Zila Khan

Zila KhanZila Khan — Zila Hussain Khan is an Indian sufi singer. She sings classical and semi-classical musical forms. She performs in the tradition of Imdadkhani gharana.

Zila Khan was born in Calcutta to pre-eminent sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan and Begum Monisha. She was named by her father after Amir Khusrow’s raag, Zila Kaafi.

Zila Khan was accepted as his disciple at a young age. Her father empowered her to perform in a formal ceremony which he documented in his life documentary. She was 24 years and married then. She is the first woman to learn and perform music in this gharana.

She also has the distinction of being the only woman so far from this family to have learnt music formally from her father and perform publicly, a lineage of seven generations of sitar maestros behind her. She performs with her vast range of musical forms, like qaul, qalbana, gul, and others. Her performances have the guiding presence of the gayaki tradition.

In 2006, she made an award-winning documentary on the life and music of her father Ustad Vilayat Khan’s life, called Spirit to Soul.

Zila Khan is a Cultural Advisor and Official Member of the Organizing Committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Zila Khan has a music school in 2008 called as Ustadgah, a state-of-the-art gurukul at Panchsheel which also has a digital archive, art gallery, library and a resource centre. It has three other branches at Gurgaon, Gol Market and Pusa Road. The school also trains musically talented students from underprivileged background.

Zila Khan was married at the age of 24 to Dr. Khalid and has a son Faizan.

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