Ustad Ali Baksh (Jarnail) and Ustad Fateh Ali (Taan-Kaptaan), both disciples of Mian Kallu were the founders of the Patiala Gharana. This legendary pair, known together as Alia Fattoo, had many notable disciples, prominent amongst whom, were the two very talented brothers from Kasur Gharana- Ali Baksh Khan and Kale Khan.

The history of the Kasur Gharana then dated back six generation to the time of Bade Fazal Pir Daad. Kasur, a small town near Lahore, is in a region which was famous for the “melody in its air and soil.” A large number of Sufi saints spread their message of love in the area. Their lives were imbued with music and they often presided over BAITHAKS of rich classical fare. The great poet Bade Bulle Shah was from these parts and gave to the world his priceless SUFIANA KALAAM. The region saw the advent and growth of a great cultural era in which flourished along with the DHRUPAD and KHAYAL styles the beautiful KAFIS, TAPPAS and a wealth of folk music.

It was from this ambience that Ustad Ali Baksh khan and Ustad Kale Khan, with their abundant talent, brought to Patiala the fragrance, beauty and elegance of their own well established Gharana of Kasur.

From this fusion, emerged a powerful and melodious Gayaki which was AAKAR-PRADHAN, emphasized clear and meaningful BOLS, sparking TANS and BOL-TAANS, intricate LAYAKARI, GAMAK, and an organic inter-linkage of the STHAYI and ANTARA. The GAYAKI is characterized by VISTAR with sound and means, but the elaboration of the raga is only to the extent befitting the character of a raga.

Ali Baksh Khan and Kale Khan became the acknowledged singers o their time-a pair to contend with. They were invited to become the court singers of the Jammu & Kashmir Durbar and were conferred the titles of SANGEET RATNA and TAAN SAMRAT respectively.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Ali Baksh Khan was blessed with a son who was later to become the legendary Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Other sons followed – Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Ustad Mubarak Ali khan and Ustad Aman Ali Khan. All these brothers, greatly inspired by the beauty of their inherited style, made their own invaluable Patiala-Kasur Gayaki.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1901-1968) was a giant in the world of music who brought the Patiala-Kasur Gayaki to the international stage. His singing was chiseled by years of devoted RIYAZ and infused with his phenomenal creativity in an endless striving towards perfection. He refined THE AAKAR GAYAKI, SHUDDHA-MUDRA VANI, BAHLAWA, BOL-TAAN and SARGAM. His was a full throated, highly cultivated and melodious voice in which he rendered intricate LAYAKARI with ease and dignified finesse. It projected peaks of emotions coupled with superb technical skill.

Khan Sahib’s contribution to the KHAYAL THUMRI from was phenomenal and full of creativity. He drew inspiration from his Kasur background to perfect a unique and soul-stirring style which was universally acclaimed.

Apart from his singing prowess and skill, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s genius found expression in a large number of bandishes which he composed under the penname of ‘ Sebring’. Also, he created the magnificent Surmandal which instrument has today become popular with most leading vocalists of the country. Khan Sahib’s son, Ustad Munawar Ali Khan, born in 1933, at Lahore, was a torch-bearer of the Gharana. He received intensive talim from his father and uncles, Ustad Barkat Ali Khan and Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan, and developed a unique style of his own. His rich voice and sophisticated rendering of his Gayaki was greatly admired. His untimely demise in 1989 was a great loss to the world of music.

Earnestly following in the footsteps of their grandfather, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and uncle Ustad Munawar Ali Khan, Ustad Mazhar Ali Khan and Ustad Jawaad Ali khan are today loyally upholding the rich traditions of the Patiala Gayaki.