Pandit Brij Bhushan Kabra is an internationally acclaimed guitar maestro who popularized guitar to be included in Indian Classical music. He is stated as one of the gems of Indian Classical Music and belongs from Jodhpur Rajasthan. This guitar artiste is one of the prominent musicians of India, who is known for his great music in all over the world and also played with many national and international artists. Pandit. Brij Bhushan Kabra is accredited for being the only musician to introduce and include the guitar artistically to Indian classical music and he was the first artiste to play raga on guitar. This artist has received many prestigious awards and has been acclaimed by the musicians worldwide for his soulful music and for his flawless work in the world of music.
Brij Bhushan Kabra was born in the year 1937 in Jodhpur City of Rajasthan in India, to Shah Govardhan Lal Kabra who worked as a chief advisor for Jodhpur royal family, and also was a well-known businessman too. His father was also Jaigirdar of 12 villages across Jodhpur, thus he had a very plush childhood but his knack for music was always there. His education started at the Imperial Scindia School in Gwalior and completed his graduation as B.Sc. in Geology from Udaipur. He was also very passionate about sports and represented his University in many sports such as football, cricket, and hockey. He completed his further studies in Business Administration from Hindustan Motors from Calcutta( Kolkata). His obsession for music was present since childhood, as he was from an affluent family and his parents, was also great music lovers and they gave them great exposure to Indian music. There was another reason for his love for music was the Court of Jodhpur.
As his father worked for the court of the royals; the Kings of Jodhpur were great music lovers and his talent was recognized by non-other than legendary Indian musician Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was very fond of young Brij Bhushan and would regularly invite him to his musical concerts. But he had very least interest in Indian classical music at that point in time. But during his early days, he regularly attended Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s concerts and though all those were not understood by him he always loved and enjoyed the performances.
Brij Bhushan Kabra was a trained geologist but once he had to visit Kolkata for some work, and there he had got a chance to learn guitar and started liking it as it was a Hawaiian lap slide guitar and he loved it.He wanted to learn and asked for his parent’s permission and was granted and was slowly diverted to Indian classical music. At first, he was literally ignorant about this musical instrument, but when he bought it he practiced a lot and learned to play most of his favorite songs on it.
From here the musical journey of Brij Bhushan Kabra started and things started to move in a new way. He became truly passionalte about this musical instrument and astarted practiicing on it for18 hours a day, and started learning Indian classical music too. His efforts and perseverance became fruitful and started taking music lessons from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and started to continue seriously with his actions and never look back and took music and guitar his life’s as the most significant part. His mentor and teacher enhance d his musical skills as well as introduced him to the technical phases of music like scales, ragas, notings, theories, Sargam and many other segments. After gaining mastery in the skill he started performing at concerts and gained huge acclamation at them. And also received many warm accolades from the prominent faces of Indian classical music and musicians such as famous santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. Then he has released an album with the most acclaimed flute player Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasiya named “Call of the Valley” in the year 1967. He started to climb to the sky of success and his guru was really surprised by seeing his talent and his innovation that he contributed to the Indian classical music as his concerts were no less a wonder and the listeners had an unforgettable experience.
He made all-embracing musical tours all around the globe and eventually made Indian classical music immensely popular in all corners of the world. He has recorded about 50 records, of guitar performances and some of them also include duet performances with many Indian musicians such as Pandit. Hariprasad Chaurasia in flute, Pandit Jasraj in vocal, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma with santoor, Pandit. D.L. Kabra Ji in Sarod, Pandit. Jog in Violin and Pandit. Rais Khan in Sitar. He has also given many exceptional solo performances. Pandit. Brij Bhushan Kabra has been a face of a Documentary that was made on the Odyssey of Guitar in India made by the Govt. of India. At present, he is the president of S.G.K. Gyanpeth which is University of music, literature and folk arts. He has also given music for 14 albums on Rajasthani folk music, where the lyrics have been written by his sister Leela Somani.
Kabraji got married to Mrs. Kamla Kabra at the age of 18. Mrs. Kamla Kabra is also a great broken glass painter He is a very kind-hearted person and had the shadow of his parents who were equally kind at heart. Brij Bhushan Kabra worked at a lot for the women of Rajasthan and did many noble jobs for them. He also has many prominent works for children and for their education and people of Rajasthan recognizes him as a world-famous musician as well as a social activist and a philanthropist too.