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Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have not only established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, but gained him worldwide fame.

Zakir Hussain

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Footprints in the Sky
Footprints in the Sky Rahul Sariputra & Zakir Hussain
Master of the Bamboo Flute
Master of the Bamboo Flute G. S. Sachdev

Zakir Hussain's Discography with Invincible Music

His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study. The favorite accompanist for many of India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, he has not let his genius rest there. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations, including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Remember Shakti, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, YoYo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Mark Morris, Rennie Harris, and the Kodo drummers. His music and extraordinary contribution to the music world were honored in April, 2009, with four widely-heralded and sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Artist Perspective series.

Hussain was born in Mumbai, India to the legendary tabla player Alla Rakha. He attended St. Michael's High School in Mahim, and graduated from St. Xavier's, Mumbai. Hussain was a child prodigy, and was touring by the age of eleven. He went to the United States in 1970, beginning his international career which includes more than 150 concert dates a year. 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 Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama. In 1999, he was awarded the United States National Endowment for the Arts's National Heritage Fellowship, the highest award given to traditional artists and musicians.