April 12 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Ustad Zakir Hussain will be in Concert with a group of drummers from Kerala.
Ustad Zakir Hussain (born 9 March 1951) is an Indian tabla player in Hindustani classical music, musical producer, film actor and composer.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1988, and the Padma Bhushan in 2002, by the Government of India.He was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1990, given by the Sangeet Natak Academy, India’s National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama. In 1999, he was awarded the United States National Endowment for the Arts‘ National Heritage Fellowship, the highest award given to traditional artists and musicians. He has won two Grammy awards
Hussain is the son of famed tabla player Alla Rakha. He attended St. Michael’s High School he was a great musician from St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. Hussain was a child prodigy. His father taught him Pakhawaj from the age of 3 years. Zakir’s father Alla Rakha belonged to the tradition of tabla-playing known as the Punjab baaj, one of the six main traditions (baaj) of north Indian tabla drumming, the others being Delhi, Benares, Ajrara, Farrukhabad, and Lucknow.
He was touring by the age of eleven. He went to the United States in 1969 to do his PhD at the University of Washington, receiving a doctorate in music. After that he began his international career, including more than 150 concert dates a year.
From a young age, Zakir has been accompanying all the leading lights of Hindustani classical music, both vocal and instrumental – from Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit VG Jog, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, and many more.
In addition to being an outstanding accompanist, Zakir brought great attention to and raised the profile of tabla players, both through his solo excursions as an accompanist and through his solo tabla performances. His on-stage charm and virtuosity single-handedly raised the visibility of tabla players, who in times past were not considered very important to the performance. Zakir made stars out of tabla players, and a whole generation of young tabla players grew up imitating his head gestures and even his hair style while performing. It is fair to say that, with the advent of Zakir Hussain, there was finally an audience in a Hindustani concert that came not just to listen to the main melody artist but to the supporting tabla artist.
Zakir’s fame spread internationally following many tour performances in the US and Europe. He also collaborated with many musicians from all over India and the world. He collaborated with violinist L. Shankar, guitarist John McLaughlin, mridangam player Ramnad Raghavan, and legendary ghatam player Vikku Vinayakram in forming the fusion group Shakti, which performed worldwide to great acclaim. Twenty years later, a second version of the Shakti group, called Remember Shakti, was created featuring U. Srinivas, Zakir Hussain, TV Selvaganesh, and Shankar Mahadevan.
Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, who had known Zakir since the 1960s, invited him to create the special album Planet Drum, featuring legendary drummers from different parts of the world. Featured along with Zakir, from India, was Vikku Vinayakram, with whom Zakir had collaborated in Shakti. The first Planet Drum album, released in 1991 on the Rykodisc label, went on to earn the 1992 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album, the first Grammy ever awarded in this category. The Global Drum Project album and tour brought Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgotogether again in a reunion sparked by the 15th anniversary of the ground-breaking album Planet Drum. The album Global Drum Project won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 51st Grammy Awards Ceremony held on 8 February 2009.)
Zakir composed, performed and acted as Indian music advisor for the Malayalam film Vanaprastham, a 1999 Cannes Film Festival entry which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFI Fest) in 1999, and won awards at 2000 Istanbul International Film Festival (Turkey), 2000 Mumbai International Film Festival (India), and 2000 National Film Awards (India). He has composed soundtracks for several movies, most notably In Custody and The Mystic Masseur by Ismail Merchant, and has played tabla on the soundtracks of Francis Coppola‘s Apocalypse Now, Bernardo Bertolucci‘s Little Buddha, and other films.
He starred in several films specifically showcasing his musical performance both solo and with different bands, including the 1998 documentary “Zakir and His Friends”, and the documentary “The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum” (2003 Sumantra Ghosal). Hussain co-starred as Inder Lal in the Merchant Ivory Film Heat and Dust in 1983, for which he was an associate music director.)