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Navras Records - 20th Anniversary

Congratulations by Yogendra
(July 2012)

Navras Records, the London-based label specialised in Indian music, celebrates its 20th birthday this summer - congratulations! Since no label wanted to release live recordings of great Indian concerts taking place in London at that time, Vibhaker Baxi simply founded his own label in 1992. Once started, Vibhaker Baxi quickly got support from India's leading musicians, who were all happy to publish their concerts at Navras. Besides Indian classical music Navras soon produced CDs with the full range of traditional Indian music, such as Ghazal, Thumri, Bhajan, Qawwali and various folk styles. Moreover, fusion and crossover projects with Indian music found their way into the assortment as well.

A first milestone was the opening of a Navras office in India in order to tap the huge Indian market in 1995. However, it soon became clear that Navras was simply too small a company to accomplish this huge task. Therefore all Navras productions are distributed by Sony Music in India since 1998 under the name Sony Nad. A special honour for Navras was the exclusive contract with sitar virtuoso Vilayat Khan in the last years before his death in 2004. 13 albums with the legendary master bear testimony to this unique cooperation. And while CD sales have collapsed globally in recent years and many Indian musicians can only publish their music online or at their own expense, Navras keeps on and on extending the catalogue. The latest coup are the publishing rights to archival recordings of the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai. Founded in 1969, NCPA is one of the most important Indian concert promoters and has since collected thousands of hours of live recordings from all leading Indian classical musicians. The first NCPA-CDs from Navras have just been released - see below!

What started out as just a mere hobby grew into a globally active family business over the years. Apart from founder and chairman Vibhaker his nephew Rahul Baxi and his niece Neema Joshi are also involved full time. Today, the Navras catalogue consists of well over 300 CDs and almost 20 DVDs - all of them available from India Instruments...! May Navras continue to thrive and succeed and delight all lovers of Indian music with many more inspiring releases!