Ustad Zakir Hussain – The great Tabla player

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Ustad Zakir Hussain, a classical tabla virtuoso, is a well-known name in Indian and International music industry. He is as loved by his international fans as his domestic admirers. He is the youngest percussionist to be awarded ‘Padma Shri’ by the Government of India. Acknowledged as ‘Chief Architect’ of contemporary world music movement, Zakir Hussain’s contribution to the world of music has been unique and inspiring.

Ustad Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain was born on born 9 March 1951. His father, Ustad Allah Rakha, was also a legendary and renowned tabla player. Zakir Hussain started learning tabla from a very young age and gave his first performance at the age of 12. He did his schooling and graduation in Mumbai and later went to the University of Washington to get a Ph.D. in music. He is married to an Italian-American Kathak Dancer, Antonia Minnecola and blessed with two daughters, Anisa and Isabella.

Ustad Zakir Hussain has not only collaborated with Indian musicians but also with many international artists, which include legendary names as Van Morrison, Pharoah Sanders, George Harrison, Billy Cobham. Some of his most famous collaborations are; Shakti founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Hong Kong Symphony. Zakir Husain is a founding member of Bill Laswell’s ‘World Music Supergroup’ Tabla Beat Science. He released his first solo music album “Making Music” in 1987 which was one of the most inspired East-West fusion albums ever.

Ustad Zakir Hussain has won many National and International Awards, like Indo-American Award in recognition for his outstanding cultural contribution to relations between US and India, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, National Heritage Fellowship, the most prestigious honor given by the US for a master in the traditional arts.

Zakir Hussain has been performing in hundreds of live music shows every year. Among his most famous tours come four widely-heralded and sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Artist Perspective series held in April 2009.

A true legend inspiring millions of people with his beautiful music is making India proud.




You may also like to read about the famous Santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma


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