Kalla Khan is a middle aged folk musician in his thirties. He belongs to the famous musical tribe of Mirasi Manganiyars. He lives in the Barmer city of Rajasthan, and originally hails from the Kosath village of Sheo district in Barmer. He was deeply inspired by the rich musical heritage of his renowned ‘Manganiyar Gharana’ and devoted his childhood days to learning various instruments and folk songs. His grandfather was a Kamaicha player. Kalla Khan has been performing for the past 20 years. He plays khartaal and harmonium along with other instruments like dholak. Besides performing folk songs, he also trains children of nearby villages in playing harmonium, dholak and khartaal. There are around 12 to 15 students in his class at the present moment. He wishes to train more children in the future to preserve and pass on the essence of Manganiyar folk music. He also expects the same from the Government and suggests that it should set up training institutes for children so that they can be equipped with a higher level of learning of music and folklore, and the tradition of folk music does not die. Kalla Khan loves to write his own compositions, but has not been able to perform any of them to date. He feels that folk musicians have not received the recognition that they deserve up to now. There needs to be a platform which can help them exhibit their art nationally as well as internationally.
Kalla Khan leads this group of seven, and his group members are Rafiq Khan, Jamil Khan, Sawai Khan, Jasu Khan, Butta Khan, and Naser Khan. They play khartaal, dholak, harmonium, bhapang, and dhol. They have been performing with each other since quite a long time. This group of young and talented folk musicians has performed in a few cities besides Rajasthan. Once, they gave a performance in a festival at a famous temple in Rajrappa, Jharkhand and got special mention from the Chief Minister of Jharkhand appreciating their enthralling performance. All the group members have learnt from their elders, by listening to their melodious music since birth, and performing with them. They usually perform Rajasthani folk music songs. Sometimes the group also presents Sufi and Qawaali compositions.