Toronto’s Anwar Khurshid is an internationally renowned sitar player whose music was featured in the Oscar-winning film The Life of Pi (2012) and the inspiring documentary What It Takes To Be Extraordinary (2016). Born in Quetta, Pakistan, Anwar studied sitar with Ustad Nasiruddin and Indian Classical vocals under Qazi Zahoorul Haq. While the sitar is his primary focus, he also has studied flute and tabla. These instruments permeate Anwar’s playing, giving it a fluid, lilting quality that has become his signature.
Kurshid’s passion for “sitar fusion” (integrating other music traditions with Indian Classical Music) has created a unique ‘East-meets-West’ sound that transcends continents, cultures and categorization. Among his most innovative and frequent collaborators are symbiotic blues guitarist Paul DesLauriers (leading to the duo’s critically acclaimed 2013 album Enter the Gate) and “soul traveling” world jazz band Avani. Also, Anwar joined forces with the Sultans of String for their JUNO-nominated 2015 album Subcontinental Drift. Since 1999, this brilliant global musician and composer has been Director of the Sitar School of Toronto.