Ghazal & TablaCassius Khan

INTERMISSION

Ghazal & TablaCassius Khan

Accompanying Artists:

Amika Kushwaha – Harmonium
Dr. Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan – Violin
Ram Nayyar – poetic translations
Ashifa Tharani – poetic translation
Dr. Disha Mehta – Taanmandal
Arathi Unnikrishnan – Taanmandal

Backstage Crew:

Sound Manager – Adil Jessa
Tech and Stage Manager – Inder Kanwal

Malika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazal)

25 Dec.1934 – 14 Mar.2004

Mushtari Begum was the first Indian Ghazal exponent whose father hailed from Lucknow, India and was born in the Islands of Fiji.

Ustad Cassius Khan

Vocalist & Tablaist

The globally renowned Cassius Khan stuns his audiences by performing his trademark style, which is to sing the classical styles of Ghazal and Thumri and play Tabla at the same time. Traditionally, Ghazal singers are known to play the Harmonium and be accompanied by another individual on Tabla. But Cassius has flipped the equation and popularized it, which is a first for Indian classical music. Khan has toured extensively and has performed with and worked on numerous albums with some of the world’s most finest musicians. Besides his performances in the Indian classical genre, Khan has paired his musical talents with a variety of styles such as Heavy Metal, Jazz, Electronica, and Blues. He has been featured on a TV ad, and recently, performed for the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations twice in 2017 and 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The list of Khan’s accolades includes a 2011 Western Canadian Music Award nomination, the 2005 Salute to Excellence Award from the Alberta Government, and a nomination for the City of New Westminster’s Chamber of Commerce awards as Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2017.

Amika Kushwaha

Kathak Dancer & Harmonium Artist

Amika Kushwaha is one of the few Kathak artists in Canada who pairs her performances with live musical accompaniment. Apart from showcasing this Indian Classical dance form in its traditional glamour, Amika has choreographed Kathak to many different musical genres and can intuitively collaborate with dancers of any dance style.

Amika is the recipient of the 2016 Shakti Award for Artistic Excellence and has taken part in notable festivals such as Namaste Geneva, Next Step Dance Festival, the Indian Electronica Festival, and the Vancouver Island, Mission, Harrison and Vancouver Folk Music Festivals.

Amika’s dance training began with her mother and continued under Kathak maestro Pt. Ram Mohan Mishra (Maharaj) at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in New Delhi, India. Over the years, she has refined her technique through intense workshops with leading masters of the present global Kathak dance community, namely the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandita Saswati Sen, Maulik Shah, Pandita Uma Dogra, and most recently with Raghav Raj Bhatt.

Amika is also a well-synchronized Harmonium player, and has accompanied a number of great musicians including the Khalifa of the Delhi Gharana of vocal, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan.

In addition to dancing and performing music, Kushwaha works as a professional engineer in Vancouver. Amika and her husband, Ghazal and Tabla artist, Cassius Khan, are proud founders and directors of the Mushtari Begum Festival of Indian Classical Music and Dance, held annually since 2012.

Dr. Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan

Carnatic Violinist

Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan is a disciple of violin vidushi Kalaimamani Smt. Radha Narayan and the son of Kalaimamani Meera Sivaramakrishnan. He has accomplished the style of innovative playing showing elements of emotion (bhava) and improvisation (manodharma) producing a soul-elevating experience for listeners and appreciators of the music.

Kaushik started learning violin from the age of 6 and has been giving public performances since the age of 11 in different places in India, US and Canada. He has given more than 500 performances till now, including at all major sabhas such as The Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Karthik Fine Arts in Chennai, just to name a few and travelled to Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of south India for Carnatic concerts as well. He was also a central part of Isai Mazhalai group of young musicians, promoted and headed by Sri. Abaswaram Ramjhi in Chennai and accompanied most of the current upcoming next-generation stars of carnatic music like Sri Bharat Sundar, Sri Ashwath Narayanan, Smt. K. P. Nandini, Smt. Vidya Kalyanaraman, etc. Kaushik has received many awards for his music in competitions and institutions, the highlight being the Best Violinist award in the junior category from the prestigious Music Academy during the December music season in Chennai in 2007, Best Violinist in the HCL group of concerts at the Music Academy mini hall in 2008, Best Violinist for the Gokulashtami concert series at Krishna Gana Sabha in 2011. Kaushik moved out of Chennai in 2009 for his undergraduate studies, where he performed in all the inter-hostel and inter-IIT instrumental and vocal competitions, winning 1st places in a number of occasions. Kaushik has diversified his music ventures into fusion music in the Carnatic, Ghazal styles and different classical dance forms as well.

Kaushik moved to Canada in 2015 for his PhD and pursued his passion for music continuously. He has performed for a number of major programs in Canada such as the Mushtari Begum Festival hosted by Ustad Sri. Cassius Khan in Vancouver from 2015 to present and is also a part of the Carnatic fusion band with the legendary Dr. Trichy Sankaran Sir for which he has been performing all over Canada from 2018. He has also given carnatic concerts for local talent societies in Edmonton and Calgary such as ACTS run by Dr. Ashwin Iyer of Toronto brothers, Ragamala and also is a regular accompanist for Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Kuchipudi dance forms performed by Smt. Usha Gupta, Smt. Gomathi Burrada and a number of other artists.

Kaushik has taught violin for students at all levels for 1 year in 2017 during his PhD in Edmonton and is very interested to start teaching again with your school. He shows great commitment and dedication to his teaching and has 2 years of teaching experience in Chemical Engineering at the University and High-school level as well. Kaushik has 6 years of vocal training in Carnatic music and given 3 performances in Chennai as well.

Ghazal & TablaCassius Khan

INTERMISSION

Ghazal & TablaCassius Khan

Accompanying Artists:

Amika Kushwaha – Harmonium
Dr. Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan – Violin
Ram Nayyar – poetic translations
Ashifa Tharani – poetic translation
Dr. Disha Mehta – Taanmandal
Arathi Unnikrishnan – Taanmandal

Backstage Crew:

Sound Manager – Adil Jessa
Tech and Stage Manager – Inder Kanwal

Malika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazal)

25 Dec.1934 – 14 Mar.2004

Mushtari Begum was the first Indian Ghazal exponent whose father hailed from Lucknow, India and was born in the Islands of Fiji.

Ustad Cassius Khan

Vocalist & Tablaist

The globally renowned Cassius Khan stuns his audiences by performing his trademark style, which is to sing the classical styles of Ghazal and Thumri and play Tabla at the same time. Traditionally, Ghazal singers are known to play the Harmonium and be accompanied by another individual on Tabla. But Cassius has flipped the equation and popularized it, which is a first for Indian classical music. Khan has toured extensively and has performed with and worked on numerous albums with some of the world’s most finest musicians. Besides his performances in the Indian classical genre, Khan has paired his musical talents with a variety of styles such as Heavy Metal, Jazz, Electronica, and Blues. He has been featured on a TV ad, and recently, performed for the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations twice in 2017 and 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The list of Khan’s accolades includes a 2011 Western Canadian Music Award nomination, the 2005 Salute to Excellence Award from the Alberta Government, and a nomination for the City of New Westminster’s Chamber of Commerce awards as Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2017.

Amika Kushwaha

Kathak Dancer & Harmonium Artist

Amika Kushwaha is one of the few Kathak artists in Canada who pairs her performances with live musical accompaniment. Apart from showcasing this Indian Classical dance form in its traditional glamour, Amika has choreographed Kathak to many different musical genres and can intuitively collaborate with dancers of any dance style.

Amika is the recipient of the 2016 Shakti Award for Artistic Excellence and has taken part in notable festivals such as Namaste Geneva, Next Step Dance Festival, the Indian Electronica Festival, and the Vancouver Island, Mission, Harrison and Vancouver Folk Music Festivals.

Amika’s dance training began with her mother and continued under Kathak maestro Pt. Ram Mohan Mishra (Maharaj) at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in New Delhi, India. Over the years, she has refined her technique through intense workshops with leading masters of the present global Kathak dance community, namely the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandita Saswati Sen, Maulik Shah, Pandita Uma Dogra, and most recently with Raghav Raj Bhatt.

Amika is also a well-synchronized Harmonium player, and has accompanied a number of great musicians including the Khalifa of the Delhi Gharana of vocal, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan. In addition to dancing and performing music, Kushwaha works as a professional engineer in Vancouver. Amika and her husband, Ghazal and Tabla artist, Cassius Khan, are proud founders and directors of the Mushtari Begum Festival of Indian Classical Music and Dance, held annually since 2012.

Dr. Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan

Carnatic Violinist

Kaushik Sivaramakrishnan is a disciple of violin vidushi Kalaimamani Smt. Radha Narayan and the son of Kalaimamani Meera Sivaramakrishnan. He has accomplished the style of innovative playing showing elements of emotion (bhava) and improvisation (manodharma) producing a soul-elevating experience for listeners and appreciators of the music.

Kaushik started learning violin from the age of 6 and has been giving public performances since the age of 11 in different places in India, US and Canada. He has given more than 500 performances till now, including at all major sabhas such as The Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Karthik Fine Arts in Chennai, just to name a few and travelled to Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of south India for Carnatic concerts as well. He was also a central part of Isai Mazhalai group of young musicians, promoted and headed by Sri. Abaswaram Ramjhi in Chennai and accompanied most of the current upcoming next-generation stars of carnatic music like Sri Bharat Sundar, Sri Ashwath Narayanan, Smt. K. P. Nandini, Smt. Vidya Kalyanaraman, etc. Kaushik has received many awards for his music in competitions and institutions, the highlight being the Best Violinist award in the junior category from the prestigious Music Academy during the December music season in Chennai in 2007, Best Violinist in the HCL group of concerts at the Music Academy mini hall in 2008, Best Violinist for the Gokulashtami concert series at Krishna Gana Sabha in 2011. Kaushik moved out of Chennai in 2009 for his undergraduate studies, where he performed in all the inter-hostel and inter-IIT instrumental and vocal competitions, winning 1st places in a number of occasions. Kaushik has diversified his music ventures into fusion music in the Carnatic, Ghazal styles and different classical dance forms as well.

Kaushik moved to Canada in 2015 for his PhD and pursued his passion for music continuously. He has performed for a number of major programs in Canada such as the Mushtari Begum Festival hosted by Ustad Sri. Cassius Khan in Vancouver from 2015 to present and is also a part of the Carnatic fusion band with the legendary Dr. Trichy Sankaran Sir for which he has been performing all over Canada from 2018. He has also given carnatic concerts for local talent societies in Edmonton and Calgary such as ACTS run by Dr. Ashwin Iyer of Toronto brothers, Ragamala and also is a regular accompanist for Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Kuchipudi dance forms performed by Smt. Usha Gupta, Smt. Gomathi Burrada and a number of other artists.

Kaushik has taught violin for students at all levels for 1 year in 2017 during his PhD in Edmonton and is very interested to start teaching again with your school. He shows great commitment and dedication to his teaching and has 2 years of teaching experience in Chemical Engineering at the University and High-school level as well. Kaushik has 6 years of vocal training in Carnatic music and given 3 performances in Chennai as well.