January 2006 India Tour
Indian Jazz Ensemble Variation
featuring Pandit Habib Khan (sitar), Matthew Montfort (scalloped
fretboard guitar), Peter Block (flutes, sax), Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri
(tabla), and others.
Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha
Gateway of India
Ancient Future sitarist Pandit Habib Khan is leading this ensemble tour
of India. On the program will be an Indian orchestral performance
conducted by Pandit Habib Khan featuring his top students, a classical
performance featuring Pandit Habib Khan and tabla master Pandit Swapan
Chaudhuri, and the Indian jazz performance featuring Pandit Habib Khan,
Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Matthew Montfort, and Peter Block.
Habib Khan is regarded as one of the best sitar players in the USA
today. He began his training at the tender age of five under the strict eye
of his accomplished father, Ustad Hameed Jaffer Khan. Habib Khan has
carved out a distinct style of his own which is a blend of his father's
traditional techniques and his own imaginative inventions. He performs
many classical Indian music concerts, with the world music group Ancient
Future, with this Indian Jazz Ensemble, and even in a classical Indian
jugalbandi with the unusual distinction that it is between sitar and
While the sitar is known to the world as a leading instrument of Indian
classical music, the guitar is not often used in the music of India.
However, Matthew Montfort specializes in performing music from around the
world on guitar, especially Indian classical music. He is a pioneer of
the scalloped fretboard guitar (an instrument combining qualities of
the South Indian vina and the steel string guitar). He has studied sitar,
and has applied his knowledge of that instrument to his playing. This
jugalbandi works so well because Matthew Montfort is a guitarist with
knowledge of sitar and Pandit Habib Khan has been described as the "Jimi
Hendrix of the sitar" by L'ORIENT LE JOUR, Beirut's French language
Ancient Future is the world's first and longest running musical
ensemble dedicated exclusively to the mission of creating world fusion music.
Founded as a quartet in 1978 by guitarist Matthew Montfort, today there
are over 28 musicians from around the world who are part of the
ensemble, with over a dozen ensemble variations.