As humankind takes advantage of technology’s ability to link formerly separate cultures, local art forms can suffer. This is perhaps nowhere more true than in Rajasthan, India, where a caste of hereditary Muslim musicians known as “Merasi” or “Manganiyar” have for centuries performed traditional tunes documenting the history and legends of the region’s Thar Desert. As a younger generation of musicians comes into maturity, however, the Manganiyar tradition is in danger of being lost — which makes an opportunity to see Lakha Khan all the more urgent. Now in his 60s, he is a virtuoso of the sarangi, a violin-shaped instrument played with a bow. He performs a repertoire of songs that often address practical matters — one tune is the story of a liquor baron who attempts to negotiate prices for a hunting party in Rajasthan. Last year, a New Delhi record label released Lakha Khan’s At Home, which documents the master musician’s art with a series of field recordings.
Sun, Apr 14 | 7:30 PM
Downtown Presbyterian Church