Juma Khan & Troupe
Juma Khan is from the Alwar district of Rajasthan. His wide musical repertoire ranges from satirical rhyming poems on socio-political issues to verses from the epics. Although a Muslim, much of his music revolves around the Mahabharata and Lord Shiva. His people keep an ancient temple of the Lord that attracts devotees from afar on Shivratri - Juma Khan sees no contradiction in his art and faith, in the dissolution of boundaries between religions so rigidly demarcated in other parts of the country. He plays the 'bhapang' - an ancient single stringed instrument associated with 'jogis' or wanderers. Audiences adore Juma's performances. His instant popularity is what saw him through the selection process of one of the biggest reality shows on TV, India's Got Talent. Despite being held back by a lack of opportunities in his early years and a life of poverty today Juma has collaborated with some of the world's best musicians, and opened acts at many festivals. What gives him the most joy though, is performing for his local people in the smallest of villages, where the crowds can range from an informal meeting of ten people to gatherings of thousands.