Gujarat is a state of music lovers and has produced some of the best musicians in India. It is said that the legendary musicians Baiju Bawra and Tana Riri belong to the state itself. Narsinh Mehta, of the ‘Vaishnav Janto’ acclaim, also hails from Gujarat. He was a Vaishnavite poet of Junagadh and wrote songs in the praise of the Lord. His Gujarati compositions had a profound influence on the devotees. It is believed that he came in communion with Lord Krishna when he sang ‘Raag Kedar’. ‘Vaishnav Janto’ was very dear to Gandhiji also and remains a musical marvel to date.
Besides, Gujar Tod, Bilaval, and Khambhavati are the names associated with Gujarat. Veraval and Cambay are also the state’s contributions to classical music. Musicians like Ustad Faiyazkhan, Maulabux, the ‘Been’ player Rahim Khan and many others have shone the name of the state in the field of music. Apart from this, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, one of the greatest exponents of Indian classical music, is also from Gujarat. Dahyalal Shivram’s Sangeet Kaladhar and Adityaram Vyas’s Sangeetaditya have also made significant contributions to Gujarati music.
Ahmedabad is also significantly touched by the musical wave. A number of concerts are organized in the city to promote the folk music of Gujarat, among the masses. One of the major musical events is organized here by a local financial institution. It is a three-day festival, devoted truly to classical music. The festival is attended by an astounding number of people, who listen to the Hindustani classical ragas, amidst congenial ambiance. A traditional setting is created in an open theatre where listeners sit in a ‘baithak’ style and enjoy classical ragas.
The concert is known as “Sur Sandhaya Samaroh” and is one of its kinds in Ahmedabad. It is held on a regular basis, providing a platform for the people to interact with the maestros like Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, and the charismatic Zakir Hussain. The concert continues till midnight and is conducted on a massive scale, wherein all the modern facilities are provided for ensuring the closest rendezvous of the artists with the audience. Such events have broken the myth that the people of Gujarat are more concerned with wealth making and do not have an ear for music.