Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, son of the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha, has built a reputation as one of the finest tabla players in Indian classical music.
Zakir Hussain was born March 9 March, 1951 in Mumbai, India. He began performing as a child prodigy at age 8. In constant demand as an accompanist, he has performed with most of India’s greatest musicians and dancers. While he has few equals as a traditional tabla player, he has also been an innovator, bridging the Hindustani and Carnatic traditions by performing with both North and South Indian masters and presenting percussion concerts both as a soloist and with other drummers.
In addition to his dedication to the Indian classical music tradition, Zakir has been a pioneer in introducing the tabla to wider audiences in the West through his collaborations with jazz and rock musicians, and with percussionists from Latin America, Africa and Europe. As a member of the East-West fusion group Shakti, he won critical acclaim for his virtuosity.
Zakir’s father, Alla Rakha passed away in February of 2000, but his legacy continues with the Masters of Percussion tours that feature Zakir and two of his brothers (Fazal and Taufiq Qureshi).
Zakir Hussain’s 1986 ECM album Making Music was a major statement in the world music arena, with Jan Garbarek, John McLaughlin and bansuri flute genius Hariprasad Chaurasia as contributors.
Zakir Hussain has composed and performed music for various films. He arranged the opening music for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Hussain has also played on several ECM albums with violinist L. Shankar: Who’s to Know, Song for Everyone, Nobody Told Me, M.R.C.S., and Pancha Nadai Pallavi.
He played with Tabla Beat Science whose high-volume clash of cultures incorporated an ever-shifting cast of percussionists and DJs around a core of Zakir, sarangi player Ustad Sultan Khan and bassist Bill Laswell. Zakir Hussain has also collaborated on music for ballet with Yo-Yo Ma.
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.
Planet Drum, the percussion album that became a world music sensation 25 years ago is available again, remastered and with new tracks. The 25th Anniversary Special Edition will be available on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 in various formats, including Vinyl LP for the first time.
On Planet Drum, American drummer Mickey Hart (The Grateful Dead) brought together percussion maestros from various parts of the world: Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram (India), Babatunde Olatunji and Sikiru Adepoju (Nigeria), Airto Moreira and Flora Purim (Brazil), and Giovanni Hidalgo (Puerto Rico).
The Remastered 25th Anniversary Edition includes 3 new tracks: Sea Of Showers, Throat Games, And The Spot. Sea Of Showers features Flora Purim And Babatunde Olatunji. Throat Games is a vocal percussion piece with Baba, Sikiru, Zakir, and Airto. The Spot starts with the sound of water drops, and then showcases Zakir and Airto.
Planet Drum: Song Descriptions by Mickey Hart
1. Udu Chant 3:40
Udu Chant represents the struggle of Life and Death, which throughout history has been portrayed in ritual using percussion. Airto plays Portuguese wooden shoes called tamanco. I play the “Beam” and a giant hoop drum from the Arctic Circle, which together form the resounding low end. Sikiru maintains a timeline bell pattern, while Zakir plays custom-made electronic triggers connected to digitally-sampled ¬Udu drums.
Island Groove is the soft side of percussion. It is a slow but simple 4/4 samba of ashiko rhythm, based on the sounds of the Yoruban consonants: go, pa, gun. When put together, they become drum talk. This song evolved as the rhymes one person played reminded another of something in their own background. We were able to collectively draw upon our various traditions, and contribute individually to the creation of this composition.
Airto started this song with a slow groove which had the power of the drum set, without the usual accompaniment of cymbals. He used a variety of unusual instruments in the composition. Among these were Mexican donkey jaws and a metal spring which resonates on the body of the instrument when hit with a stick.
Dance of the Hunter’s Fire demonstrates the basic African polyrhythm, four beats against six beats. It is an interesting comparison of two rhythmic traditions, the African and the South Indian. What you hear is Baba’s interpretation of the six-beat rhythm laid against four-beat carpet, while Vikku improvises on the Ghatam.
Sikiru Adepoju – Bell
Frank Colon – Shekere
Giovanni Hidalgo – Shekere and Congas
Airto Moreira – ¬jembe, shakers
Caryl Ohrbach – Shaker
Babatunde Olatunji – jembe
Flora Purim – Shaker
T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram – Ghatam
5. Jewe “You Are The One” 4:06
Jewe is an example of the use of the human body as a percussion instrument. Five of us are playing in this song, slapping our chests and singing. This cupping of hands and slapping of the chest cavity created a hollow thud, and allowed us to control the vibration of our voices.
Mickey Hart –Vocals, body percussion
Bruce Langhorne – Vocals, body percussion
Babatunde Olatunji – Vocals, body percussion
Flora Purim – Vocals
Gordy Ryan – Vocals, body percussion
6. The Hunt
This song represents the primitive with a feeling of the relentless pursuit of the hunt. Sikiru’s talking drum speaks over the djembe, Jew’s harp, and drum set to form a unique rhythm.
At the dawn of religion, the Paleolithic trance dancers gathered in subterranean temple caves for ritual celebration. The natural sounds of the caves were an eerie backdrop to the dances. The echoes, the bats, the water dripping from the roof, the whacking of palm against stalagmite and the stalactite resounded thought the caves, creating unique percussive sounds. These sounds were the inspiration for Temple Caves.
The Dancing Sorcerer features Airto on berimbau, and Zakir on tabla and madal. The berimbau is one of the oldest instruments known to man. In fact, it may be the image of a musical bow in the caves at Les Trois Freres (15,000 BC) that provided the first documentation of percussion’s connection to the sacred. This picture resembles a man wearing the skin of an animal and playing some kind of instrument, possibly a sounding bow or concussion stick.
Zakir Hussain – madal, tabla
Airto Moreira – berimbau
9. Bones 4:10
This song is based on a rhythm I played on the balafon, with bones as mallets. The rest of the ensemble added their own sounds. The use of bones, especially human bones, exhibits a relationship between percussion and ritual. Hitting one bone against the other, or using bones on drums instead of sticks has an influence on the sound produced, and on the person who produces it.
Mickey Hart- Bones, balafon
Giovanni Hidalgo – batá
Zakir Hussain – Dundun, shaker and bell
Babatunde Olatunji – Vocals
Flora Purim – Vocals
10. Lost River 2:58
Lost River is a high-spirited song that demonstrates an interplay between the human voice and percussion instruments. To Zakir, this song brought to mind the singing of children in the mountains of India. The drums provide the strong rhythm which lays a foundation for Flora’s flowing melody.
Evening Samba is a mixture of Brazilian and Angolan rhythms, a perfect frame for out extended bell improvisation.
Sikiru Adepoju – Bell
Mickey Hart – Bell
Zakir Hussain – Bell
Airto Moreira – Bass drum, snare drum, tom toms, tambourine, whistles, wood blocks, metal percussion, cymbals, bells
Babatunde Olatunji – Shaker, bell
T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram – Ghatam
12. Iyanu “Surprises” 2:02
Iyanu was recorded in 1986, after the Olatunji sessions which resulted in the recordings of the “Invocation to the Orishas” and “The Beat.” The gourds were grown in my garden, and arranged into a new instrument, a gourdophone. Airto played metal brushes against split bamboo.
Mysterious Island began with recording I made of ocean waves late one night in Kona, Hawaii. I brought back the recording and played it for the ensemble. It was the inspiration for Flora’s seagulls and for her dialogue with a circle of wind chimes which she assembled and walked among during the recording of the song. Mysterious Island mixes the natural elements of water, rain, blowing wind, and birds with the sound of metal bells and the human voice.
Mickey Hart – Grand dumbek, body percussion
Airto Moreira – Bird whistles, nose flute body percussion, tambourine
Flora Purim – Wind chimes, seagulls, vocals
Jeff Sterling – Udu Drum
The Bonus Tracks
This special, remastered 25th anniversary release includes three new tracks produced by Mickey and Zakir, with Zakir’s arrangements of material from the original 1991 recording sessions.
14. Sea Of Showers 4:52
Sea of Showers features Flora Purim and Babatunde Olatunji singing over an elegant rhythm base that includes sounds from Airto’s Aboriginal Australian bullroarer to Flora’s chimes.
15. Throat Games 2:27
Throat Games presents a pan-global scat-a-thon by Babatunde Olatunji, Sikiru Adepoju, Zakir Hussain, and Airto Moreira, using styles of vocalizations from their various musical traditions.
16. The Spot 4:34
The Spot begins with the sound of water drops, and then Zakir Hussain and Airto Moreira dance with the rhythms of the tiny waves in an homage to the water gods.
Indian classical music masters Zakir Hussain and Niladri Kumar are set to perform at Duke University’s Page Auditorium on Saturday, October 8th.
Zakir Hussain is one of the great maestros of the Indian tabla. He’s an acclaimed performer of indian classical music and world music fusion as well. He will play with prestigious sitar player Niladri Kumar, an eclectic musician who performs classical Indian music as well as pop, rock, and electronic music.
Duke Performances revealed the world music programming (under the category International) for the 2016/2017 season. The world music shows include sitar maestra Anoushka Shankar with a six-piece Indian classical ensemble playing an evening of Indian music in tribute to her father, Ravi Shankar.
Celebrated tabla performer Zakir Hussain will return to Duke University with fifth-generation sitar player Niladri Kumar to perform Indian classical music.
Rising world music act DakhaBrakha (Ukraine) will play their live score for Earth, a 1930 silent classic film of Soviet cinema by Ukrainian director Alexander Dovzhenko.
American dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas will perform classic bluegrass with his all-star group The Earls of Leicester. The group honors Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs of the Foggy Mountain Boys.
Zakir Hussain, tabla & Niladri Kumar, sitar
Saturday, October 8 at 20:00 (8:00 p.m.)
Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester featuring Shawn Camp, Johnny Warren, Charlie Cushman & Barry Bales
Saturday, February 18 at 20:00 (8:00 p.m.)
Home: A Tribute to Ravi Shankar
Friday, April 7 at 20:00 (8:00 p.m.)
Dovzhenko’s Earth: Film + Live Score
Friday, April 14 at 20:00 (8:00 p.m.)
Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain will be performing with sitar virtuoso Niladri Kumar on Friday, October 29, 2010 at Town Hall, in New York City.
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 worldmusicinstitute.org
Zakir Hussain, the legendary percussionist whose intoxicating rhythms have accompanied India’s major artists and leading names in world music, returns to New York on March 12 & 13 of 2010 with his Masters of Percussion ensemble. He is joined by Taufiq Qureshi (percussion), the superb violin duo of Ganesh & Kumaresh, sarangi (lute) player Sabir Khan, Sridar Parthsarathy (mrdangam – double-headed barrel drum), Navin Sharma (dholak – two-headed folk drum), and the Motilal Dhakis from Bengal (dancing drummers).
Zakir Hussain, tabla maestro, is one of India’s most renowned cultural ambassadors and the favorite accompanist for most of the greatest musicians and dancers of India. 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).
The foremost disciple of his father Ustad Allarakha, 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.
Ganesh & Kumaresh are highly respected as soloists, as well as accompanists to leading vocalists. Born into a musical family, the brothers received training under their father Sri Rajagopalan and made their entrance into the world of Carnatic music in 1972, at the ages of seven and five respectively. By the time Kumaresh was 10, they had made one hundred stage appearances. They were recognized by the government of Tamil Nadu as State Artists in 1983, and became the youngest violinists to be recognized by All India Radio as top ranking artists.
They have toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia, and, in 2004, performed throughout the US as special guests in Zakir Hussain’s Masters of Percussion tour. They have also worked in the world music realm with Vikku Vinayakaram, Sivamani, Ranjit Barot, George Brooks, Steve Thornton, Nadaka, and Randy Bersen, and composed many works. For their musical accomplishments they have received such prestigious titles as Kalaimamani, Sunaadha Sironmani and Sangeetha Saragnya.
Taufiq Qureshi, son and disciple of tabla maestro Ustad Allarakha, is an acclaimed composer and commanding percussionist. His trademark style incorporates body and vocal percussion to create distinctive rhythmic motifs spanning across cultures. His albums have been released internationally and he has performed at major music festivals throughout the world. He has been greatly influenced by his brother Zakir Hussain and has been privileged to receive guidance from Ghatam Vidhwan Pandit “Vikku” Vinayakram. While the realm of studio music keeps him constantly engaged creatively, Taufiq is continuously evolving as a percussionist in live performance.
Sabir Khan, born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, belongs to the Sikar gharana (school) of music that has introduced several stalwarts to Indian classical music. He is the ninth generation in his family to take up the sarangi and is considered to be one of the beacons of the younger generation. He began studying music when he was six years old with his grandfather, Ustad Gulab Khan, a great sarangi player and vocalist. Soon afterwards, he began training with his father, the renowned sarangi player – vocalist Ustad Sultan Khan, and his late uncle Ustad Nasir Khan. With a technique displaying tonal, melodic and rhythmic prowess, he is proving a worthy successor to his proud lineage.
Sridar Parthasarathy has studied the mrdangam since the age of six as a disciple of Vidwan Shri. Karaikudi R. Chandramouli. During his career, he has accompanied leading Carnatic musicians such as Smt. D. K. Pattammal, Shri. Madurai G. S. Mani, Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna and Shri Ranganatha Sharma, and has taken part in jugalbandhis (duets) with such illustrious musicians as Shankar Mahadevan, Rattan Mohan Sharma, Sanjeev Abhyankar and Nandkishor Muley. He regularly performs with rhythm ensembles headed by Ghatam Vidwan Shri. T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakaram, Louiz Banks, Ranjit Barot, Fazal Qureshi, Taufiq Qureshi and Niladri Kumar, and recorded and performed for the Miles From India album produced by Bob Beldon in 2008.
Navin Sharma, born in the Ulhasnagar district of Maharashtra in 1975 to a musical family, started studying the dholak at a young age. His first guru was his father Shyam Rughuram Sharma; through these studies he was introduced to local musicians who were actively composing scores for Bollywood films. After realizing his desire to study more Indian classical music, his father insisted he learn from tabla maestro Ustad Allarakha, with whom he studied for several years. Navin has performed with many diverse artists over his career, working with jazz, fusion, pop, rock, ghazal and bhajan ensembles.
The Motilal Dhakis from Bengal, from the eastern part of the state of Bengal, are the keepers of a folk tradition which highlights a very active style of drumming that incorporates dance movements. The drummers play the rhythms used in weddings and festival processions, while demonstrating the shapes of the rhythm patterns through dance.
This program is made possible in part with public support provided by the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding is provided by the Howard Bayne Fund.
Savannah (Georgia), USA – The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) announces its most artistically diverse lineup to date for the upcoming 2009 festival, including several commissioned works and a wealth of original productions showcasing a wide variety of American and international musical traditions.
Committed to enhancing the cultural landscape of Savannah, SMF programs combine elegance and soul in a way that mirrors the history and culture of the remarkable city. The unique musical arts event is one of the highlights of springtime on the southeastern U.S. coast and a distinctive destination for cultural travelers.
The 2009 festival takes place between March 19 and April 5 in historic downtown Savannah and features more than 100 musical performances in intimate settings.
Original Productions & Other Highlights
• Long Time Travelin’, a celebration of American folksong traditions: Rayna Gellert of Uncle Earl with Patrick Sauber, old-time balladeer Tim Eriksen, National Heritage Fellow Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, the Tatnall River Shapenote Singers, and host Jim Lauderdale, an acclaimed Nashville singer-songwriter
• Jazz Now and Forever, a series of jazz greats including Dianne Reeves, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin’s Five Peace Band featuring Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett and Brian Blade, and The Clayton Brothers
• The Gershwin Songbook, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and classical pianist Sebastian Knauer performing the greatest compositions of this masterful American composer
• The Blues was Born Here, an authentic southern blues review showcasing Piedmont blues masters Cephas & Wiggins on a one-time only bill with Georgia’s own Beverly “Guitar” Watkins
• Resplendent Recitals, a series highlighting the world’s finest recitalists including tenor Ian Bostridge, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Marc-Andre Hamelin and Sebastian Knauer
• Big World of Music, leading international artists such as fado star Mariza, Mike Marshall & Darol Anger with Väsen, Bela Fleck’s Africa Project featuring virtuosos Toumani Diabate, Vusi Mahlasela, and D’Gary, and Indian maestros Zakir Hussain & Shiv Kumar Sharma.
• The 16th annual American Traditions Competition, some of the nation’s most talented aspiring vocalists competing for more than $30,000 in prize monies
• The three-night Savannah Jazz Party featuring Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Howard Paul and Ken Peplowski; the Ellis Marsalis Quartet; and the 2009 Piano Showdown with solos and duos by pianists Eddie Palmieri, Henry Butler, Aaron Goldberg and Bob Seeley
• The Complete Brandenburg Concertos performed by the Academy of Ancient Music with Richard Egarr
• Organ Stops, a six-concert series featuring such internationally acclaimed organists as Janette Fishell
• Everybody Dance Now, a three-concert series of dance parties featuring Eddie Palmieri & La Perfecta II, Zydeco great Cedric Watson, and the rising young Cajun ensemble, Feufollet
• Georgia On My Mind, a four-concert series including Savannah’s own Bobby Lee Rodgers & Friends in a one-time only event, as well as the Marcus Printup Quartet, Caroline Herring, and Sacred Harp Singing with Tim Eriksen
• Swing Central, a three-day high school jazz band and competition capped off by Battle Royale, the closing night finale concert featuring a cutting contest with trumpeters, saxophonists, trombonists and rhythm sections. Featured performers: Marcus Roberts Trio, The Clayton Brothers, Wycliffe Gordon, Terrell Stafford, Scotty Barnhart and others
• Roots & Twang, a varied series featuring Neko Case with Crooked Fingers, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, The Infamous Stringdusters and The Lovell Sisters, and The Blues was Born Here
• Tap master Savion Glover, combining two different projects on a Savannah stage
The Rhythm Foundation presents Zakir Hussain on Sunday May 4th at 8 pm. The Masters of Percussion concert includes Zakir Hussain – tabla, Fazal Qureshi – tabla and kanjira, Taufiq Qureshi – percussion, Niladri Kumar – sitar, Abbos Kosimov – doyra, Ram Kishan – nagada, Dilshad Khan – sarangi, Vijay Chauhan – folk drums, Manipuri Jagoi Marup – dancing drummers of Manipur.
Tabla master Zakir Hussain has put together an ensemble to showcase the diversity and beauty of Indian music. The concert offers the audience an opportunity to experience both melodic (raga) and rhythmic (tala) development and will feature the traditional repertoire of North Indian drumming on tabla in solo and duet as well as excursions exploring the frontier between traditional and contemporary, folk and classical. This concert is the exclusive Florida date.Hussain recently joined forces with other international master percussionists for a new recording and tour. The Global Drum Project includes Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo. The new CD is titled Global Drum Project.
Manuel Artime Theater, 900 SW 1 Street, Miami
Admission is $30 in advance, and $35 day of show, on sale online, or by phone (305) 672-5202 or BASE (Lincoln Road), Books & Books (Coral Gables), or Indian stores: Indo American Grocery (Miami), ABC International (Sunrise), New Apna Bazaar, New Apna (Sunrise), Little Market (Ft. Lauderdale), Sitara (Pembroke Pines)
Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo – Global Drum Project (Shout Factory, 2007)
Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Indian tabla virtuoso, Zakir Hussain co-produced Global Drum Project and its 8 tracks of blood-racing, heart-thumping, soul-sweeping goodness. Add to this spectacular collaborative duo Latin percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo, talking drum artist Sikiru Adepoju, the vocals of the late Babatunde Olatunji, percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, Niladari Kumar on sitar and Dilshand Khan on sarangi and you’ve hit nirvana.
Opening track “Baba” is a spicy collage of interlocking rhythms, incorporating the meaty vocals by Babatunde Olantunji. In places the vocals mirror the tabla lines and in other places they mimic rough sound of Tuvan throat singing, making this track literally swim in coolness.
“Kaluli Groove” transports the listener into a rhythmic jungle with faint bird calls and sampled voices from “Voices of the Rainforest” amid a chunky beat and twangy guitar sound.
One of my favorites is the dreamy, hypnotic “Funky Zena” that travels along in a electronic-hazy groove. “Dances with Wood” is spare compared to some of the other tracks with an acoustic take on drumming rhythms, but it’s this track where the listener gets full force the consummate talent of these artists and slams into a wall of richly textured percussion. It’s tight, neatly packed percussion is astounding. “Heartspace” moves with the slowness of a river with sitar, sarangi, vocals and Indian rhythms; making it exotic and lovely.
The 1991 release of Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum resulted in a Grammy win for Best World Music Album and an astounding 26 weeks on the Billboard chart, so it be no surprise if Global Drum Project went on to achieve the same accolades. Fans will have the opportunity to experience the masterful grooves themselves when the group tours the US this fall to promote Global Drum Project.
Four international master percussionists have joined forces for a new recording and tour. The Global Drum Project includes Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo. The new CD is titled Global Drum Project.
Over three decades as the innovative percussion engine of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart’s ear for global sounds brought numerous unpredictable guests to the Dead’s stage performances.
Hart’s 1991 release Planet Drum was the natural outgrowth of this adventure, showcasing his gift as a supreme catalyst in convening the world’s finest percussion talent for a dazzling collaboration – including Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, who is an international phenomenon in his own right. Zakir began his career as a child prodigy has gone on to win many awards, founded his own record label Moment! Records, and starred in two documentaries, 2003’s “The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum” and 1998’s “Zakir and His Friends”.
Planet Drum was recorded in Hart’s Sonoma County home and studio, with the Dead’s legendary crew turning virtually every room in the house into a work zone for each musician. The album won the first-ever Grammy for Best World Music Album, spent an unprecedented 26 weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart, and sells as a perennial favorite to this day.
15 years have passed, and the friendship and musical partnership of Hart and Hussain, which began in the early 70s with their world fusion experiment Diga Rhythm Band, has continued to flourish. Their 2006 Planet Drum reunion tour was immensely well-received and germinated the idea to revisit “ Planet Drum”
Hence this fresh collaboration of tranced-out grooves, elegant electronic programming and hypnotic tuned percussion that is the Global Drum Project. Masterfully produced by Hart and Hussain, the Global Drum Project once again enlists the great partnership of Sikiru Adepoju (Nigerian talking drum) and Giovanni Hidalgo (congas), as well as Taufiq Qureshi (brother to Zakir Hussain) on percussion & vocals, Niladari Kumar on sitar, Dilshad Khan on sarangi, and sampled vocals by the late, great Olatunji. Global Drum Project will be in stores October 2nd, 2007. The ensemble will again tour the U.S. this fall in support of the release.
In addition to the Global Drum Project, Shout! Factory will be reissuing a series of catalog titles that will be made available digitally in October, and physically released in 2008. The titles include Diga Rhythm Band (a crystalline, remixed celebration of drumming and percussion featuring Hart, Hussain, nine other rhythmatists, and Jerry Garcia on two tracks), At The Edge ( Companion to his acclaimed book debut, Drumming at the Edge of Magic (Harper San Francisco 1990).
The album will be in stores October 2.
Global Drum Project 2007 Tour Dates:
20- Sep Tucson, AZ – University of AZ
21- Sep Mesa, AZ – Mesa Arts Center
22- Sep Albuquerque, NM – Globalquerque
23- Sep Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
24- Sep Denver, CO – Oriental Theatre
27- Sep Chico, CA – Cal State Chico
28- Sep Berkeley, CA – UC Berkeley
30- Sep Arcata, CA – Humboldt State
05- Oct Atlanta, GA – University of GA
06- Oct Birmingham, AL – Jemison Hall, University of AL
09- Oct Washington DC – George Washington U
11- Oct Annapolis, MD – Maryland Hall
12- Oct Storrs, CT – U Conn
13- Oct Burlington, VT – University of VT
14- Oct Poughkeepsie, NY – Bardavan Opera House
16- Oct University Park, PA – Penn State
17- Oct New York, NY – Highline Ballroom
18- Oct Pittsburgh, PA – Byham Theater
20- Oct East Lansing, MI – Michigan State U
21- Oct Columbus, OH – Southern Theater
22- Oct Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre
25- Oct Glen Ellyn, IL – College of DuPage
26- Oct Madison, WI – U of Wisconsin
27- Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota Orchestra Hall
(more dates TBA)