The scion of a legendary Hindustani percussion dynasty, Zakir Hussain is universally acknowledged as the world’s greatest tabla virtuoso, a master of classical North Indian music who has collaborated with a glittering roster of international stars.
Since Hussain started presenting the Masters of Percussion project in the mid 1990s, he’s scoured India's drumming traditions, looking to spotlight the subcontinent’s rhythmic riches. For this special night, filmed in March 2016 as part of Zakir’s tenure as a SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director during our 2015-16 Season, Hussain’s ensemble of South Asian masters was joined by Japanese taiko legend Seiichi Tanaka, founder of San Francisco’s iconic San Francisco Taiko Dojo.
Zakir Hussain: tabla, percussion
Anantha Krishnan: mridangam
Mannargudi Vaidyanthan: tavil
Navin Sharma: dholak
Sabir Khan: sarangi
Seiichi Tanaka: taiko
Traditional tabla solo in Teentaal (16 beats)
Duet with Navin Sharma, dholak
Improvisation with Sabir, Zakir and Navin
Parhant (recitation) of traditional tabla compositions joined by Anantha Krishnan, mrdangam solo; Mannargudi Vasudevan, tavil
Trio with Zakir, Anantha and Mannargudi in Aditaal (8 beats)
Sabir Khan accompanied by Navin Sharma, folk dhun (lyrical folk tune) in keharwa (8 beats)
Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, traditional bhajan (devotional song) with all musicians exchanging improvisations
Seichi Tanaka and SF Taiko Dojo
ABOUT ZAKIR HUSSAIN & MASTERS OF PERCUSSION
“A living genius, whose unadulterated performances of Indian music are among the most thrilling anywhere” — The New York Times
Since arriving in the Bay Area in 1970 as a celebrated teenage prodigy trained by his legendary father Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain has played an essential role bringing the unsurpassed rhythmic sophistication of North Indian classical music into a diverse array of settings, from cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, to Shakti and Remember Shakti with guitarist John McLaughlin and the sublime communion of Sangam with drummer Eric Harland and saxophonist Charles Lloyd.
Bay Area audiences have been fortunate to experience Hussain’s groundbreaking creative journey up close since he settled in the region in 1970. As a bandleader, a dogged promoter of Hindustani and South Indian Carnatic traditions, and a pioneer of world music and Indo-jazz fusion, he’s blazed an overwhelming array of musical trails.
Unfolding as a series of solos, duets, and ensemble jams, Masters of Percussion concerts are designed as an extended encounter between the venerable classical traditions of North (Hindustani) and South (Carnatic) India, as well as folk and Western influences. Hussain credits his father, India’s greatest 20th century tabla master, with encouraging him to present various Indian rhythmic traditions to international audiences.