Humayun Khan Classical Indian Khayal, vocals and harmonium


Humayun Khan
Annandale, VA 22003


Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, Humayun’s family moved to Washington, D.C., following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1980. He grew up in a culturally oriented family in an atmosphere rich in traditional music and literature. He studied music and trained as a vocalist and harmonium player in South Asia with some of the great musicians of the time. (see below)

Humayun Khan performs with world fusion bands, Turquoise Lake and the Humayun Khan Fusion Ensemble, as well as the traditionally oriented Humayun Khan Ensemble. His wide-ranging performances may include purely classical Indian khayal, Afghan folk music, world fusion, Pakistani qawwali, and classically oriented presentations of great Persian poetry. In addition, he is a featured vocalist in the opera Arjuna’s Dilemma.

Humayun Khan is known for his expertise and deep knowledge of raga. He offers private instruction, classes, seminars and workshop series in classical Indian music and vocal performance. Students gain exposure to a rich and rare repertoire of raag melodies, as well as contemporary raag-based fusion compositions. He currently has 45 private students.

Among many other venues and countries, Humayun Khan has performed in the Asilah International Festival in Morocco, the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He has been lauded for his performances in the New York Times, [sings melismatic, earthy vocal lines,] Washington Post, [terrific musician,] and New York Magazine [Indian singing by the marvelous Humayun Khan.]

Humayun Khan’s cross-cultural background has lead him to the larger goal of “uniting the world through music and culture.” While bringing his music to audiences around the country and the world, in collaborating with musicians of various ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, in teaching his students, Humayun is conscious of the inherent transformative possibilities in his music to improve mutual understanding.

Educational Background/Training

Humayun studied Indian classical music in the U.S. with Shubha Sankaran; then in Kolkata, India, Humayun began formal training in classical vocal music under Ustad Vilayat Khan, generally considered the most influential sitarist of his generation. To complete his vocal training, Humayun studied with the senior Pakistani artist, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan.


$300/hour. $600/assembly. $1000/day. $4200/five days. Transportation and lodging expenses beyond NoVa region. Prices negotiable given a different number of days, etc.


Humayun teaches at all levels, from 6 to 76 years and from beginner to advanced students.


Throughout the year

Educational Programs

A single class would introduce the music, the harmonium, the concept of improvisation, the Indian musical scale and notation; Aum, (proper technique for voice production;) and Talas, (Khayal rhythmic structures.) A residency would include the above topics and add theory and history of Indian Khayal, advanced vocal training, introduction to the Instruments, (Tanpura, Tabla, Harmonium;) Raga, (Melodic structures used to improvise and compose;) Bandish, (Combining the elements into a composition;) and Upaj, (Spontaneous improvisation.)

Additional Information