Alif Laila was initiated into the Indian Classical music by late Ustad Mir Qasem Khan, nephew of the legendary Ustad Alluddin Khan, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There she imbibed the style of the Senia Maihar Gharana,(school of music). She was taught under the influence of one of the oldest forms of music in India, the Dhrupad Style, known for it's emphasis on the slow development of the alap, jor and vistar,(non rhythmic introduction to the raga, rhythmic introduction and elaboration of the melody). Influenced by many eminent Indian Classical musicians who have enhanced her abilities as a musician are teachers such as Partha Chatterjee and Pandit Krishna Bhatt, both disciples of late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, One of the foremost sitar player of all times. She also has the good fortune of having the blessings and guidance from 'Sur Samrat'( the king of melody), Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. As a performing artist, she has played in various classical programs in Bangladesh and Kuwait till 1988. Now, residing in the United States, she has played in venues such as the Gandhi Memorial Center, Fort Collins University, University of Florida, the Shiva Vishnu Temple (College Park MD), The Annual Folk Festival (Glen Echo MD), Annual Marathi Mandal Classical Concert (Rutgers, New Jersey), the Old Dominion University, the Penn State University in the Rhythm Of Life Series, the Classical Chamber Music Series sponsored by the Asiatic Society of Washington DC., the Bishyo Shahittyo Kendro (New York), the Detroit Museum of Arts. During a tour of Bangladesh in 1988, she performed in concerts in the Indian Cultural Center, the German Cultural Center and on The Bangladesh National Television. In January 2001 she gave a solo recital in the National Museum of Bangladesh. In this concert she was accompanied by the renowned tabla virtuoso, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. On February 21st 2003, she performed at the historic 'Shahid Minar'(monument dedicated to the martyrs of the language movement in 1952), for two thousand spectators.In Dec.'04 she performed in Honolulu, Hawaii and April'05 in The Rubin Museum of Arts with her guru Krishna Bhatt. In October 1999 she released her first CD entitled, 'Devotion'. Her second CD, 'The Inner Voice', was released in June 2003. In the words of her guru, Pandit Krishna Bhatt,' Alif Laila is one of the most impressive female Sitarists, who conveys the bhav (emotion) of ragas with profound sensitivity'. Her latest CD 'Meditation with Sitar' was inaugurated with a recital in the Gandhi Memorial Center on June 24th'05.
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