The Tabla artist Zakir Hussain turns 70 on March 9. Hailed as India’s most famous percussion artist, Hussain has also proved his mettle in composing music for films and also acting in a few.
Zakir Hussain is the son of legendary tabla player Alla Rakha, who was a regular accompanist of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.
On the occasion of Zakir Hussain’s 70th birthday, here are some interesting facts about the table maestro:
- Born to tabla maestro, Alla Rakha and Bavi Begum in Mahim, Mumbai on March 9, 1951, Zakir Hussain inclined to play the tabla at a very young age.
- Hussain started learning to play percussion instruments from a very young age. His father taught him to play pakhawaj when he was 3.
- He was part of a rhythm band named Planet Drum along with Mickey Hart, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo. Their first album received the 1992 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album, which was the first Grammy in this category.
- The band reunited after 15 years and released another album – Global Drum Project. This revolutionised the world music forum. Released on October 2, 2007, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2009.
- Hussain’s first cinematic stint was in the film Heat and Dust, a romantic drama released in 1983. He composed the music and also starred in the film. The film was produced by Ismail Merchant.
- Hussain received the Padma Shri in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002. He also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1990.
- Over the years, he has collaborated with many Indian as well as international artists. His association with artists like Mickey Hart, John McLaughlin have created some legendary music.