Amjad Ali Khan
A true master of the sarod, the sonorous fretless lute popular in North Indian classical music, few players match Amjad Ali Khan's artistry. Khan's even got www.sarod.com locked up as his personal Web page -- no doubt infuriating other maestros such as Ali Akbar Khan. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan belongs to the Senia Bangash gharana of playing, a lineage of musicians that stretches back six generations to the great innovator of Indian music, Mian Tansen, court musician of Emperor Akbar. His playing has a warmth and powerful emotional feel which is never overpowered by his considerable chops. Most of his performances come off with a strong vocal feel, with haunting glissandos and adrenaline-building runs. Khan has been open to cross-cultural collaborations, performing with diverse artists including jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.