Zakir Hussain

Noted tabla player Ustad Zakir Hussain was born on March 9, 1951. The son of the tabla maestro Ustad Alla Rakha, Ustad Zakir Hussain has given performances across the globe. After doing his schooling from St. Michael's High School in Mahim, he went on to complete his graduation from St Xaviers, Mumbai before leaving for the United States in 1970, starting his international career.

He has worked with many international bands like The Beatles, Shanti as well as renowned artists across the globe. His first solo release, Making Music, received rave reviews worldwide.

He hit international headlines in 1992, when his album Planet Drum, in collaboration with Mickey Hart received a Grammy for the Best World Music Album. He has performed with artists like George Harrison, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Aashish Khan, Vasant Rai, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders, the Hong Kong Symphony, New Orleans Symphony and many others.

Zakir Hussain has composed the music for several movies like Heat and Dust , In Custody, The Mystic Masseur and others. Besides, he has played the tabla on the soundtracks of Apocalypse Now, Little Buddha and other films. He was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' most prestigious award for a master in the traditional arts in 1999. He received the Indo-American Award in 1990 in recognition of his contribution to relations between the two countries. He has received a host of awards in India too. Zakir Hussain was awarded the Padma Shri in 1988, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. He co-composed the opening music for the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. Besides, he was commissioned to compose music for San Francisco's leading ballet company, Lines. He married noted Kathak dancer Antonia Minnecola.