Ustad Parvez Paras is a well-known musicologist. He is knowledgeable in the unfathomable field of music and has been generously imparting the knowledge and skill of music to enthusiastic learners since 1973.
Music of the Indian sub-continent is dominated by classical music which has its roots in the Vedas (the oldest Hindu scriptures). This music is elaborate and expressive.
The concept of “gharana” گھرانہ (family) originates from the musical culture of the sub-continent. In the field of music, a gharana, apart from the biological family, can take on diverse connotations which affect the thinking, teaching, performance and appreciation of music. Almost all leading classical musicians of India and Pakistan associate themselves with one or the other gharana, taking great pride in the rich heritage of the particular style of music which they represent. This also refers to a line of musicians in among whom the knowledge of music, primarily style-specific music passes down from generation to generation.
Interestingly, there are some rare jewels of musicians in the sub-continent who have not originated from any specific gharana and yet possess an excellence of the mind-soothing art. Amongst them outshines the stellar name of composer, performer, director and music teacher Ustad Parvez Paras, a highly respected maestro. He imparts the art and skill of music to a large number of learners since over four decades.
Born to Mr P D Paras in 1944, Parvez Paras received early lessons from his father (his first guru گُرو and ustad اُستاد). Way back in 1956 the young Paras started learning from his father the dexterous art of playing the tabla, fundamental to Indian music of Northern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, since the 18th century. In 1962 he formally submitted himself to shagirdi شاگردی (Discipleship) of G A Farooq (himself a shagird of the Gawalior Gharana) who taught him tabla and classical singing. In 1966-67 the shagird, Parvez Paras, started learning classical music from Chotay Ghulam Ali Khan. He also learnt tabla from Ustad Manzoor Hussain (Kasoor) and classical singing from Ashiq Hussain Ashiq, brother of the famous Ustad Tawaqal Hussain Khan. Last but not the least, Baba Muhammad Ali gave the seasoned Paras antique bandhishes (بندھِشیں) of raags of different gharanas, raising him to the level of connoisseur and maestro.
Ustad Paras holds the Presidential National Cultural Award which was conferred upon him in 1990. Along with this unbounded musical talent, the ustad also possesses a flair of writing and has authored three books: –
- Bolte Sur (on raagas) بولتے سُر
- Taal Ahang (on tabla) تال رنگ and
- Sham Ke Panchi (poetry) شام کے پنچھی
Since 1973 Ustad Parvez Paras is committed to imparting the great art of singing and tabla playing to scores of shagirds, thus also teaching good character through rhythm and song. He gives lectures at National College of Arts (NCA) to Fine Arts students of Post Graduate Classes. Ustad Paras also gives classes to young scholars of Lahore Grammar School (LGS)/ Amongst his disciples / chailas he has some notable names including Faheem Mazhar, Muhammad Javed, Haroon Samuel, Beenish Parvaiz, Riaz Ali Khan (of Sham Churasi Gharana), Shehzad Ali Khan (of Sham Churasi Gharana), Javed Bashir and Anil Waqas. He also has among his shagirds two very young kids (Horeb Shams & Tirzah Shams) who are learning Classical Music from him.
Ustad Paras is currently the President of Lahore Music Forum (LMF) , Adviser & Coordinator All Pakistan Music Conference (APMC) since several years and Urdu Teacher at Full Gospel Assembly (FGA) Bible College. He has also been the Editor of Magazine “Satoon-e-Haque” ستونِ حق.