Sakar Khan passed away on August 10, 2013. He was the grand master of Manganiyar music, the greatest exponent of the kamaicha, the quintessential Manganiyar instrument which has been described as a bowed rabab. Sakar Khan was responsible for the refashioning of the kamaicha to include a large number sof sympathetic strings, enhancing its musical sophistication and emotional appeal. Saker Khan was honoured with the Government of India's prestigious Padma Shri award.
I first met Sakar Khan at the Sarangi Mela in Bhopal in 1989 where he stunned an audience of over a hundred classical sarangi players with his virtuosic performance. I then spent a month with him and his family in Hamira village in 2002, making a start at learning to play the kamaicha. IIn 2009, 2010 and 2011, I stayed for several weeks as his guest in Hamira , working with him, his sons and grandsons. Sakar Khan was a wise and peaceful man and a great musician. I mourn his passing deeply. In his quiet way, he was like a father to me.
Sakar Khan Manganiyar with grandson Jaavad, Hamira August 2011
Sakar Khan with grandsons Rafiq and Roshan, Hamira village February 2010
right to left: Sakar Khan with grandsons Latif, Sawai and Rafiq and little Suhail, April 2010
Accompanied by Latif Khan on dholak, August 2011