Ustad Nishat Khan hails from the illustrious Imdadkhani sitar gharana - named for his great-grandfather Imdad - alongside greats such as Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Vilayat Khan, and Ustad Imrat Khan (his father and main teacher).
His ancestors gave shape to the modern sitar, customising the design and mastering gayaki ang (singing style), and he grew up immersed into music, skipping school to practice and staying up all night to analyse concerts he had seen that evening. He credits his grandmother with playing a pivotal role in his approach to training too.
Nishat has since taken his sitar into jazz, flamenco, and Gregorian chant, and worked with greats such as Philip Glass, Evelyn Glennie, and John McLaughlin, as well as continual classical touring. He is renowned for extraordinary speed, and younger listeners may have unwittingly heard him already - in 2009 he played sitar on Weezer’s Love is the Answer.
"We have a saying: ‘power without control is nothing, and control only comes when you submit to a discipline'. That is what I learned from my father."
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