Alphabetical Autobiography of Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy, A-F

(DVD 15 mins.) $27.00

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy & Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

A: Ancestors, Abba (Father), Amma (Mother)
B: Birth, Babyhood, Boyhood
C: College, Culture Shock
D: Daddyhood, Disaster, Desertion, Divorce, Desolation, Discovery
E: England, Ethnomusicology, Evolution
F: Fieldwork, Folklore, Film, Fiction: Continuing, and To Be Continued!


Folk Music of Pakistan 1975-76

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

This 60-minute ‘Sounds-and-Stills’ show of Pakistani folk music is based on Nazir Jairazbhoy’s three-week fieldtrip to Pakistan in 1975, sponsored by The Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk Heritage, Pakistan), and the resulting weeklong visit of Pakistani musicians to perform at the Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C. in 1976. The fieldtrip extended from high in the Hindu Kush mountains to the southern areas of Sindh, with recordings from all four provinces - NWFP (Peshawar), Punjab, Baluchistan, and Sindh - as well as Kafiristan (Birir Valley). All recordings were made in Pakistan in Sufi shrines, villages, and other contexts, or in Washington, D.C. Mystic songs, joyful instrumental renditions, wedding laments, and jubilant dance music convey a beautiful and variegated soundscape, especially appropriate to release at this time to counter the media images of Pakistan prevailing today. MORE




by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

This narrated DVD explores the sacred music, dance and rituals of devidasis and devidasas, women and men dedicated to the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. Worshipped by millions of devotees in the border regions of southern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, and adjacent areas of India, this fertility goddess is best known through media representations and social activism protesting practices linked to sexuality and prostitution. Her musical and social traditions have parallels in the devadasi (women dedicated to male deities) system in Tamilnadu before its reform and classicization in the early twentieth century. MORE



Kathputli: The world of rajasthani puppeteers

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy


This book explores Rajasthani string marionette puppetry and the views and attitudes expressed by hereditary kathpulti Bhat puppeteers. From the history of puppetry and related bardic traditions in India, to ingenious modern adaptations of the tradition, it elucidates performance content and context, preparations and practices, including traditional songs, puppet manipulation, and the boli voice modifier. The “story behind the story” of the hero Amar Singh Rathor, central to the kathputli tradition but rarely understood by audiences, is explained based on Bhat oral tradition, derived from 47 interviews and performances, throwing a unique light on the historical figure. The book complements the fictive documentary video, Retooling a Tradition, elucidating it as only a scholarly written work can do. 280 pages, 93 color/b&w illustrations, song texts, musical notations, bibliography, index. MORE



Rejuvenating the African Musical Bow in India

This 42-minute documentary chronicles a one-week malunga training camp held at Desert Coursers Nature Resort in Zainabad, Gujarat in February 2003. MORE


Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora

Sidis descend from Africans who sailed across the Indian Ocean to the west coast of India over many centuries. This documentary project explores the expressions of their Indian and African cultural heritage. MORE


Essays on African Indians

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Edward A. Alpers, editors

This book details aspects of African Indian history, communities, music, and religion, from the disciplines of history, anthropology, archaeology, art history, religious studies, and ethnomusicology. MORE

AT HOME with Master Musicians of Madras

volume 1: T.N. Krishnan (violinist)

VOLUME I  follows a day in the life of world-famous violinist T.N. Krishnan... MORE

AT HOME with Master Musicians of Madras

volume IV: South Indian Classical Music House Concert with M. D. RAMANATHAN (vocalist), T.N. Krishnan (violin) and Umayalpuram Sivaraman (mridangam)


VOLUME IV Manjapara Devesa Ramanathan appears in rare video footage recorded by Fredric Lieberman and Amy Catlin in 1977. MORE

Ustad Yunus Husain Khan

This 38-minute videotape by Arundhati Neuman actually covers three stories: the social structure of Indian music, the features of a particular musical stylistic school known as the Agra gharana, and the major representative of this style, the late master, Ustad Yunus Husain Khan. Combining live performance footage with interviews, musical excerpts, photographs and other illustrations, this documentary offers glimpses into the environment that inspired these musicians. MORE

Hi-Tech Shiva and Other Apocryphal Stories: An Academic Allegory

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

The Hindu Gods and Goddesses conduct fieldwork on Earthculture, trying to determine what went wrong with their creation before it must be destroyed. In Hi-Tech Shiva they are actually Western scholars disguised as heavenly researchers using state-of-the art documentary techniques and technologies. Data collected from courtesans and swamis is presented at soirées lead to hearings in the Heavenly Assembly when even the highly respected Viswanathan, the creator of the universe, finds himself under the gavel of the portly judge, Lord Ganesha. Squabbles over methodology and ethics lead accusations to fly and much of the action parodies academia, exposing the foibles and fallacies of university politics, culminating in a unique vision of entropy. MORE


A Musical Journey through India 1963-1964

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

This publication, which features tribal, folk, devotional, and classical musics of 8 Indian states, consists of 3 cassettes based on ten twenty-minute talks by Dr. Jairazbhoy broadcast on the BBC in 1969. The cassettes contain narration and musical examples and the accompanying booklet presents the spoken text, additional musical information, a map, 41 photographs of musicians and instruments, and two indexes. Tape 3 Side 2 offers supplementary musical examples not heard in the talks themselves. MORE

Folk Performers of India

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy


A 45-minute narrated video presenting 9 different acts of magic, impersonation, puppetry, acrobatics, animal trainers, and other feats accompanied by music, with translations of the spoken texts. Accompanied by a 22-page booklet of additional information, texts and translations. MORE


Musical Instruments of KACCH and its Neighbors

A narrated discovery of a musical and cultural continuum posited along the India-Pakistan border.  MORE

Folk Musicians of Rajasthan

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy


A 45-minute narrated video program which reflects a wide variety of traditional songs, dances, and rituals little known outside of Rajasthan. Accompanied by a 26-page booklet containing additional information and texts. MORE

Retooling a Tradition: A Rajasthani Puppet Takes Umbrage at his Stringholders

A 47-minute “fictive” video documentary by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and Amy Catlin. MORE

Bake Restudy 1984

A one-hour video narrated by Nazir Jairazbhoy and Amy Catlin.  The authors return in 1984 to the original sites of Arnold Bake’s 1938 South Indian fieldwork in order to solicit responses to his photographs and audio recordings of numerous performance traditions in an examination of continuity and change. MORE

SIDI SUFIS: African-Indian Mystics of Gujarat (CD)

These unique field recordings by UCLA ethnomusicologists Amy and Nazir Jairazbhoy were made in collaboration with Abdul Hamid Sidi and the Sidi community during their survey of Sidi shrines in Gujarat in 1999-2002. MORE

Voleti and Friends: Vijayawada 1963

Voleti Venkateswarlu’s mellifluous, resonant bass voice and modest demeanor made him a connoisseur’s favorite among the great singers of Karnatak classical devotional music. MORE

Ethno-musique concrète!

The Conch Shell Suite

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

Inspired by Antarjyami Muni’s virtuosic twin conch performance, this piece is a stunning voyage through uniquely beautiful acoustical shapes. MORE

The Rags of North Indian Music: Their Structure and Evolution

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy


This book explores important features of Indian classical modes: the structure of melody, the effect of the drone, ornamentation and intonation, the function of accidentals and the perception of symmetries. MORE