Noted Rajasthani folk musician Sakar Khan, an exponent of the melodious bow and string instrument Kamaicha, passed away in Jaisalmer on 10 August 2013.
Sakar Khan, resident of Hamira village of Jaisalmer, was suffering from a respiratory illness for some time.
About Sakar Khan
• Sakar Khan, belonging to the traditional Manganiyar folk musician community of Rajasthan, was honoured with the Padma Shri in April 2012, the Tulsi Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1990 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991.
• Sakar Khan had performed with renowned American violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison of The Beatles, and also performed at major international festivals in the US, France, Japan and USSR.
• His performances of Raga Bhairavi and Raga Kalyan on the Kamaicha have found place in the ethnomusicology archives of Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States.
• Sakar Khan learned to play the Kamaicha from his father Chunar Khan, considered a legend among the folk musicians of the state. His sons Ghewar Khan and Dara Khan are also accomplished exponents of the instrument.
• His last studio recorded album, At Home: Sakar Khan was released in September 2012.
About the Musical Instrument Kamaicha
• The Kamaicha, also known as the Kamancha and Kamancheh, is one of the oldest bowed instruments of the world and is found across the globe with several regional variations.
• In Kashmir, it is known as saaz-i-kashmir and is often likened to the middle-eastern instrument Raba'ab.
• It has a goat skin spherical sound box with three or four strings (made either with silk or metal) and 14 sympathetic metal strings, which are played with a bow to produce sweet, haunting melodies that are now synonymous with the desert landscape of Western Rajasthan the world over.