Music was a force of understanding and co-operation between different faiths and ideologies in the courts of two politically astute sixteenth-century rulers—Emperor Akbar I of India and Elizabeth I of England—rulers known for their use of tolerance as a force to strengthen and build their respective countries into leading forces on an increasingly connected world stage.
After coming to the United States over two decades ago, Rita Sahai continued her extensive music studies under the world famous sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, who passed away in 2009. Impressed by her talent and passion towards music, “Khansahib,” as she affectionately called her guru, gave her the title Gayan Alankar (Jewel of Music).
Sahai, an acclaimed composer, performer and teacher, tours throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and India. She is also in demand at recording studios at home and abroad, where she graciously lends her voice to many diverse musical projects, including contributing vocal tracks for Grammy Award-winning artist Béla Fleck and performing on Alonzo King’s Sacred Texts, a CD of international music that won the Isadora Duncan Award for music excellence. She has also collaborated on several live musical productions with Jennifer Berezan’s “Edge of Wonder” project.