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Tabla Maestro 

Ustad Nazim Hussain Bismillah Khan

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Yash Bharathi Awardee
Ustad Nazim Hussain Bismillah Khan

International Tabla & Dukkad Player , Ghazal Singer

Ustad Nazim Hussain (born March 25, 1958) is an Indian tabla player and Hindustani vocalist of Benaras Gharana, and he is the younger son of world-famous Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saab. He has been awarded Yash Bharati is the highest civilian award bestowed by the Uttar Pradesh government. 

Personal Details :                                                                            

Born: (Benaras) Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Native of Dumraon, Bihar State

Resident of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Hindustani classical music :                                                             

Instrumentalist - Tabla       

Vocalist - Shehnai, Classical Ghazal and Light Music                   

Akashwani All India Radio and Doordarshan "Top" Grade Artist of Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai Party and Tablist. 

Website :                                                                               , ,, contact: +91 98842 95357..


State Award :                                                                                                                                         

Yash Bharati Award 2017, The Uttar Pradesh State's Highest Civilian Award given by Government of Tamilnadu by Honorable Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav,

About Ustad Nazim Hussain Bismillah Khan :

Ustad Bismillah Khan, the son of Ustad Nazim Hussain Khan, the son of the world-famous Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna, was born in UP on March 25, 1958. Ustad Nazim Hussain Bismillah Khan is popularly known as Ustad Nazim Hussain and Nazim Bhai, Nazimji, Nazimsaheb. 


He is the youngest son of Ustad Bismillah Khan Saab and a Tabla player who has spent more than 50 years accompanying the great Ustad in his Shehnai performances.


Tabla Learning :                                                                                                                              

Nazimji, along with his elder brother Ustad Nayyar Hussain, Ustad Zamin Hussain, Ustad Mumtaz Hussain, Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh, and Dr. Krishna Ballesh, is one of the very few disciples of Ustad Bismillah Khan. Bismillah urged both of his sons to do rigorous practice (riyaaz) and for many years both of them were restricted to singing and playing only to provide the strong base that a successful artist needs. He was more interested in Tabla than the family instruments, Shehnai, since he was a boy. His father decided to teach him Tabla after seeing his curiosity, and Nazim began training at the tender age of six under the capable guidance of Ustad Maqbool Hussain Khan.


As he grew older, he became his internationally acclaimed father, Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saab's permanent, accompanist in all of his National and International concerts. Nazimji trained in Tabla since his childhood solely to accompany his father in his performances. He has played in various concerts at Benares, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai as well.


Nazimji first performed in Chennai when he was 17 years old in a Sangeet Sammelan, performing alongside his father and a gathering of artists of high caliber such as Pandit Bade Ghulam Ali and Ustad Vilayat Khan.

Nazim Hussain admires Carnatic music artists and likes the work of Dr. L Subrahmanyan for his Violin. He also looks up to Padma Vibushan Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna for his ardent singing.

Contribution to Hindustani Sangeet :                                                                                                                   

Chief Patron of Tansen Academy of Music                                                                                         

Nazim Hussain Ji gave his first concert in Chennai at age sixteen in a Music conference accompanying his father along with performed by Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan Ji and Ustad Vilayat Khan Ji, Nazim is one of the Chief Patrons along with Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman of Tansen Academy Of Music, founded by Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh and his son Dr. Krishna Ballesh, In 2005, he performed a tribute concert in Chennai organized by Tansen Academy of Music. He is encouraging and teaching Tabla in the academy. Pandit Ballesh is a very senior disciple and Krishna Ballesh is the last disciple of his father Ustad Bismillah Khan, Krishna and Nazim Hussainji have a strong bonding for more than 30years (father-son relationship), Krishna is an adopted son of Nazimji and is treated as another grandson of Khan Saab.


Nazimji, Gurubhai Pandit Ballesh, and another son, Krishna, support the Tansen School of Music to continue his father, Ustad Bismillah Khan Shehnai ) And Pt's legacy. Puttaraja Gawai, through the promotion of Hindustan music and shehnai. Over 1000 students study classical music at the institute, including vocal, tabla, sitar, flute, and shehnai.


Ras Barse Utsav- in commemoration of Guru, Ustad Bismillah Khan, is his brainchild. An annual music festival, it's a vibrant platform to promote Hindustani classical music in Chennai and South. The Ustad Bismillah Khan Kala Puraskar, Gaurav Puraskar, and Yuva Kala Puraskar are conferred on this occasion.

Association between Ustad Bismillah Khan and Pandit Ballesh's family:

Guru Shishya Parampara  + Balleshji and Nazimji music journey :

In addition to Shehnai and music, GuruBhai Pt Ballesh Saab and his son Krishna Ballesh, have a close relationship with Ustad Bismillah Khan Saab and his younger son Ustad Nazim Hussain. Ballesh is a well-known shehnai performer who has won numerous awards. He is the direct and senior disciple of Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saab for more than 50years.


Bonding between Ustad Nazim Hussain and Krishna Ballesh (father and son):

Krishna Ballesh and Ustad Nazim Hussain have a strong bonding (father + son relation). Krishna is the adopted son of Nazimji. Krishna is a deserving musician who has been blessed by his father to carry on his legacy forward. Krishna is his father's last disciple and treated as his another grandson. He is also one of our country's youngest Shehnai players. And is a torchbearer of the Khan Saab family legacy and Benaras Gharana, Krishna is strictly upholding the style of music without dilution.

Ballesh has received the Karnataka Sangeetha Nataka Award from the Karnataka State Govt, and both he and his son Krishna have received the Kalaimamani - Tamilnadu State Awardee and the Ustad Bismillah Khan Kala Ratna Awardee from the Khan Saab family and India Tourism, Uttar Pradesh, Government of India. Ballesh and his son Krishna collaborate with Padma Vibhushan Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, Padma Bhushan A.R. Rahman, and other composers of India.


Film Music :                                                                                                                                                       

Fusion, Folk  & Popular Music,                                                                                                                

He has also played the Tabla for several films, a major one among them being Sanaadi Appanna – a film considered to be a Kannada adaptation of Thillana Mohanambal where Bismillah Khan himself has played Shehnai. The soundtrack was recorded with 100 other musicians by music director GK Venkatesh, including L. Vaidyanathan on music conducting - arrangements and Ilaiyaraaja on the Keyboards and Guitar.


Since then, he has been frequently performing in Chennai most notably with Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh who also learned Shehnai under Bismillah Khan’s tutelage, and his son Dr. Krishna Ballesh. He has played Tabla for the Father-Son Shehnai duo in multiple concerts across Chennai, Benaras, and other cities.


​His Tabla playing style echoes the perfectionism of the late Ustad Bismillah Khan, and he performs with a new-found passion every time he takes the stage managing to enchant the audience and mesmerize them with his skills


He is a founding member of the Bismillah Khan Foundation and has dedicated his life to master the nuances of Tabla and spreading its legacy among the next generation of Classical Musicians as well as promoting the Hindustani Classical music through various events organized by the foundation.


Notable Jugalbandi performances :                                                                                         

With his father Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan                                                                                                                                    Nazim Guruji has widely traveled to the USA, South America, The Caribbean Sea Countries, The West Indies, Mexico, Cuba, Spain, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Russia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, The Middle East Countries, The Far East, Including Hong-Kong and Japan, etc, representing International Conference and delegations. He has displayed his art in all the Jugalbandis of his father with Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar, V.G Jog, Imrat Khan, Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan, Rais Khan, Girija Devi, Begum Akhtar, L. Subramaniam, M.Balamurali Krishna, Amjad Ali Khan, N.Rajam. He has accompanied such great singers as Lata Mangeshkar, S. Janaki, Asha Bhosle, Siddeswari Devi, Rasool Devi, and many more.


With his Gurubhai Kalaimamani Pandit Dr. S. Ballesh                                                                                                                                 Nazimji has accompanied Pandit.S.Ballesh in many notable jugalbandis with Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Shri. Ronu Majumdar, Shri. Atul Kumar Upadhyay, Rafique & Shafique Khan along with Ustad Sabir Khan, Yogesh Samsi, Ravindra Yavagal, Subhankar Banerjee, and Vijay Ghate.

Awards / Recognition Received :                                                                                                                                                                      Because of his accomplished performances, dedication and commitment towards music, he has received numerous awards and to mention few,

Classical Music Awards :                                                                                                                            

Nazim was awarded with Yash Bharati Award, the highest civilian award conferred by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, in 2017   

Recognition :

Notable concerts - Shehnai & Jugalbandi :

Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahostav, Pune

Shri Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan, Jalandhar, Punjab

Delhi Classical Music Festival, Sahitya  Kala Parishad, Delhi

Ganga Mahotsav, UP  Govt., Benaras

Kashi- Vishwanath Festival - Benares

Tansen Sangeet Samaroh, Bhopal

Shehnai Mahotsav, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal

Sur Singar Sansad Sangit Sammellan, Mumbai

Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur Sangeet Utsav, Dharwad

Smt. Gangubhai Hangal Sangeet Sammellan, Hubli

Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi Sangeet Sammellan , Gadag

Pandit Kumar Gandharv Sangeet Sammellan, Belgaum

Spirit of Unity Concert, Tirupati 

Pt. Motiram - Pt. Maniram Music festival, Ernakulam, Hyderabad

Gaanayogi Swar Utsav, Dharwad

Bombay Barkha Ritu, Banyan Tree 

Chennai ‘Aadi Anant' Music Fest, Organized by Citi and NCPA

Jalsa - Music for the Soul’, Art and Artistes, Kozhikode, Kerala

Splendor of Master's, Ustad Rashid Khan in Chennai 

The Hindu Nov Fest, Chennai, Hyderabad -  Naad Ninaad, 

Bengaluru ‘Aadi Anant' Music Fest, organized by NCPA.

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