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Zakir Hussainstad Zakir Hussain , born March 9, 1951, son of tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha, is a well known classical tabla player in India. He has also won awards and recognitions for his contribution to the world of music.
Ustad Zakir Hussain is a prodigious percussionist. He is the son of Ustad Alla Rakha, himself the leading tabla artist of his time. Zakir is married to noted Kathak Dancer and student of Sitara Devi, Antonia Minnecola, an Italian American. Minnecola had earlier worked as Hussain's manager. His two daughters, Anisa Qureshi and Isabella Qureshi, are also studying in the field of arts. Anisa graduated from UCLA and is in filmmaking and video production. His second daughter Isabella is studying in Manhattan as a dance major. He has one late sister, Razia, and two younger brothers, Fazal Qureshi and youngest Taufiq Qureshi.
He has a number of students worldwide including Rahul Dass in Auckland NZ, 17 times NZ world champion for tabla, Kashyap Singh for holding the 24 hour Akhand Bhajan Record at Mahathma Ghandi Hall, Prashik Kevin Goundar under 17 national champion in N.Z currently holding the sponser of U.M.M productions. Mr Sai S Sharma student of Anup Jalota.
Musical careerZakir has worked with many western and Indian artists, and has produced many works for fusion, perhaps most notably with The Beatles. In 1971 he recorded with an American psychedelic band called Shanti. He has also worked with John McLaughlin in Shakti in 1975, with L. Shankar in the Diga Rhythm Band, and with Mickey Hart on his Rolling Thunder album (on which he and his father played a tabla duet). Although Shakti was disbanded a few years later, it reunited under the name Remember Shakti. Zakir was touring by the age of twelve. He did his schooling in St. Michael's High School in Mahim. He completed his graduation from St Xaviers, Mumbai. Zakir went to the United States in 1970, embarking on an international career which includes no fewer than 150 concert dates a year.
In 1987, his first solo release, Making Music, was acclaimed as "one of the most inspired East-West fusion albums ever recorded." In 1988, he became the youngest percussionist to ever be awarded the title of Padma Shri. In 1990, he was awarded the Indo-American Award in recognition for his cultural contribution to relations between the United States and India. In April, 1991, he was presented with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the President of India, making him one of the youngest musicians to receive this recognition from India's governing cultural institute.
In 1992, Planet Drum, an album co-created and produced by Zakir and Mickey Hart, was awarded a Grammy for Best World Music Album, the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best World Beat Album, and the NARM Indie Best Seller Award for World Music Recording. The band Planet Drum, with Zakir as music director, toured nationally in 1996 and 1997. Zakir also continues to tour with the musicians from Shakti — John McLaughlin, Shankar and T.H. Vinayakram — in different collaborations and ensembles as well as leading various percussion ensembles of his own design. In Summer'99, Shakti re-grouped for an international tour.
In 1992, Zakir founded live concert performances by masters of the classical music of India. The label presents Zakir's own world percussion ensemble, The Rhythm Experience, both North and South Indian classical recordings, Best of Shakti, and a Masters of Percussion series. He has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Aashish Khan,Vasant Rai, Imrat Khan, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Charles Lloyd, the Hong Kong Symphony and the New Orleans Symphony.
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