legacy” and his own album“Khwaja Saheeb” released by India’s biggest music label T-series, with songs rendered by some of India’s most famous singers, namely Rekha Bhardwaj, Krishna Berua, Parthiv Gohil, Kalpana Patowary, Ali Abbas amongst others. Imran has composed and did arrangements for his album with Italian guitar player Lorenzo Montovani called “Journey of Joy ” and recently he has released the album “Ji ” from Fuego Records with amazing bass player Jens Pollheide featuring various artists from around the world.