Rod Moseanko interviews tabla maestro Zakir Hussain on The Golden Road, Friday evening, March 25th. Playing in the footsteps of his illustrious father, Ustad Allarakha--who with Ravi Shankar introduced the glorious music of India to America--Zakir Hussain has acted as a musical bridge between his birth land and the rest of the world. To that end, every other year since 1996, he has served as curator, producer, and host in bringing the very cream of Indian music to tour America and Europe with his series Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion. The 2016 version will be no exception, presenting American audiences with extraordinary and exciting--and often spontaneous--combinations of percussive as well as melodic performers. The Golden Road airs Fridays on KDRT, 7-9pm PT.
Zakir Hussain on The Golden Road, F 3/25
Zakir Hussain is simply one of the world’s great musicians. He is the reigning master virtuoso of the classical Indian tabla, an unrivaled performer with the greats of Indian music. Moreover, his remarkably wide musical vision has taken him and his tabla into unimagined realms of collaboration that make him one of the chief architects of the contemporary World Music movement. Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, the Diga Rhythm Band and Planet Drum with the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, and Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland only begin to sketch his career. A child prodigy, Zakir was touring by the age of 12. He came to the United States in 1970, performing his first U.S. concert at the Fillmore East in New York City with Pandit Ravi Shankar, embarking on an illustrious international career.
He has received countless honors from sources ranging from the Indian, French, and U.S. governments to Modern Drummer, Drum!, and Downbeat magazines and NARAS (the “Grammys”). He was the 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 2007, the government of India chose him 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. 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.
In 1992, Zakir founded Moment! Records, which features original collaborations in the field of contemporary world music and live concert performances by great masters of the classical music of India. He is currently resident artistic director at SFJAZZ. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit Zakir on the web at zakirhussain.com.