In a glittering, groundbreaking embodiment of Celtic Connections’ commitment to fostering international artistic collaboration, this year’s festival launches with The Pulse of the World, a brand new cross-cultural performance featuring the globally renowned Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, together with a stellar array of Scottish and Irish traditional musicians including Patsy Reid (fiddle/viola), Charlie McKerron (fiddle), Ross Ainslie (small pipes/whistle), Matheu Watson (guitar, mandolin), John Joe Kelly (bodhran), Michael McGoldrick (flute, pipes and whistles) and the beautiful Hebridean singing of Jenna Cumming.
They will be joined tonight by Indian stars selected by Hussain: Kumaresh (violin), Rakesh Chaurasia (bansuri [bamboo flute]) and Navin Sharma (dholak) as well as the spectacular sound of the drum corps of the Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band.
Continuing along the trail blazed by his father Alla Rakha – who, as Ravi Shankar’s tabla player, co-pioneered the western popularization of Indian music – Zakir Hussain is a linchpin figure in contemporary world culture. Rooted in ancient classical disciplines, his astounding musical empathy and improvisational wizardry has seen him work with such genre-spanning greats as George Harrison, John McLaughlin, Yo Yo Ma and Van Morrison.
The gala premiere, following a period of intensive rehearsal by Hussain and his Celtic collaborators, unveils a wealth of new music drawn from across their respective traditions and far beyond.
Tickets: £20, £18
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