Zakir Hussain (musician)

Zakir Hussain (musician)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Ustad Zakir Hussain

Img_capt = Zakir Hussain in Munich 2001
Img_size = 150px
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1951|3|9|mf=y
Bombay, Maharashtra
Died =
Origin = India
Instrument = Tabla
Genre = Indian classical music
Occupation = Tabla
Years_active =
Label =
Associated_acts =
Current_members =
Past_members =

Ustad Zakir Hussain (Hindi: ज़ाकिर हुसैन, Urdu: زاکِر حسین), born March 9, 1951, is a famous Tabla player from India. He has also won awards and recognitions for his contribution to the world of music.

Early life

He was born in Bombay to the well known tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha in India. He attended St. Michael's High School in Mahim, and graduated from St Xaviers, Mumbai.


Early career

A child prodigy, Zakir was touring by the age of twelve, the gifted son of his great father, tabla legend Ustad Allarakha. Zakir came to the United States in 1970, embarking on an international career which includes no fewer than 150 concert dates a year.

Later career

He has composed and recorded many albums and soundtracks, and has received widespread recognition as a composer for his many ensembles and collaborations. He has composed soundtracks for the films In Custody and The Mystic Masseur directed by Ismail Merchant, Bertolucci’s Little Buddha, for which Zakir composed, performed and acted as Indian music advisor, Vanaprastham (The Last Dance), chosen to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May, 1999, Saaz, and Everybody Says I’m Fine.

Zakir received the distinct honor of co-composing the opening music for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, 1996. He was commissioned to compose music for Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, and to compose an original work for the San Francisco Jazz Festival, both in 1998. He has received numerous grants and awards, including participation in the Meet the Composer programs funded by the Pew Memorial Trust and an Izzie (Isadora Duncan Award) for his composition for Lines Ballet. In 2000, Zakir worked again with choreographer Alonzo King, this time composing music for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 2002, his commissioned work for choreographer Mark Morris’ “Kolam” premiered as part of Yo Yo Ma’s “Silk Road Project” with Yo Yo and Zakir performing together live for the performance. In September, 2006, Triple Concerto for Banjo, Bass and Tabla, a piece co-composed by Zakir, Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck, was performed by the trio with the Nashville Symphony at the gala opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall in Nashville. Zakir reunited with choreographer Alonzo King in 2007 for Lines Ballet’s 25th anniversary celebration, creating acclaimed music for King’s new work, Rasa. Also in 2007, the government of India chose Zakir to compose an anthem to celebrate India’s 60th year of independence. The song, “Jai Hind”, has been recorded by an array of India’s finest classical vocalists and pop singers.

Present career

Zakir is a founding member of Bill Laswell's 'World Music Supergroup' Tabla Beat Science.

He was a visiting professor at Princeton University for one semester in 2006, as well as a visiting professor at Stanford University for a quarter in 2007.

He starred in the Merchant Ivory Film "Heat and Dust", in which he also composed the score. 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. [ [ IMDB: Zakir Hussain] ]

Zakir composed, performed and acted as Indian music advisor for Vaanaprastham, which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. He is the recipient of the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' most prestigious honor for a master in the traditional arts.

Zakir starred in the documentary "The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum" (2003 Sumantra Ghosal) and the 1998 documentary "Zakir and His Friends".

Zakir participates in the Silk Road collaborative musical project. []

Zakir teaches Tabla to advanced students in both San Francisco and Mumbai.

Zakir participates in the Global Drum Project. []


* "Sangam" (2006)
* "Maestro's Choice Series One - Alla Rakha & Zakir Hussain" (2005)
* "Punjabi Dhamar" (2004)
* "Raag Chandrakauns" (2004)
* "Selects" (2002)
* "And the Rhythm Experience" (1998)
* "Essence of Rhythm" (1998)
* "Magical Moments of Rhythm" (1997)
* "Kirwani" (1997)
* "Jog And Rageshri" (1994)
* "Music of the Deserts" (1993)
* "Flights of Improvisation" (1992)
* "The One and Only" (1992)
* "Tabla Duet" (1988)
* "Making Music" (1987)
* "Diga" (1976)
* "Shakti" (1975)
* "Rolling Thunder" (1972)
* "Shanti" (1971)

Personal life

He married Antonia Minnecola a Kathak dancer and teacher.

Awards and accolades

* Awarded the titles of Padma Bhushan, in 2002, and Padma Shri, in 1988, becoming the youngest percussionist to be awarded these, given to civilians of merit, by the Indian government.
* Awarded the "Indo-American Award" in 1990 in recognition for his outstanding cultural contribution to relations between the United States and India.
* Presented with the "Sangeet Natak Akademi Award" in 1991 by the President of India, making him one of the youngest musicians to receive this recognition from India's governing cultural institute.
* Recipient of the prestigious "Kalidas Samman" in 2006, an award for artists of exceptional achievement, from the government of Madhya Pradesh.
* Recipient of the 1999 "National Heritage Fellowship", the United States’ most prestigious honor for a master in the traditional arts, presented by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the United States Senate on September 28, 1999.
* In 2005, he was named an "Old Dominion Fellow" by the Humanities Council at Princeton University, where he resided for the 2005-2006 semester as full professor in the music department, teaching a survey course in Indian classical music and dance.
* In 2007, readers’ polls from both Modern Drummer and Drum! magazines named Zakir Hussain "Best World Music" and "Best World Beat Drummer" respectively.
* In 1992, "Planet Drum", an album co-created and produced by Zakir and Mickey Hart, was awarded the first-ever Grammy® for "Best World Music Album", the Downbeat Critics’ Poll for "Best World Beat Album" and the NARM "Indie Best Seller Award" for a World Music Recording.
* In 1992, Zakir founded Moment! Records, which features original collaborations in the field of contemporary world music, as well as live concert performances by great masters of the classical music of India. The label presents Zakir's own world percussion ensemble, "The Rhythm Experience", both North and South Indian classical recordings, "Best of Shakti" and the "Masters of Percussion" series. Moment Records’ 2006 release "Golden Strings of the Sarode" with Aashish Khan and Zakir Hussain was nominated for a Grammy® in the "Best Traditional World Music Album" category for that year.



* [ Drummer World]
* [ Moment Records]
*imdb name|id=0403984|name=Zakir Hussain
* [ Pennsylvania State University Page]
* [ Little India article]

External links

* [ YouTube video of Zakir Hussain performing with Leonard Eto, a Japanese drummer]

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