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Zakir Hussain Returns to Columbus with Masters of Percussion

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by Mark Subel on March 26, 2012

The preeminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time, Zakir Hussain delivers brilliant performances that have established him as a national treasure in his native India and as one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians, renowned for his genre-defying collaborations. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study. Masters of Percussion, an outgrowth of Hussain’s memorable tours with his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, has enjoyed successful tours in the West since 1996. Joining the 2012 tour will be Fazal Qureshi, tabla & kanjira; Rakesh Chaurasia, bansuri (bamboo flute); T.H.V. Umashankar, ghatam; Dilshad Khan, sarangi; Navin Sharma, dholak,; Abbos Kosimov, doyra; and the Meitei Pung Cholom Performer (dancing drummer of Manipur).

Zakir Hussain is today appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have established him as the favorite accompanist for many of India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, but he has not let his genius rest there. (Get 25% Off Tickets)

Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Hussain’s contribution to world music has been unique with many historic collaborations, including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, Remember Shakti, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland, and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, YoYo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Mark Morris, Rennie Harris, and the Kodo drummers. His 2009 recording with frequent collaborators and trio-mates Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, The Melody of Rhythm, was nominated for a 2010 Grammy.

The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Hussain was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of 12 and toured internationally with great success by the age of 18. He has been the recipient of many awards, grants, and honors, including Padma Bhushan (2002), Padma Shri (1988), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991), Kalidas Samman (2006), the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship Award, the Bay Area Isadora Duncan Award (1998-99), and Grammy Awards in 1991 and 2009 for Best World Music Album for Planet Drum and Global Drum Project, both collaborations with Mickey Hart. His music and extraordinary contribution to the music world were honored in April 2009, with four widely heralded and sold-out concerts in Carnegie Hall’s “Perspectives” series. Also in 2009, Zakir was named a Member in the Order of Arts and Letters by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication. Most recently, the National Symphony Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach commissioned and premiered Zakir’s “Concerto for Four Soloists” at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, which was met with great acclaim.

Fazal Qureshi began his training early under the keen eye of his father and guru, Ustad Allarakha. With encouragement and inspiration from elder brother Zakir Hussain, Qureshi has developed a style distinguished by a fine sense of rhythm, versatility, and eloquence. He has performed both as a soloist and as an accompanist in prestigious classical music festivals in India and around the world. For the past 16 years, he has performed with and composed for his world music band Mynta based in Sweden. The group tours regularly and has recorded six immensely popular and successful albums.

Rakesh Chaurasia, nephew of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, is the most accomplished disciple of his uncle and promises to carry the Chaurasia legacy to new heights. Chaurasia possesses the right balance of strength and serenity, critical factors for an exceptional flautist. He has already globe trotted many times over, enthralling audiences at classical and semi-classical concerts in Japan, Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the US. He is also an accomplished and versatile studio performer, having recorded with most of the leading stalwarts of the Indian film industry.

T.H.V. Umashankar is descended from a lineage of highly accomplished Carnatic (South Indian classical) percussionists. The grandson of Shri T.R. Hariharan Sharma and son of ghatam legend T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram, he has distinguished himself as an accompanist to the esteemed Carnatic musicians of our time, including M.S. Subbulakshmi, Balamurali Krishna, and U. Srinivas. He has also performed with great musicians in the Hindustani (North Indian classical) tradition, with Western jazz artists such as John McLaughlin and Jonas Hellborg, and as a regular session artist for Indian cinema music composers such as A.R. Rahman and Illayaraja.

Dilshad Khan was born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and descends from a rich lineage of talented musicians. At the age of six, he began studying sarangi under the tutelage of his father, Ustad Nasir Khan, a well known and gifted sitar player; his grandfather, Ustad Gulab Khan, both an accomplished sarangi player and vocalist; and his uncle, Ustad Sultan Khan, a highly esteemed and world-renowned sarangi player. He has played with such revered artists as Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Gulam Mustafa Khan, Pandit Bhavani Shakar, Abida Parveen, Siva Mani, and Louiz Banks. Khan has performed concerts in a wide range of musical styles all over the world, and his artistry can be heard in music for the silver screens of both Bollywood and Hollywood.

Navin Sharma was born in the Ulhasnagar district of Maharashtra in 1975 to a musical family and started studying the dholak at a very young age. His first guru was his father, Shyam Rughuram Sharma, and through these studies, he was introduced to other musicians who were actively composing scores for Bollywood films. After realizing his desire to study Indian classical music, his father insisted he learn from tabla master Ustad Allarakha, with whom he studied for several years. Sharma has performed with many master musicians over his career and with many ensembles, including jazz, fusion, pop, rock, ghazal, and bhajan.

Abbos Kosimov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to a very musical family. He studied at the College of Culture and Music under doyra master Mamurjon Vahabov and graduated in 1988. In 1991, Kosimov won second prize in central Asia and Kazakhstan’s Competition of Percussion Instruments. A few years later, he established the Abbos School where he taught the talented youth of his country to play the doyra (presently there are more than 100 students in his school). In 2001, in honor of the 10th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence, Kosimov was awarded a medal celebrating his status as an “Honored Artist of Uzbekistan.” In 2005, he moved to the US and has since recorded and/or performed with Stevie Wonder, Randy Gloss’ “Hands OnSemble,” Giovanni Hidalgo, and Zakir Hussain.

Meitei Pung Cholom Performing Troupe is one of India’s premier performance troupes, combining dance, drumming, and martial arts in their repertoire. Dedicated to the rejuvenation of traditional folk and classical Manipuri dance styles, they were established in 1963 by the late Guru Padmashri Amubi Singh. They have performed thousands of concerts in India and enjoyed many successful international tours. Known for their dynamic athleticism and proficiency as well as their unique-sounding drums, they are a visual feast, dazzling audiences with their acrobatic choreography.

www.ZakirHussain.com

CAPA presents ZAKIR HUSSAIN & MASTERS OF PERCUSSION
Tuesday, April 10, 8pm
Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.)

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CAPA presents Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion at 8pm on Tuesday, April 10, at the Southern Theatre (21 E. Main St.). Tickets are $28-$43 at the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. Students between the ages of 13-19 may purchase $5 PNC All Access tickets while available.

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