Zila Khan’s OneZone Festivals

11 Sep

The objective of the event is to weave a fabric, which mirrors the unparalleled cultural equity of India and will showcase the finest of creative expression in all genres including music, in both traditional and contemporary art forms. Our endeavor is to cut across all boundaries of age, borders, language, religions and to portray the world as a ‘OneZone’ enhancing No borders, barriers and needs no language to be understood. Integration of love and compassion is the theme of the festival. We plan to have it four times a year (every quarterly) in different parts of India and simultaneously abroad. In today’s economic, social and political environment Delhi is the ideal hub where the eyes of the world are focused, this is why we have chosen to do our first festival in Delhi on Human Rights day.

Being a commercial venture, OneZone festivals will present commercial concerts of Indian and international musical artists like Bob Marley’s sons Ziggy and Stefen Marley’s performances. OneZone Festivals also binds the world together through Art Exhibitions, Seminars, Craft and Cultural shows by showcasing on a common platform. The audiences will get a flavour to versatile musical genres from the maestro’s of the Western, Asian and Arab world. The festival will be charged with rare artistic fervour created out of the coming together of sound and music of different parts of India and the world.

The OneZone Festivals is a global initiative, which will span different cities and countries each year. To build a bridge between the east and the west will be the aim of the festival. This festival hence will touch the hearts of the masses and continue the message of true love and compassion in everyday life. The festival from next year will be a 2 day festival, and very much like a mini Festival of India in which culture and music is exhibited from around the world-into the world.

The OneZone Festivals will also serve as a fundraiser for its sister concern UstadGah Music Foundation to enable the three year training and living expenses of its students, thus the festival helps create livelihood opportunities for those music students who further preserve the culture and heritage of India and the world, because it is these students who will be the artists of tomorrow through whom our heritage in music is not only preserved but also carried around the world and down the generations.  The OneZone Festivals concept will facilitate a life of dignity for these future artists, which is self reliancy and not solely dependent on donations and sponsorships.


Ustad Vilayat Khan – Birth Anniversary today

28 Aug

Ustad Vilayat Khan, ABBA as we all called him. Knowing one’s USP and making that into a style that leaving 1 or 2 artists, every artist followed in that sense Abba was like the Pied Piper. If he was handed out lemons- he made lemonade out of it. He lost his Guru Father teacher rolled in one; his father Ustad Inayat Khan, when he was just 9 years old, so he learnt from his nana who was a singer and that made Abba amalgamate the singing style onto his sitar.

Yes making the playing technique very difficult but so surila and melodious. He didn’t give up the tantr-sitar playing technique either, that too brought perfection to the instrument. Artists who had learnt different instruments with their own instruments specialty, left that and started playing Ustad Vilayat Khan’s style on their different instruments.

Abba was very happy about it, on hearing every artists praise and hearing their music he would always say, “I am so lucky to be able to influence these great artists and the credit goes to the amalgamation of tantr and Gaayan ANG which is known now as the Gaayaki ang. He said he could sit back and big-headedly say ‘I invented this style because I am a genius’ but this style came about because of my circumstance of having to learn from my maternal grandfather/nana the singer, and it just brought about a whole new dimension and style of melodious music”.

I think this is such a humble and honest confession. We all know the proof that before Ustad Vilayat Khan’s recordings there is no record of this Gaayaki Ang style which instrumentalist or vocalist had heard of let alone play, in the history of India.

I could write about him all my life and still come up with new dimensions of Abba, but in short, this example stays true in various incidences and stands of his life.

I salute Abba, not just because he was the most sensitive, giving, possessive, caring father but for his principles, values and sometimes keeping his mind open to the slight forgiving changes I made him implement in his life, which he truly did qadar of, and valued.

He was a fortunate man because so many great and simple people not just hero-worshipped him with respect but loved him so much….  We love you ABBA so much.


Azaadi aur Discipline Mubaarak

15 Aug

Respect/discipline without love or love without discipline is always incomplete. Today my children of UstadGah Music Institute are singing so beautifully with me and we together with the most esteemed institution of India the Army, their Band and us making music on NDTV and CNN IBN. Children from different schools like Salwan Public school Rajinder Nagar, the Blind School, Vasant Valley school have represented their schools and my teachings beautifully. We have not used any professional musician in these recordings and it’s a great feat for the children to perform on National TV this way. It’s their first time but definitely not the last.

There was a time I used my work to reflect me and my image, now I myself am comfortable in letting my different Avatar’s be seen and am happy, proud and enjoy the world seeing me the way I am. (Performing Artist, UstadGah teacher, Equality initiating woman with projects like Ustad-e-Maa, and now having a Mega-Events company called OneZone Festivals)

UstādGāh : Building the Dream

14 Aug

UstādGāh, the idea that shaped into an institution in 2008, is the vision of Zila Khan to provide opportunities for the lesser privileged but musically talented children who do not have the ability to shape their talent and fulfill their dreams. Zila Khan wants to nurture the talent of such children who passionately dream of music. UstādGāh provides them with training and education in music for four to five years. Through UstādGāh, a curriculum has been designed for 11th and 12th classes, which on qualifying will exempt a year of UstādGāh’s curriculum. The disciples of UstādGāh will hone their skills and be empowered to earn their own livelihoods. The idea is to give them an international platform where they can express themselves through music.

With the desire to share the earned knowledge, skill and wisdom, UstādGāh, through this initiative, intends to promote the ‘paramparaa’ of music and showcase the rich cultural heritage of India to the world.

The substantial and holistic curriculum at UstādGāh is unparallel in the history of this country, as it is based on every aspect and dimension of our culture. UstādGāh will periodically invite luminaries, artists, professors, gurus, business entrepreneurs, yoga teachers and intellectual minds as visiting faculty to work and interact with the children, alongwith its own teachers. The children will simultaneously pursue their regular academics with scholarship, in recognized schools and colleges.

The aim is to provide a wholesome environment to those privileged children so that they can indulge themselves totally in the process of growth and develop the true genius in them.

God’s Creation

13 Aug

I sing therefore I am

I sing in praise of my Creator

To be a Human Being, and feel the essence of it in


It’s the greatest gift and heightens every aspect of it

What greater joy than to be God’s Creation

Lets preserve this Beautiful Earth

Give back, there is no dearth

In my musical journey, let my voice be the guide to


Through music, peace, serenity and our existence

What greater joy than to be God’s Creation

Protect the Earth

Preserve the Heritage

Inspire the Souls