“Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan, the Gayan Samrat was one of the greatest vocalists of Hindustani Classical Khayal Gayaki, in the 20th Century. In the beginning of his glorious singing career, I never missed his concerts and performances. Each of his concerts was a rare treat.”


“I am very proud of my son Manji Khan and Nephew Azmat Hussain who are the real torch bearers and followers of our Gharanas Gayaki, besides few other pet disciples who have imbibed the Gayaki and Bandishes. Specially, Azmat Hussain my nephew is very obedient, sincere and respectful. He has never ever disobeyed me. Meri Duaen hamesha in sab ke saath hain aur rahengi.” (This is from the personal diary of Ustad Azmat Hussain).


In 1935, Ustad Azmat Hussain young vocalist was specially invited to perform at the Darbar of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad. His scintillating performance highly impressed the Maharaja and he praised him with the words, “Young man you are already a Music Maestro. Your Singing is incomparable. Aap taan ke badshah ho aur isi liye aapko wahi Maan Dhan diya jaata hain Jo yahan par naam vant diggaj gayakon ko diya jata hain.”


Ramesh Nadkarni ji a noted musician of the Bhendi Bazar Gharana was an ardent fan of Ustad Azmat Hussain’s Gayaki. During an interview, he said with authenticity, “In my 50 years of music career, I have never ever experienced or enjoyed such Asthayee Bharan and Tayyar Taan patterns like Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan of Atrauli (Jaipur), Khurja and Agra Gharanas. Only two other musicians, who impressed me after Azmat Hussain Khansahab, were Ustad Abid Hussain Khan and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan with Barkat Ali Khan.”, “Woh Gayaki marte dum takh bhula na paaonga.”


“Azmat Sahab was among my top favorites. In fact I rarely missed his radio concerts since my college days. What I like the most in his singing was the way he rendered the diverse features of several contemporary Gayakis. Take for instance his, Aakar or Vilambit style or Antara or for that matter his Murki tayyar taans which he learnt from his uncle Haji Ustad Altaf Hussain of Khurja Gharana, his first Guru while he was yet a boy. Then came layakari and boltaan these carried the impression of his brother in law Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, the inimitable Agra Maestro. Azmat Sahab also acquired a profound knowledge of Khayaal form. Here he had the benefit of guidance from his paternal Uncle, Ustad Allahdiya Khan, and the inimitable Atrauli Maestro. Equally imaging was his grip over intricate melodies like Khat, Lachari Todi, Lankdahan Sarang Malashri, Nat and others. His hawks like Sur were sung as unpredictable as the variety of phirat patterns. My personal acquaintance with Khansahab dated back to late 1940’s, I heard him at a concert. It was quite a delight to see a blue blooded Ustad sitting impeccably clad in western style, cross legged on the stage to treat us to Khandani Sangeet and as I found later he was quite choosy in it. Affable by temperament, Azmat Sahab was a man of varied interest which varied from music to sports and literature. Poetry was in his blood as tone and timber and whenever I met him he treated me to my great delight to a variety of ghazals and cheez Bandishes which he had composed in many Ragas. There was need something endearing in his smiling face. His semi disposition and sense of humor all of his greatly leveled there upon meeting. I shall long cherish bit of sweet memories of this versatile man.”


“I heard of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan passing away and got severely shocked. We were planning to have his lecture cum demonstration but his untimely demise was accidental. He was very close to me and I got benefitted with his knowledge. He was like family member to me. His singing was unparalleled. His style of singing was very aggressive and unique. My wholehearted tribute to him.”


“Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab was like an idol to me. His singing style and music knowledge was exemplary. I never did miss any of his music concerts, for me he was one of the top performers amongst his contemporaries, vocalists. My Wholehearted Shraddhanjali to such a Legendary Vocalist and Composer. His great memories always linger in my mind. In each of his concerts, I have always learnt and grasped something new and novel.”


“For me, my father Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was not only a Godfather, but a great guru, mentor, teacher, guide and a complete guardian. He had a very encouraging and soft sympathetic nature. His daily routine of early morning Fajar Namaz Prayer and a little exercise did never stop till he died. After breakfast every day he use to do two hours Riyaz (Practice). Every day before I started getting ready for my school or college he insistently asked me to sit beside him while practicing on the Tanpura. Sarvat Bhai the eldest of us was his pet child, but he always loved and adored all his sons & daughters. In the ending years, I could learn and imbibe a lot of musical knowledge and ragas from him. Mainly when he was training Ustad Aslam Khan, Ustad Yunus Hussain, Ustad Shafi Ahmed, Ustad Wahid Hussain and Ustad Mumtaz Ahmed, I used to get a very rich classical knowledge. Also when Shri T.M.M. Rao, T.L. Raju, Namdeo Mistry, Jeetendra Abhishekhi, Durgabai Shirodkar, Manibai Phatarphekar, Intezar Apa, Shamshad and many others used to come for learning music, I was very much there in the sessions. Kishori Amonkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Hirabai Barodekar and Hansa Wadkar and Manik Verma also did come to our house in Riyaz Sessions. As a person my father was a great human being, I have witnessed him helping and supporting a number of relatives. Though all through his life he was troubled, tortured and deceived by his own close relatives. He was basically very religious, truthful, committed, loving and very patriotic. I have seen him personally while writing ghazals, doing raga compositions and mentoring his disciples. My father did strongly believe in “Forgive and Forget”. He never did retaliate with his enemies or rivals. He always said “Allah joh kuchh bhi karega, achha he karega”. He not only educated me but also did guide and nourish. I salute him and pay my wholehearted tribute and respects.”


“A tribute to the greatness – Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan – Sangeet Samrat – Man and the Artiste. When parent select names for their children, they entertain fond hopes that they will prove true to their names. Unfortunately, few of us succeed in doing so. Hence, those who do, stand out prominently in the sea of humanity. Khan Sahab was one such notable exception. The word “Azmat’ means “Greatness” and Khan Sahab lived up to his name, in every respect, both as a man and artiste. I have interacted with some of the greatest artistes of our times. Never before had I met an artiste or, for that matter any man who was so simple, so gentle and so humble. However, although these qualities were apparent in his talk, behavior and mannerisms at no point could one get the feeling that he was compromising his dignity. The Childlike innocence which was a notable feature of his personality reminded me of a Sufi Saint whom I used to visit during those days. Soon we formed a felicitation Committee to organize a function in his honor. The Committee of Satkar included Mr. C.P. Godse (Retd. Charity Commissioner) as Chairman, Jeetendra Abhishekhi, Khansahab’s disciple as the Secretary and me as the Joint Secretary. We organized a grand two day music festival, presided by Nawab Ali Yavar Jung who was the Governor of Maharashtra. On behalf of the Satkar Committee, Nawab Sahab presented a purse to Khan Sahab. The training imparted to him by Haji Altaf Hussain Khansahab built the structure of his vocal art, which included free and open voice in Khayal Gayaki, detailed exploration or vistar of the style of Tanras Khansahab and Sikandra Gharana of Shabbu Khan Sahab. His singing was embellished by danedar taans which elicited praise from critics and connoisseurs. Ustad Allahdiya Khansahab, his paternal uncle who had founded a gharana style, named after him known as Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana. He was training several eminent vocalists like Mogubai Kurdikar and Kesarbai Kerkar. Of his two sons, Manji Khan and Bhurji Khan, the former displayed the ability to step into the shoes of his father but he died prematurely at the age of 35. It was a great shock. He was not really satisfied with the progress of the younger son and felt instead that his nephew, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan had the caliber to wear his mantle. This fact did not go down well with either his family or some of his disciples and as a matured vocalist Khansahab became a victim of conspiracies. However Allahdiya Khansahab remained unmoved and accepted his nephew Azmat Khansahab as his disciple. Ustad Azmat Khansahab also did acquire valuable precious Knowledge from Ustad Vilayat Khansahab (his brother in law) an Agra Gharana Maestro. The Agra Gharana at that time had earned the admiration of Music lovers all over India for there were few vocalists who could compare with Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan and the great Ustad Fayyaz Khansahab. It would not be wrong to describe his style as the Azmat Khan Gharana, a style with which he captivated audiences all over India. Today we see flashes of his artistry in the performances of his torch-bearers Ustad Aslam Khansahab, Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan, Ustad Shafi Ahmed Khan, Smt. Kamla Jhangiani, Pandit  Jeetendra Abhisheki, Ustad Vajahat Hussain Khan & Ustad Rafat Khan Niyazi (His Sons) and many other vocalists of the other Gharanas like Pandit Ram Maratha, Pandit Malikarjun Mansur, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Pandit Chidanand Nagarkar and many others unlike some reputed disciples of Allahdiya Khansahab, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan did not refrain from singing in the drut laya. He imbibed all the finer points of the Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana and his taans in both Vilambit as well as drut which left listeners breathless earned for him the title of  “Tankaptaan” from Kumar Shamanandji. Fortunately, Allahdiya Khansahab did not resent this deviation and not only did he encourage his nephew but also appreciated his singing prowess. This was the particular time and period when Allahdiya Khansahab did insist his nephew Azmat Hussain Khan to specially note down the Family Tree of Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana saying “Beta ye hamari Khandani Naqsha (Shajra or Vanshvel) hai jo buzurgon se hame mila, tum ise likh lo” Azmat Hussain immediately noted the full details of family tree in his personal diary, and it’s still safely kept in record of Azmat Khansahab. Many artistes, vocal as well as instrumental tend to copy the style and mannerisms of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. Some of them even attempt to sing in the same tone, so that their voice bears a striking similarity to that of Azmat Khansahab’s Gayaki. It would not be wrong to describe his style as the Azmat Khan Gharana, a style with which he captivated audiences all over India.”


Music Director Khayyam Sahab was the chief guest at Dilrang Academy’s “Parampara Music Festival” in January 2000. Khayyam Sahab in his lecture revealed that “Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab was one of my closest associates and colleagues at All India Radio, where Jaidev ji was also working as a composer. Azmat Sahab was a dedicated Khandani Musician.” I insisted him several times to participate and sing a traditional classical bandish for one of my hindi films. He always refused and also did not reveal his reason for denial. In fact his guru Ustad Allahdiya Khansahab had strictly stopped him to do anything for films as it was against the “Khandani Parampara.” This was a great loss to him and the film industry as well. I salute his talent and sense of obedience.”


“The very first performance of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab, I heard in the Laxmibai Hall in Pandit Bhatkhande Punyatithi. I had no words to display this young vocalists gayaki and Taan Bandhan. After Pandit Bhasker Bua Bakhle, I did not hear or experience such a vibrant and intricate gayaki. Infact, I rarely missed his performances ever after that. Few of his disciples definitely could follow him but not to that level and serenity.”


“After hearing his first major Radio program, I could not resist myself and immediately invited Azmat Khansahab to Trivandrum Kala Academy (1946). I and Mr. Sriniwas Iyer organized the tour. Khansahab performed so well that immediately after that concert I arranged one more concert at my residence. After his great performance we had a detailed session discussing the North Indian & South Indian Ragas. His pet disciple Shri. T.L. Raju also did accompany him on Tanpura. It was a great concert indeed.” After that Subhalaxmi always remained a staunch fan of Ustad Azmat Hussain’s Gayaki and very importantly through him she also managed to meet Ustad Allahdiya Khan and took his aashirwaad personally.


“Khansahab Azmat Hussain came under the influence of Vilayat Hussain Khan who was his brother-in-law after he had already acquired sufficient maturity and mastery in the Khurja Style of singing. Azmat Hussain Khan draw freely from Vilayat Hussain Khan and the Agra repository of layakari & Boltans to his virtuosity. The association proved extremely fruitful and in the same manner he gained a great treasure of Ragas and Bandishes from his Paternal Uncle (Tau) Ustad Allahdiya Khansahab of the Atrauli (Said to be Jaipur) Gharana, who too stayed with him for quite a long time between 1930-40. The mastery over layakari and the resonance of voice of this great master are reminiscent of the rigged architectural construction of a medieval fortress. Its style was robust and aggressive. Its successive taans reminded one of the charges of advancing armies, its boltans of rapid gunfire nor was the style of a certain guerilla element in its tactics of tone and well planned dodges of rhythm. It “captivated” rather than pleased and extracted an appreciative tribute from the vanquished listener.”


“My first acquaintance with my guru Khansaheb Azmat Hussain Khan was at All India Radio, Mumbai. He looked like a prince , healthy and handsome. One of my students Mrs. Kamla Jhangiani had a radio program. Khansaheb heard her singing and asked from where she was learning. She did not say anything and then came forward to tell that she was my student. At once Khansahab said ‘Madhukar , I wish to teach music to this lady and you as well.” She has a very sweet voice. I will make her better than Kesarbai Kerkar. It was a matter of great delight and privilege for me and Kamla Jhangiani as well. We both became Gandabandh Shagird (disciple) of Khansahab. Within a short period Mrs. Kamla Jhangiani became top expert and matured under Azmat Khansahab’s guidance. But unfortunately, Mrs. Jhangiani did not continue her lessons for more than five years. Khansahab, at that time wanted her to continue even if she dint pay the fees. But it did not happen, say a bad fate. In my true opinion, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab’s novel gayaki was a gharana in itself. He did not copy the Gayakis of his ancestors like Haji Altaf Hussain Khan, Ustad Allahdiya Khansahab, Ustad Vilayat Hussain or say Ustad Fayyaz Khan, like the other vocalists of Agra Gharana did but he did imbibe the best qualities of all these music stalwarts and made it into his own individual style of gayaki which was unique and at once mesmerizing. Such artistes are rarely born.”


“In 1972, a Gandabandhan ceremony of Latafat Hussain Khan’s son Farhat was held at the residence of Pandit Arvind Parikh’s residence. Ustad Vilayat Khansahab (Sitar Maestro) was to tie a knot to make Farhat his disciple. Many noted musicians, vocalists and instrumentalists were present. The ceremony was a grand success. Ustad Thirakwa said “Yaar Bhai Azmat Hussain Khan ke saath bade bade dangal bajaye hain, “Bada sakda zabardast gaana gaya hai Bhai Azmat Khan ne.” Ustad Niaz Ahmed Khan and Ustad Vilayat Khan also agreed to this and acknowledged, saying “Thirakwa Khansahab, bilkul sahi farma rahe hain, bada tagda tayyari gaana gaaya hain.” Thirakwa Khansahab mostly accompanied on Tabla with Azmat Khansahab for maximum of his Shagirds (students). Shaamji Seth one of Azmat Khansahab’s disciple, used to have an everyday Jalsa, Thirakwa Khan being on Tabla. It was an unforgettable experience. The same thing happened at the Darbar of Kumar Shamanand Singh ji of Champanagar (Bihar) who was the disciple of Ustad Haji Altaf Hussain Khan. Ustad Azmat Hussain was a young lad that time and in riyaz session Ustad Azeem Bakhsh Khan (Father of Ustad Nizamuddin Khan) was the main Tabla accompanist. Each day was like a Sangeet Jalsa. Young Azmat Hussain left his mark as a child prodigy, there also.”


“Umar Khan from Calcutta was one of the greatest fans of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. He openly declared in mehfil and said Agra – Atrauli Gharana me agar ek wahid (alone) Dabangg Gawaiyya hai toh woh hai Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. Is Gawaiyye ka Samna Karne me acche acchon ke paseene chhoot jaate hain.”


“Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan a great musical genius rated his Guru-Uncle (Mamuji) Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan Dilrang on top of the list of his favorite musicians. In several Music Papers and the Research work he has regarded Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan as the Undisputed King of different varieties of Taans. He said that the only other vocalist who could match Azmat Khansahab’s Gayaki was Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. He used to say very proudly, “After my great father Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, my singing style has the deepest impression of my maternal uncle Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan.”


“In one of the music seminars organized by SRA (ITC) & Pandit Arvind Parikh, Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande openly declared that “During my last 50 years music career I have never heard so many varieties and patterns of Taans as I have from Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. Perhaps the best after Pandit Bhaskar Bua Bakhle.”, “Ustad Aslam Khansahab, has shown few glimpses of that rare gayaki.”


“For me my Guru Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was like a God Father when I left Goa and came to Mumbai, as per my advisor Shri Gokhale I went to learn music from the great Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. At that time Ustad Azmat Khansaheb was one of the top most vocalists after Pandit Bhaskar Bua Bakhle. I started learning from Ustad Azmat Hussain as a Gandabandhan Shishya (Disciple). For certain reasons I had to discontinue my lesson from my Guru Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab and I went to Jagannath Bua Purohit. It did not work at all. I had to wander here and there for want of music knowledge. In the end (1972) I went back to my original guru Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. In fact I cried and apologized at the feet of my guru Ustad Azmat Khansahab. I had to pledge before my guru as I was absent to attend my taleem for so many years. Fortunately, Khansahab sympathized with me and agreed to continue the teaching as I personally felt that I was nowhere as a vocalist. Khansahab obliged me by visiting Lonavala for giving me music lessons, every week. After I started lessons from Azmat Khansahab my singing started improving with leaps and bounds. There only I realized my mistake and the results came positive. In 1974, my father-in-law Shri C.P. Godsey, I, Prof. A.A. Syed, Shri Vamanrao Deshpande and all Khansahab fans and followers formed a Felicitation Committee (Satkar Samiti) to honor Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab under the president ship of H.H. Nawab Ali Yavar Jung (Governor of Maharashtra). A grand two days Music Felicitation Function was organized in Mumbai in which many noted musicians participated and honored Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab. As a disciple of Azmat Khansahab, I will always remain highly obliged to him for giving me great music knowledge and accurate singing technique. Such great Music Teachers and mentors are rare now.”


“A Morning concert was in progress at the Palace Theatre in Kolhapur, where the audience listened with rapt attention to a young, upcoming artiste who presented a little known raga. It was “Raga Dutiya” also known as Devta Bhairav. The artiste was Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. His very transparent and impressive style had won everybody’s heart right from the start as he presented his own composition “Ja re Kagwa Piya ke Des.” The audience was literally captivated with his powerful, deep and mellifluous voice. By the time he had finished the main parts of improvisation (Alap, Bol Alap and Upaj) and started Tana and Bol Tana the audience had long been carried away by the charm of the music as the singer with great ease excelled in his swift and melodious movements displaying a remarkable virtuosity. The “Dutia Bhairav” had taken such a firm grip on the listeners that nobody, not even Ustad Fayyaz Khan Sahib had realized how much time had elapsed and that the scheduled time for his own performance as the next singer had passed long ago. After the concert finished, Ustad Fayyaz Khan was so moved with joy that he embraced him with all his love and affection and with tears in his eyes, exclaimed “Indeed you sang very beautifully son. May you have a long long life” and he honored him by adding “I will not sing now, I much rather sing in the evening”. Abhisheki was fortunate to get into very close contact with such a great personality and eminent artist as Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. His advices, in fact were of very great value and Abhisheki’s widely recognized gayaki is to a very large extent based on Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan Sahib’s teachings. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan emphasized in a natural and clear voice. He taught him intricate tana patterns and advised him on how to present widely sung ragas in a more interesting fashion, introducing him to the essence of the classical singing.”


“Shri Jitendra Abhisheki resided in our building, the Govardhan Building, Mumbai, whom I often visited. Shri Abhisheki had just started learning from Khansahab Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan “Dilrang”. One day he asked me to accompany him to Khansahab’s residence, Ruby Mansion. Inspite of me being a little apprehensive and thus hesitant to do so, I mustered enough courage and we reached there. Khansahab asked me to wait in the varandah while Shri Abhisheki was taken in for the lesson. Nevertheless what I heard from outside was heavenly music that Khansahab was singing, very melodious slow vilambit development of the Raga, replete with beautiful embellishments such as Alaap, Boltaan, Gamak and cascading taans. His music was simple, superb, mesmerizing and unforgettable. A novoice and greenhorn like me was not even qualified to describe his celestial music. This was the most cherished moment of my life. I was in complete raptures of Khansaheb’s music and was in deep contemplation the music echoing in my mind, I had completely submitted myself to Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab. I instantly determined, what is proverbially called Bhisma Pratigya that I will learn music from none other than Khansahab. He was blessed with the knowledge of hundreds of Bandishes in popular and lesser known Ragas with which he would regale audiences anywhere in India. Khansahab was as colorful as his music. He had a string of varied interests and hobbies like fishing, hunting and culinary art of cooking. What else can I express about my charismatic and dignified Gurudeo’s multifaceted music or his divine nature? One could decipher the impact of Khurja, Delhi Tanras, Atrauli Agra and Sikandra Gharanas in his music. I can never ever forget the serenity and vibrancies of his extraordinary Gayaki. May his soul rest in peace, Heartfelt Shraddhanjali.”


“When I came to Mumbai in search of a job, which I got within 15 days (In the year 1957) and settled in Kalwa near Thane. Ours being a family of musicians at Karnataka, I had a special interest to learn Indian Classical Music. I had a small Radio – Mumbai ‘B’ Kendra from 9:30pm to 11:30pm everyday without fail. One day I heard from A.I.R. Mumbai our Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan Sahab. He was singing Raga Darbari. While listening I was so much attracted with his gayaki and there itself I decided that if I learn Indian Classical Music, I must learn from such a great Ustad only. The next day morning I went to All India Radio Mumbai and touched the feet’s of the Ustad and did Charansparsh. Azmat Khansahab had a great personality. In the beginning he refused to accept me as a disciple but later on blessed me and made me his student with very strict instructions. The day I became Khansahab’s disciple was a golden day in my life. I pray to the Almighty God that in every “Janam” I want Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan as my Guru. My deep hearted Pranaams to his divine soul.”


“My Guru Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was not only my teacher and mentor but he was my Devta and Bhagwan”.


“I have never ever seen or heard such a great and superb vocalist like Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab. His teaching abilities and excellence, for me specially were equivalent to my first Guru Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan Pranpiya and Ustad Fayyaz Khansahab. I feel extremely proud to have learnt music from Azmat Khansahab and have served him as a humble student.”


“Azmat Khansahab was a great Khandani Vocalist & Composer. As a vocalist I had an immense respect for him. We had too many concerts together. Besides few others he was one of the most prominent Gawaiyyas who impressed me a lot.”


“Azmat Hussain Khansahab jaise Gayak o Nayak Sadiyon me ek paida hote hain. Hum ne ek dusre ki hamesha bohot izzat or samman kiya hai.”