15th Annual Birthday Tribute to Maestro Ali Akbar Khan – Saturday, April 13 at 6 pm

15th Annual Birthday Tribute to Maestro Ali Akbar Khan – Saturday, April 13 at 6 pm


Join the Ali Akbar College of Music in an evening of Indian Classical music, where some of the world’s brightest talents will come together in celebration of world-renowned sarod maestro, Ali Akbar Khan. Experience the vocal sensibilities of Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, as well as an energetic performance by our very own AACM Tabla Ensemble. This moving tribute event will conclude with a performance by Maestro Khan’s two sons, Alam and Manik Khan, on sarod, alongside his long-time tabla accompanist, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri.

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15th Annual Birthday Tribute to Maestro Ali Akbar Khan

Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, vocal

The AACM Table Ensemble

Alam Khan, sarod
Manik Khan, sarod
Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, tabla

Each year, the Ali Akbar College of Music hosts a Tribute performance in both remembrance and celebration of the incredible life of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, our founder. This is a special and joyous time of year for all of us who knew and loved him, as well as for anyone who heard or enjoyed his music. In his honor, we bring together some of the world’s finest Indian classical musicians to perform for all of you, our friends and music lovers alike, so that we can all be connected and united in sound.

The Old First Church has a long history with the Ali Akbar College of Music, as many of its historic performances have taken place in the church. Just last year, we hosted our Tribute concert there to great success, and made another incredible memory. This is one of our favorite venues in the Bay Area, and we are grateful to be able to continue to perform in this unique space.

We have a wonderful musical line-up this year. Pandit Uday Bhalwakar is among the foremost Dhrupad vocalists in the world and has been a strong force in its growing recognition, popularity, and resurgence. His deep love for Dhrupad has allowed him to develop a unique style, deeply embedded in raga (melody), rasa (emotion), and bhaav (composition).

The AACM Tabla Ensemble consists of multiple members, all advanced-level students of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. They join together to create a harmonious and powerful performance, all composed by their teacher, that showcases the versatility of tabla.

Alam Khan spent his formative years learning the sarod at his father’s feet, touring internationally with him from the tender age of 13. He continues to tour the world along with a love for composing, following in the footsteps of his esteemed family. Alam has also collaborated and performed with a wide array of artists from different genres.

Manik Khan began to formally train with his father in his early teenage years as well. Today, Manik also collaborates with musicians and various ensembles to present his father’s lineage of Hindustani classical music—honoring both the tradition and its remarkable history, while also helping to make it accessible to new audiences.

Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri is a phenomenon in the arena of Indian Classical Music. Musicians honor him as one of the most respected Tabla players, worthy of highest regard all over the world. He accompanied the Maestro for over 30 years, with an unmatched rapport and genuine friendship. His musical relationship with Alam and Manik creates an exceptional empathy and compatibility on stage.

The AACM was founded in 1967, in the Bay Area, by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan (Khansahib). During his career, he often dreamed of being able to open a school of music; an institution where musicians and music lovers alike could exist together and be surrounded constantly by their shared interests. After opening his first school in Calcutta in 1956, Khansahib was drawn to California and the incredible interest he found when visiting the Bay Area. It was his father, the esteemed Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan, who instilled in Khansahib the importance of spreading and teaching this music to any and all who wish to learn. His influence was the basis for Khansahib’s vision and remains as the mission statement of the AACM.

This concert is a tribute and celebration of the life, music, and teachings of Maestro Khan, one of the greatest sarod players of our time.