Alif Laila Indian classical sitar music

The mesmerizing resonance of the sitar is magical!


My Story


Journey's Beginning

I grew up in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  I am the first and the only classical performer in my, otherwise  very enlightened family. My mother, Shehida Haque,introduced and lead  me on to the sitar, a dream which was unfulfilled for herself. After initial training in vocal music,I was very fortunate to become the disciple of late Ustad Mir Qasem Khan , nephew of the legendary Ustad Alauddin Khan, founder of the Senia Maihar Gharana. I feel lucky to have  been embraced in this  ground breaking  (at  the time  of its birth) musical ideology and school of thought .



The musical journey

  As I was trained and groomed in Indian classical sitar in  the 'Guru Shishya Parampara' (on a one to one basis' ) in sitar, I earned a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts at the Dhaka University. I moved to the USA in 1981 and continued to study sitar, going back and forth between the US and India,under great teachers like, Partha Chatterjee, Krishna Bhatt and Kushal Das. Each one of my teachers has contributed greatly to enrich my music through different aspects of my growth and connection with the music. I bfeel a deep sende of gratitude.


Sprinkling and spreading the magic of sitar everywhere

Sitar took over my life and the journey with this rich form of  music instilled positive energy and strength within me. I continued to grow professionally and soulfully. I have performed in prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center ,The Bangladesh National Museum, The Sangeet Research Academy,, The Purcel Room  south Bank Center etc. I recorded and performed with world renowned tabla artists  such as Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Ustad Taari Khan. My sitar DVDs , 'Hrydayaragam' was featured in the Women's History Month' at the Smithsonian in 2008 and 'Strings of Resonance was nominated for the Best Classical Music Award in Bangladesh in 2010. I have collaborated with South Indian classical, jazz saxophone and lately with world percussion. I have composed music for cello , dance and  sitar ensebles. My artistic creativity  leads me on to fuse boundaries of my music & art.I have presented audio visual sitar concerts in major venues in the USA, the UK and Bangladesh. 

I have founded Sitar Niketan, my music school in the wash DC area in 2015

Audio albums, expressing my relation with ragas


Devotion is the path to freedom through music.

My first album with  world renowned tabla maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.  A combination of sublime and romantic ragas like Puryadhaneshree and Kirwani. 

Inner Voice

Self resonance

Another memorable recording with the legendary Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.

The deep mood of Raag Charukeshi and the subtleties of  Raag Manj  Khamaj   saturated with emeotion .

Meditation with Sitar

Music meditation

A solo sitar meditational music . the various tones in three and a half octaves  along the sitar,potrys thea wide horizon of Raag sCharukeshi and Hemant.

Celebrating Bulbul

A tribute album to my singer aunt.

A tribute album to my ssinger aunt whose name was Bulbul. Her voice was as sweet as the voice of the Bulbul bird as well. As a musician , this is an ultimate gesture of respect to love and life. I have player her favorite raags Jaijawanti and Khamaj.

Romance of Raaga & Songs

Intertwining of raags and songs from Bengal

For ages the rivers and the ever green panorama of the  luciuos land of of Bengal has inspired poets and writers to express and intertwine ragas and lyrics. Being brought up in Bangladesh I have  had the good fortune of experiencing this phenomenon. Mt expression in Raags Hameer , Desh and Khamaj is an outpour of  the connection to my borthplace.



This  analogue recording  with  Ustad Taari Khan ,one of the foremost tabal maestro of  this era, is unique.

Raags Basant, Desh and Shivranjani are in it's truest form in sound and feeling.

...and more CDs


An album dedicated to my  mother,  my life guru

This album is a tribute to my mother. it isdue to her encouragement and bilief in me that made  my dream, to be a sitar player, come true. Raags Kedar Jhinjhori  depict her 

I Am A River

Fusion album of Sitar, Tabla & Jazz Saxophoe.

A fusion album  of Indian classical and jazz based on raags.  The various stages of life is portrayed  through the moods of the raags. Saxophone player Bernhard Ullrich and  renowned tabla maestr Tanmoy  Bose  has lent their artful expertise saturated with emotion.


The cycle of energy in raags  in relation to the Sun.

The word Chakra means 'cycle' in Sanskrit. The cycle of energy in relation to the Sun has been depicted by the energy of raags belonging to the time cycle theory of the North indian classical music traditions.

Ekavali the Connecting Thread (feat. Tanmoy Bose)


Ekavali means 'the connecting thread' in Sanskrit. This ialbum is a musical message of the unity in humanity with sitar , world melodies and world percussion.


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Let's Connect

Do you have questions, want to book a show, or collaborate on a new piece? Reach out and let's make magic happen. 

Sitar Niketan

1403 Mimosa Lane, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904, United States

(240) 547-8146