Tari Khan

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Ustad Tari Khan
Birth nameAbdul Sattar Khan
Born1953 (age 68–69)
Lahore, Pakistan
GenresHindustani classical music, world music
Occupation(s)Tabla Maestro & Vocalist
Years active1967–present

Abdul Sattar Khan popularly known as Ustad Tari Khan (born 1953) is a Pakistani tabla player and vocalist.[1][2] Tari Khan hails from the Punjab gharana and is the student of Ustad Mian Shaukat Hussain. He has been awarded with many accolades such as Taj Poshi (Golden Crown), the Hazrat Amir Khusrow Award, as well as Pakistan's Pride of Performance Award (Pakistan's highest artistic honour) in 2008.[3] Tari Khan belongs to the tabla playing gharana called the Punjab gharana.[4]

Early life[edit]

Tari Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan. He hails from a traditional Rababi family (Muslim musicians employed in the royal Darbar Sahib, chief Sikh temple in Amritsar).[2] His father was a classical vocalist. At the age of six, Tari was so captivated by the Tabla playing of Ustad Miyan Shaukat Hussain Khan, that for the next eight years, Tari Khan heard Ustad Mian Shaukat Hussain Khan's tabla at various events.[3] At fourteen, he formally became a student of Ustad Mian Shaukat Hussain Khan, thus beginning his journey into Tabla. Three years later, he would go on to perform at the death anniversary of tabla master Mian Qadir Baksh for over 2 hours.[5]


He became famous as the accompanist of the ghazal singer Ghulam Ali as well as Mehdi Hassan. Tari always provided an exquisite accompaniment: clean, crisp thekas with astonishingly quick and interesting laggis to punctuate the verses. Because of this international exposure, musicians in India got to hear of him at a time when little cultural news escaped from Pakistan. Since then, Tari has gone on to musical scene as a tabla showman. Tari Khan has earned and has been awarded with several titles in his lifetime. The titles and awards range from being crowned the Golden Crown Taj Poshi, the Hazrat Ameer Khusro Award, as well as Pakistan's Pride of Performance Award, which has earned him the title of Tabla Prince of India and Pakistan.[3]

Tari Khan has accompanied various classical artists like Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Roshanara Begum, Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan, Ustad Sharif Khan Poonchwaley (sitar player), Ustad Vilayat Khan (sitar player), and Pandit Ramesh Mishra, to name a few. He has also accompanied renowned ghazal singers like Ustad Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Jagjit Singh, Talat Aziz, and Hariharan, to name a few.[6]

"His fingers produce an amazing resonance on tabla," says Hans Raj Hans, a famous Punjabi sufi music singer.[2]

Vocal singing career[edit]

In recent years, Tari has shown an interest in singing, he Has been a disciple of Mehdi Hassan

Personal life[edit]

Tari Khan lives in California, US. He trains his disciples in Tabla in California also.[2] He has a number of followers around the world and has several students across the globe.[6]

"Expanding his horizons, he moved to California 16 years ago, founded an academy for tabla studies there, and started touring universities and conservatories throughout America and Europe. At the same time, he's been absorbing the creative influences of other musics: jazz, African, rock, etc."[5]


  1. ^ Tari Khan performance at New York's Sufi Music Festival New York Times (newspaper), published 21 July 2010, Retrieved 8 November 2018
  2. ^ a b c d Vandana Shukla (5 January 2006). "Tari Khan, resonance of nostalgia". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Tari Khan's Biography and awards info Retrieved 8 November 2018
  4. ^ "Gharanas of Tabla in India and Pakistan". Swar Ganga Music Foundation website. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b Profile of Tari Khan on mapleshaderecords.com website Retrieved 5 January 2019
  6. ^ a b Ally Adnan (26 October 2012). ""It was very difficult to play tabla with Mehdi Hassan" (Tari Khan interview)". The Friday Times (newspaper). Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  • Mistry, Aban E. (1999). Pakhawaj & Tabla: History, Schools and Traditions. ISBN 978-0-9643694-8-1. Digitala.

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