Arts & Culture

Looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience? Indian sitar maestro Ustad Shafaat Khan plays SCFA

Sitar Maestro Ustad Shafaat Khan takes the stage Aug. 31.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2023) — Whether you are a connoisseur of classical music or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, Sitar Maestro Ustad Shafaat Khan’s performance on Thursday, Aug. 31, at Singletary Center for the Arts will leave you captivated.

Ustad Shafaat Khan is globally recognized for his ability to seamlessly fuse classical Indian melodies with contemporary elements. His performances are a journey through time and culture, as he effortlessly bridges the gap between tradition and modernity. 

“While we regularly present classical and orchestral works that pull from centuries of Western musical history, this concert will be a special opportunity to experience the rich musical history of Indian culture,” says SCFA Director Matthew Gibson. “Maestro Khan is part of a musical legacy that extends back hundreds of years; his musical pedigree cannot be overstated, and we are honored that he is coming to perform in our intimate Recital Hall!”  

Khan has distinguished himself by being the first known artist to attain simultaneous excellence in performing the Sitar, Surbahar, and Tabla. Khan’s exceptional musical heritage can be traced back to the 16th century to the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He is the son of the legendary Sitar and Surbahar Maestro Ustad Imrat Khan and nephew of the legendary Ustad Vilayat Khan. In tabla, he is the foremost disciple of the widely respected Ustad Ibrahim Khan. 

Khan has performed worldwide at many prestigious concert halls, music festivals, and universities in India, Pakistan, Japan, Russia, China, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy, as well as all the major cities in the US. He has played for Presidents and Prime Ministers of various countries around the world, and in his cross-cultural collaborations has shared a television performance with Ray Charles in Germany and performed alongside Stevie Wonder at the Bonnaroo Festival. 

Through his music he has helped raise money for various charitable purposes including concerts for world peace, flood victims, disabled children, battered women, and tsunami victims amongst other causes serving those who are in need. 

Don't miss the opportunity to witness Ustad Shafaat Khan's brilliance as he weaves together the threads of tradition and innovation into a musical tapestry that is truly extraordinary.

Tickets for University of Kentucky students are free, available exclusively at the Singletary Center Ticket Office (valid UK Student ID required). Individual tickets are $20 (plus additional processing fees) and can be purchased at, by phone at 859-257-4929, or visiting the SCFA Ticket Office in person. 

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