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Homayun Sakhi


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From Kabul to California, Homayun Sakhi is admired as the outstanding Afghan rubab player of his generation, a charismatic virtuoso who has pushed the limits of his instrument. With tabla player Taryalai Hashimi, Sakhi plays music that is uniquely Afghan, yet resonates strongly with the spirit of Indian raga.

Like many lands riven by conflict, Afghanistan and its vexed politics have spawned diaspora communities near and far. Music is the lifeblood of such communities, linking them to a common homeland through song, poetry, and a sense of tradition. Homayun Sakhi, formerly of Kabul, later a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan, and presently a resident of California, is possibly the finest rubab player of his generation.

A student of the great rubab master, Ustad Mohammad Omar, Homayun performs a style of music rooted in the classical raga tradition of North India that was cultivated in Kabul beginning in the nineteenth century. Shifting the distinctive melodic modes and virtuosic performance style of Indian raga to the Afghan rubab, Homayun Sakhi infuses his interpretations with rhythms and melodic ornamentation that reflect his own Kabuli heritage.


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