BY MANSI M., TORONTO: Parag Ray, a disciple of Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan, is all set to perform at the Aga Khan Museum in January. Khwahish, a magical evening of Ghazal and Sufi music is scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 13, 2024, promises to transport audiences to a realm of divine melodies and poetic expression.
The versatile, classically trained/accredited and internationally acclaimed vocalist, originally from Kolkata, India and now lives in Canada, began her musical journey at home with her maternal uncle Mr. Amal Sarban at a very young age. She was then formally introduced to the classical vocal music training under her Guruji, Mr. Nani Nandi. She then went on to receive enhanced vocal training from the renowned classical Pandit Mr. Jayanto Bose in Kolkata. Parag was honoured and privileged to be accepted as a disciple to the legendary Ghazal Maestro, Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan in August 2016, followed by a formal ceremony taking place in the city of Mississauga.
Renowned artists from around the world will gather on one stage to share their unparalleled talent and deep connection to Ghazal and Sufi poetry, creating an immersive experience that transcends boundaries. Attendees will be treated to a melodic journey, celebrating the unity of mankind through the universal language of music.
“We are excited to curate an evening that not only showcases the beauty of Ghazals and Sufi poetry but also provides a space for people to connect with their inner selves,” says Ray, the visionary behind this event who will be accompanied with seven musicians on January 3 at the Meet and Greet held at Khau Gully restaurant in Markham. “This concert is a celebration of cultural heritage and an opportunity to explore the deeper dimensions of music and spirituality.”
“We wanted to bring you yet another legacy of music never been experienced before,” says Mini Khurana, IWINC. “Parag Ray is a versatile, classically trained/accredited and internationally acclaimed vocalist and outstanding artist. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of an unforgettable evening that merges musical mastery with spiritual inspiration.”
Parag’s first music album was produced and launched by the much respected record company, Ragaranjani based out of Kolkata, India in 2010. In this album ‘Parag – Revival of Bangla Thumris’, Parag was honoured to introduce some of the timeless works of Akhtari Bai and some of her own as composed by Mr. Jatileshwar Mukherjee, a name that resonates with names like Manna Dey and many more when it comes to music composition at its best.
In August 2017, Parag launched her Sufiyana music production – ‘Mera Mann’ in Toronto. Parag has a high command over Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi as her musical languages to connect to her genre of music audience; however, she pays special attention to Urdu ghazals and Sufiyana Kalam, bringing out an expressive and rare tonal quality in her voice.
In 2019, Parag travelled across the border to perform in majority Government shows and concerts based out of West Bengal, India as promoted by Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee. During such events, Parag was honoured by the local Minister of Parliament with showering compliments, following her musical talent and quality performances.
Parag has also toured in the USA and performed alongside several renowned artists, sharing the stage with Bollywood’s star artists like Kailash Kher, Aditya Narayan and many others. She has a strong understanding of music and harmony and is one of the most captivating performers of North America.
Tickets for the Ghazal and Sufi concert at the Aga Khan Museum are available for purchase at jbr-paragray.eventbrite.ca.