Ustad F. Wasifuddin Dagar (फैयाज़ वासिफुद्दीन डागर)
Lineage and training
Born on 15 April 1969 at New Delhi, F. Wasifuddin Dagar (Wasif) represents the 20th unbroken generation of dhrupad singers in the Dagar family. He is the nephew of Ud. N. Zahiruddin Dagar and son of Ud. N. Faiyazuddin Dagar the grandson of both legendary Ud. Nasiruddin Dagar from paternal side and Ud. Hussainuddin Dagar from maternal side. It has been a long tradition in the family to imbibe knowledge from all the elders, irrespective of direct or indirect lineage. They pass on the subtle aspects of the Dagarvani heritage which will make a full-fledged performer. Wasif had the good fortune in his tender age to meet and sit with Padma Bhushan Ud. Rahimuddin Khan Dagar, his Chacha Saheb, his grandfather’s younger brother. Chacha Saheb saw Wasif’s innate talent despite his very tender age and predicted him a bright future; thus he encouraged Wasif to accompany him during music sessions and recordings, he developed a special affection for him. Other elders also played a role in his growing into music. Wasif’s eldest uncle, Ud. N. Aminuddin Dagar, the real elder brother of his father and uncle, has always been a great source of inspiration and encouragement. His cousin-uncle Ud. Z. Mohiuddin Dagar having followed his progress presented him with a tanpura after his first public concert, a significant acknowledgement by an elder. At present, in the same spirit, he keeps benefiting from the knowledge, experience and guidance of Ud. R. Fahimuddin Dagar and Ud. Z. Fariduddin Dagar and Ud. H. Sayeeduddin Dagar.
Since the age of five his systematic training unfolded under his uncle Ud. N. Zahiruddin Dagar and his father Ud. N. Faiyazuddin Dagar, worldwide known as DAGAR BROTHERS. They presented him in a Guru Shishya Festival at Bharat Bhawan in Bhopal. His first program in Delhi was infact in the Dhrupad Samaroh in 1989. After the sudden passing away of his father, he was given the responsibility to sit next to his uncle, which he did with utmost dedication. Since then Wasif has not looked back.
He was further groomed by his uncle intensively and taught the crucial aspects of jugalbandi, the duo singing being a speciality of the Dagar family, generation by generation. As “Dagar Duo” they toured extensively in India and abroad (Japan, Europe and other South-East Asian countries). The French Television made a film on their life and music titled “DAGARVANI” (1992). Together they cut CDs in Switzerland (1989), India (1991), and America (1994) with major recording labels.
Since the demise of his uncle in 1994, Wasifuddin is carrying on the DAGARVANI tradition in solo: his rendition of dhrupad is a unique blend of his uncle’s training, his father’s quality of voice and temperament, his own personality and his in-depth knowledge of the characteristic styles of his elders. Typically in his alap, he fills every note with space and colour, he travels extensively and easily across three octaves delineating the personality of the raga in all clarity. His powerful gamaks are fast and sonorous, yet retain the softness and sweetness of the raga. Over the years, he developed a liking for numerous subtle variations and musical improvisations on a single phrase bringing out, through modulations in volume and sound application, many diverse shades of meaning. The overall effect of his singing is a middle path, merging techniques and styles of both his gurus. He is very popular with young listener for his lively lecture-demonstrations illustrating vedic-old technicalities through metaphors from daily life.
He performs regularly in India and abroad for government formal events, private and official festivals, and also for radio and television. He recorded in India for Music Today with his uncle and also in solo; and features in solo for an American film on World Devotional Music. In 1998, on a concert tour to Europe, he performed for the UNESCO, and gave concerts, workshops and lessons in France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Hungary.
In February 1999, he performed in Maheshwar, the city near Indore where his grandfather, the legendary Ustad Nasiruddin Khan Dagar was a Court Musician. There, he recorded for a Swiss music company an album wherein he has performed several ragas, singing each raga at its appropriate time, thereby making for a unique recording which was released in October 1999.
From 2000 onward he has toured regularly in India, Europe, Japan and America. His recent recordings include: Publications by RAGA RECORDS released in New York in 2001, UNESCO released by NAÏVE, in June 2003; and a live concert to released by SENSE, UK and a new recording to be released by India Music Archive, USA. He has also been awarded ‘Virasat’ (heritage) and ‘Rajasthan Gaurav’ (Honor of Rajasthan) by the City of Jaipur,Rajasthan, INDIA. As self-employed musician, apart from performing and touring, he teaches vocal dhrupad in the Guru-Shishya Parampara at his residence.
Contact Information: 379 Asiad Village, New Delhi 110 049 – INDIA Ph: 91-11-2649 3295; Tel/Fax: 91-11-2649 2886 Email: WasifDagar-At-hotmail-dot-com
Recent Concerts and Tours
- Performed at the prestigious Theatre de la Ville in Paris and toured Belgium and Holland for workshops and concerts;
- Interviewed by Radio France Internationale in Paris;
- UNITED STATES
- Visited the United States at the invitation of the World Music Institute (WMI) including concerts at prestigious institutions in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington;
- Recorded a lecture-demonstration for the radio program of John Schaefer, “New Sounds” on WNYC that was broadcast on July 24 and simultaneously webcast;
- Lecture-demonstration for the Interfaith Center in New York;
- Workshop at the Sufi Books Center in Broadway, NY;
- Lecture-demonstration for International Television (ITV) in New York
- Concert for the UNITED NATIONS World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders during their General Assembly in New York from 28 till 30 August 2000
- November 2000, Concert and llecture/demonstration tour to Bangladesh at the invitation of the Indian High Commission.
- UNITED STATES
- Released in America his first live concert in New York, as a CD, by Raga Records;
- Concert tour (May/June)
- Performed on 8 May 2001 for the Dalai Lama’s World Festival of Sacred Music in New York co-curated by Philip Glass and John Schaeffer of WNYC. The recording is available on the Web on the following address www.WNYC.org.
- Gave a Lecture-Demonstration on the 10th May for the Interfaith Centre, New York, Manhattan.
- Performance for the World Music Institute in New York on 11th May as part of the Dhrupad Festival;
- Performance for the Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art on the 18th May in Washington D.C.
- September 2001, Performances and Lecture-Demonstration in Switzerland.
- UNITED STATES
- March-April, lectures and recording for Radio France Internationale in Paris
- October-November, concert tour to Japan
- Concert tour May-July 2003
- concerts and workshop in Paris (Sufi Centre, University Paris 3)
- concert in Amsterdam at the Tropical Institute
- workshops in Belgium and Holland
- concerts during the Festival at Schloss Moyland, Germany
- concert at Autigny, Switzerland in a series of classical music recitals.
- lecture and master class followed by concert at the College de France in Paris
- conferred the title and medal given to Professors lecturing at the College de France, Paris, most ancient and reputed Open University in Europe
- concerts during the Festival at the Rietberg Museum, Zurich
- official release of CD in the UNESCO Collection “Traditional Music of the World” followed by a concert at the UNESCO, Paris. This CD got the “top ranking” “CHOC” distinction by Le Monde de la Musique in September 2003
- lecture/demonstrations and concerts in Finland during the Kuhmo Chamber Music festival
- UNITED STATES
- Concert tour September/October 2003
- concert for World Music Institute, New York
- concert for the Indian Academy for Performing Arts, New Jersey
- concert and lecture-demonstration at Seattle University and at UCLA, Los Angeles
- private workshop on dhrupad in New York before psychotherapists and psychologists on the importance of music and pure notes in healing patients suffering from various disorders and how the various organs of the body respond to notes.
- Concert tour of Rajasthan for SPIC-MACAY
- Concert for Sangeet Natak Akademi, Gujarat.
- Workshop with practicing doctors in New Delhi on the importance of music to relieve stress through invocation of pure sound and technique.
- Concert tour of Portugal where dhrupad was introduced for the first time
- Concert tour of America, with special accent on interaction in Universities: Yale, Davidson College (N.C.), Urbana Champaign.
- Concert tour on the invitation of the Indian High Commission and ICCR to Pakistan: Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi..
- Concert in Kolkata at the Ramakrishna Mission for Vivekananda’s birthday
- Concert in Ahmedabad for SAPTAK FESTIVAL
- Workshop and Concert tour of Portugal and Spain (Salamanca)
- UNITED STATES
- Concert tour october-november.