Zakir Hussain, tabla maestro, is the foremost disciple of his father Ustad Allarakha. The favorite accompanist for India’s greatest musicians and dancers, he has also been a chief architect of the world music movement with his prodigious collaborations, including Shakti (which he founded with John McLauglin and L. Shankar), Planet Drum (with Mickey Hart), and Sangam (with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland).
Zakir was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of 12. He came to the US in 1970, embarking on an international career that has included no fewer than 150 concert dates a year. He has recorded many albums and soundtracks, and received widespread recognition as a composer. He wrote soundtracks for Ismail Merchant’s In Custody and The Mystic Masseur Bertolucci’s Little Buddha, Vanaprastham (The Last Dance), Saaz, and Everybody Says I’m Fine.
He was commissioned to write music for Mark Morris’ Kolam (which premiered in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project), Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, and the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. In 2007, Zakir was chosen by the government of India to compose an anthem, “Jai Hind,” to celebrate India’s 60th year of independence. Zakir has been the recipient of many awards and titles, including Padma Bhushan (2002); Padma Shri (1988); the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991); the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship, this country’s highest honor for achievement in the traditional arts; and Grammy Awards for Best World Music Album for Planet Drum (1992) and Global Drum Project (2009) with Mickey Hart, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo. In 2007, readers’ polls from both Modern Drummer and Drum! Magazines named him Best World Music and Best World Beat Drummer respectively.
Niladri Kumar, from a lineage of five generations of sitar players, is one of India’s finest young sitar masters and one of the more serious young exponents of Indian classical music. Recognized for his remarkable technical prowess and maturity, he is equally at home playing traditional Indian music and contemporary world music, He began learning the sitar at the age of four and made his first public performance at six.
His numerous awards and honors include the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for Instrumental Hindustani Music, the Sanskriti Award, the Jadubhatta Puraskar, and the MTV Immies for the Best Classical/Fusion Instrumental Album for If.
Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, NYC at 8:00 PM
$35, $45, $55, $100 includes reception; students $20
Ticketmaster (212) 307-4100
Information/tickets: (212) 545-7536
Recordings available: Planet Drum, Global Drum Project, Essence of Rhythm, Best of Zakir Hussain, Raga Lalit / Raga Bairagi Bhairav, Golden String Of The Sarod, First LP Record, Mesmerizing Maestros, Live, Vol. 1, Sound scapes-music of the desert, Magical Moments of Rhythm