I happen to love it - and listen to it often at home. Like many of us, I owe my interest in Indian music to the Beatles. George Harrison especially. Thank you, George ... He introduced the distinctive sounds of the sitar in several Beatles songs - and he told us to listen to someone named Ravi Shankar. Harrison regarded him as the finest musician on earth.
Shankar is gone now. But Khan is among today's sitarists who ignite concert halls with technical brilliance and passionate improvisation. That's the extraordinary thing about Indian music of this type - it's all improvised. In that way, you can think of it as similar to serious jazz. So when you attend an Indian concert, you hear musicians reacting to each other, feeling the rhythmic pulse of the other players, taking something from them and giving something back to them. Typically, the pieces are long and begin slowly. You may even wonder if the tabla player ever is going to use those drums in front of him. But he will, believe me. And when the tablas at last begin to sound, the music's pace soon quickens until, by the end, they may be playing at an almost frenzied tempo. It's thrilling to hear in person. No recorded performance can equal the experience of listening live to great classical Indian music. So yes, please consider joining me for this special concert. And no, nobody asked me to pitch you this performance, no one offered me free tickets or whatever. I paid for my two tickets just like everyone else. I'm writing this blog because I've attended many Indian concerts in Fort Lauderdale, all of them excellent, some of them among the highlights in my musical memory. This promises to be one of the best - and I thought you should know about it. If it's not your cup o' tea, fine - no worries. But if it is, you won't want to miss it.