Gharana is used in Hindi and Urdu to refer to the core component in the organizational structure of North Indian (or Hindustani) music and dance, in other words a family of hereditary occupational specialists. Traditionally the gharana is headed by an authoritative musician-teacher called the Khalifa, and comprises members related by blood and/or musical knowledge (talim).




Toronto is home to a number of performing artists, scholars, voluntary organizations, and amateur enthusiasts whose lives are dedicated to performing, teaching, promoting, sponsoring, collecting, studying, and researching North Indian music and dance. The use of "Gharana" with Toronto reflects a non-traditional and somewhat playful allusion to the original meaning, and we think it hints at the possible shape of things to come in the continual evolution of Hindustani music outside India.


  The various members of the Toronto Gharana meet regularly to practise, listen, discuss, theorize, teach, organize house concerts (baithaks), and generally indulge in Indian culture. They have received talim from some of the greatest musicians and dancers of this century. These include:

Ustad Afaq Hussein,
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan,
Pandit Chitresh Das,
Pandit Nikhil Banerjee,
Ustad R. Fahimuddin Dagar.
Pandit Ram Narayan,
Pandit Shankar Ghosh,
Ustad Shujaat Khan,
Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri,
Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan
Ustad Z. M. Dagar,
Ustad Zakir Hussain.

  We hope to make available here useful information on Hindustani music and the people who keep this ancient art alive. It is clearly not possible to treat all aspects of Hindustani music here so we have chosen to keep the focus personal and concentrate on the artists and music that have touched us directly.


  Graphic Design, Eric Parker and Assoc. Ltd., Copyright 1997
  All text Copyright respective authors, 1997. All Rights Reserved
  Original concept and inspiration, John Campana.
  All comments and contributions to  

                                                       First Publication July 23, 1997 - Last Updated April 14, 2008