News and Press

Zakir Hussain, tabla
Halim Academy of Sitar Launches "Khiraj" Festival of Music
Halim Academy of Sitar |  January 8, 2019
"Khiraj" is Halim Academy of Sitar's annual festival of music dedicated to the memory of beloved Guru and sitar legend, Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan. The festival produces live music performances from the Hindustani and Carnatic classical traditions, which are free and open to the general public. Halim Academy of Sitar also commemorates the doyens and doyennes of Indian Classical Music, and in 2019, it awarded the 'Jafferkhani Samman' to tabla maestro, PadmaBhushan Ustad Zakir Hussain.
Classical World Remembers Maestro
Shailaja Khanna |  January 8, 2017 The Asian Age
"The last of the great instrumentalists of his generation, Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan of the great Ustad Bande Ali gharana of Indore, passed away last week. Often called the youngest of the “trinity” of sitariyas (the other two being Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pt. Ravi Shankar), the Ustad was superbly “tayyar”, a trendsetter musically and, in addition, a warm person with the most eclectic bent of mind. Apart from this, he was an iconoclast who experimented with different genres."
Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan: Farewell from a Devoted Disciple
Gargi Shindé |  January 8, 2017
"To a culture that prides on preserving tradition, Khansahab’s contribution in the rendering of ragas such as PahadiPiluKirwani is sublime. As an innovator of style, he has created new possibilities for sitar playing by subverting a servile adherence to the Gharana system. Never the reckless non-conformist, he won the hearts of lay audiences throughout India with his compositions and performances immortalized by classic Hindi cinema; Khansahab’s inimitable style displayed in Mughal-e-azamJhanak Jhanak Payal BajeGoonj Uthi Shehnai, and more. For fans of the Jafferkhani Baaj, within a span of a phrase he could at once evoke cries of wonderment as he illuminated well-worn ragas such as Tilak Kamod or Zila Kafi...."
United by the Love of Ragas
Krishnaraj Iyengar | October 29, 2015 The Hindu

Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan, the last surviving legend of his generation, is truly the living Dervish of pluralism and national integration. With his irresistible smile and overwhelming affection, the Ustad’s principles seemed to embody the teachings of venerated Andalusian Sufi Ibn el Arabi...

Keeping Strings Alive
May 18, 2011 Mumbai Mirror

In a special performance in the city this week, enthusiasts can enjoy the musical performance of one of the leading sitarists of his generation, Zunain Khan.

He is the principal exponent of the Jafferkhani Baaj which is a musical innovation of his eminent father and guru Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan.


Zunain represents the fifth generation of the Indore Beenkar Gharana in the lineage of Ghairat Khan, Murawat and Jaffer Khan.

Hot Jazz and the Cold War in 1950's Mumbai
Naresh Farnandes | November 3, 2011 New York Times


One evening in 1958, the pianist Dave Brubeck and his quartet gathered in the home of a jazz-loving industrialist on Mumbai’s Malabar Hill to chat with a group of Indian musicians led by the sitar maestro, Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan. Then they picked up their instruments and put their new knowledge to work. The jam session with Mr. Khan, the American pianist said later, changed the way he approached his art. “His influence made me play in a different way,” Mr. Brubeck told Jazz Journal International. “Although Hindu scales, melodies and harmonies are different, we understood each other … The folk origins of music aren’t far apart anywhere in the world.”

Zunain Khan Presents a Scintillating Sitar Performance 
Kashmir Images| February 2014 Daily Excelsior


Zunain Halim Khan, who has emerged as one of the foremost Sitar players of his generation, is the leading exponent of the Jafferkhani Baaj, an innovation of his eminent father and guru Padmabhushan Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan.

He presented Raga Basant Mukhari commencing his recital with brief Aalap – Jod followed by Gat in Vilambit Teentaal and Drut Teentaal. His recital demonstrated his unique subtlety of the rendition of the raga. His fast tempo Taan patterns left the audience enthralled. Earlier he gave a brief description on music and Sitar to the audience.

Reliving the Memories With Sitar Maestro Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan

Priya B Fernandes | October 2014 India Perspective


“How I got interested in music is known to only God. My father (late Ustad Jaffer Khan, the famous artist of Indore Gharana or school) used to teach music, and sometimes, while playing around the house, I heard him talking and teaching the students. I was just a little above four but caught a few lines that I hummed later. That is when my father made me a small sitar,” says Khan....


Just like his distinctive style of music, even his conversations are different. Time to Time, the musicians refers to old adages, popular couplets and poetry to elucidate the situations in his life.


The Pioneer December 2013


Zunain represents the fifth generation of the Indore Beenkar Gharana in the lineage of Ustad Ghairat Khan, Ustad Murawat Khan, Ustad Jaffer Khan, and his renowned father. Recognized for a unique subtlety is his approach and rendition of ragas, Zunain has developed national and international recognition leaving his audiences enthralled by truly delivering the legacy of the Jafferkhani Baaj and conveying the essence and the very beauty of his instrument. Zunain impressed the audiences as he commenced the evening with Raga Chandani Kedar in madhya laya teen taal nimbat. He further maintained the interest of the classical music lover with alap, jod and jala under the same raga.

The Ustad and the Long-Playing Sitar
Soma Das | February 2013 Midday


The term ‘walls speak’ holds true as one enters the humble residence of Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan in Bandra in Mumbai. The walls are adorned with photographs of the Ustad receiving awards from dignitaries including former President APJ Abdul Kalam. There are a host of such honours that have been bestowed on him over the decades, including the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award as well as the Tansen Samman.

America's Original Ambassador of Cool

Naresh Fernandes | December 2012 The Hindu


One night in Mumbai, they had a long discussion with prominent Hindustani classical musicians, including sitar player Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan. Then they picked up their instruments to put their new knowledge to work. “We all felt that given a few more days, we would either be playing Indian music or they would be playing jazz,” Brubeck wrote later.

Masters in Waiting
Amarendra Dhaneshwar | December 2011


An impressive line of senior Hindustani musicians has smoothly picked up where giants of the last century like Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal left off. But behind them, in the wings, await some hugely talented youngsters. TOI-Crest picks some musicians to watch out for in the decade to come....Young sitarists to watch out for include...Zunain Khan. 

Playing a New Tune
HoihnuI Hauzel | October 2008 The Telegraph


In the world of Indian music, sons and even daughters still follow their fathers into the family trade. But the children are making their way through the world of music — and perpetuating their fathers’ legacies — in a way that often takes their parents by surprise.


Zunain started learning the sitar from his father when he was a five-year-old toddler. “I played the instrument and when he taught students I would sit through most sessions....”