Ustad Hamid Hossain | Vocal, Sitar, Tabla
Ustad Hamid Hossain was born in a musical family in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. He received his talim in tabla, sitar and Hindustani classical vocal from his renowned father, Ustad Kader Buksh, one of India’s foremost musicologist/musician. A civil engineer by academics, he decided to dedicate his life to the propagation of Indian music throughout the world. Since he loved music completely, he decided that he would try to perform in all three different art forms. He did not want to sacrifice his love for the Sitar, Tabla or Vocal music and thus decided to learn and perform all three.
He moved to Bangladesh in 1968 and became one of Bangladesh’s most well known and respected musician and teacher of music. From there, he built a solid base in the understanding of how to teach the music that was taught to him. He stayed in Bangladesh for a few years performing for Radio Bangladesh often and teaching hundreds of students. At this time in his life, he received the offer to migrate to the United States. Although he did not know what the opportunities were that existed in the United States as far as Indian music was concerned, he decided to migrate and see what he could do. By the early 70s, Indian music was gaining recognition throughout the world due to the efforts of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Vilayat Khan.
He immediately started to seek out like minded individuals and people who wanted to learn about music. He was successful to such an extent that music became his only profession; he taught regularly maintaining a wide group of students and also performed through out the United States.
Ustad Hamid Hossain was recruited by the University of Maryland Baltimore County, to help them start a Indian music department since the University was known for its ethnomusicology program at that time. Dr. Mantle Hood, from UCLA and many other luminaries of the academic ethnomusicology world was at the music department at UMBC. Ustad Hossain started teaching various courses in Indian music at UMBC and his affiliation has lasted to this day. In 1982, he started envisioning an All USA Indian Music and Dance Competition that would be held at UMBC every year. His vision was not to make it such a competitive environment but rather an environment that would facilitate competition and improvements in music. All his students and many students throughout the United States gathered in Baltimore for two days in November 1982. Students from all ranges were present from beginners to advance from 5 in age to 75 in age. It was a remarkable event and was recognized as a truly ground breaking event that brought together members of many communities, including Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and American community. This competition is now over 30 years in running. One of the only competition to be held out of India that has run for this amount of time. It has received awards from three presidents of the United States. The mayor of Baltimore, the Governor of Maryland including all three Ambassadors from the Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indian Embassy have been present for different competitions. For the last 3 years, United States Senator, Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) has come to witness the events and distribute trophies in the last three years. He has said that this is one of the truly unique events he has ever been to and he would come as many times as he could.
In 1991, he started Aim Records, Inc. to record and distribute classical compact discs of Indian music. The releases so far have been great and numerous and many top luminaries of Indian music are on this label, including Ajoy Chakraborty, Rashid Khan, Shujaat Khan, Budhaditya Mukherjee and many others. Aim Records, later turned into Aimrec.com and has since published many interactive and wonderful Indian music products.
He is the executive producer of Sangeetpedia. He believes till this day that the most important aspect of his life, why he was born, was to propagate Indian classical music throughout the world. Ustad Hamid Hossain has had many students throughout his life in music. His students love him to the level of worship, because he not only teaches them music but gives and instills upon them a philosophy of life. Today, he has a waiting list of at least 40 students at any given time and is teaching at various different places in the United States. He is perhaps the most well known Indian music teacher outside of India and his life is a testament that foremost, his love for music and the propagation of Indian music is undisputed. He is the father and guru of one of the creators of Sangeetpedia, Enayet Hossain.
Enayet Hossain | Tabla
Enayet was born into a musical family, his grandfather, the late great Ustad Kader Buksh was acknowledged as one of India’s foremost musicologist/musician. Enayet learned the tabla from his father, Ustad Hamid Hossain, a very well known Indian music teacher and musician based in the United States. Enayet was born in Bangladesh and raised in the United States and represents a new breed of musicians who received their musical training outside of India. Enayet is a versatile performer of tabla. He is at ease with accompaniment with North Indian classical music, instrumental music, light and semi classical music including thumri, ghazal, dadra etc… as well as giving solo performances. Enayet has over 20 compact disc recordings available where he is featured.
Enayet started accompanying India’s top musicians from an early age. While only 17, he accompanied Aftab-E-Sitar Ustad Vilayat Khan on several concerts. He has since accompanied artists like Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Budhaditya Mukherjee, Shujaat Khan, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan and countless others. He has been featured in many newspapers as a leading artist. He also received many citations from the state of Maryland for his outstanding contributions to the propagation of Indian music and its synthesis in American society. He has also received a grant from the Governor of Maryland as an artist in residence.
Enayet is also the Vice President of Aimrec, the premiere independent Indian Classical Music label, founding member of Melodic Intersect, a world fusion group bringing together internationally renowned musicians throughout the world, and the producer of Sangeetpedia, an encyclopedia of Indian Classical Music.
Mathew Poovan | Sitar
Mathew Poovan is a rising sitar player in the Baltimore Metropolitan area.
Mathew was first introduced to the sitar in high school and has since studied sitar, tabla, and North Indian classical vocal under the guidance of his guru, Ustad Hamid Hossain.
Mathew teaches sitar students to whom he passes on his knowledge and love of music.
Narmeen Iftikhar | Vocal
Narmeen Iftikhar was born in Guwahati, Assam: a northeastern state of India. Her family has always loved various forms of arts including Indian classical music and dance. At the age of 7 she started learning Hindustani classical singing and hindustani classical odissi dance. She is a well trained odissi dancer and she learned hindustani classical music extensively from Gitayan Sangit Vidyapith. Sheworked at MTV as an intern in 2008, which gave her a huge exposure to the western world of music and an opportunity to understand world music.
After Narmeen came to the United States, she continued her music training under the able guidance of legendary Ustad Hamid Hossain. He received his talim (training) in tabla, sitar and Hindustani classical vocal from his renowned father, Ustad Kader Buksh; who was one of India’s foremost musicologist/musician. She has received an Award of Excellence from Ustad Vilayat Khan Foundation for her contribution to the propagation and promotion of Indian classical music to the audiences in the west in year 2012. She has also received an award from Academy of Indian Classical Music and Art in the year2013 for her performances in Hindustani classical singing.