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Indian Music Industry – Zakir Hussain




Everyone’s beloved world famous Tabla player, Musician, Padma Bhushan Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain was born on 9 March 1951 in Mahim in a Punjabi family. Although his family name is Qureshi, Zakir was given the surname Hussain. His father was a tabla ‘Ustad Allah Rakha’ of the Punjabi family tradition of tabla playing.

Ustad Alla Rakha used to teach him Pakhwaj from the age of three. His father used to wake him up early in the morning and teach him singing by reciting different taals in the morning. This gave him musical culture from an early age. He was educated at St. Michael’s High School in Mahim and did his college education at St. Xavier’s College.

At the age of seven, he presented his art for the first time in a concert. From the age of eleven, he started participating in public events.

In the year 1970, he toured America with the famous satarist Ravi Shankar. After the tour, he completed his Ph.D. But at that time ‘Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’ was in need of tabla players, so he joined him in a program in America.
After that, he started his international career, performing more than 150 concerts a year.
At a young age, he met Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit VG Jog, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj performed concerts with the leading luminaries of Hindustani classical music. Their performances made tabla players aware of the value of tabla players in the field as well as the audience.

Before that a tabla player was known as a concert companion. Ustad Zakir Hussain created a big space on the stage with his passionate tabla playing.
He performed with many musicians all over India and the world.
He played violinist L. Shankar, guitarist John McLaughlin, mridangam player Ramnad Raghavan and Vinayakram gave concerts. Twenty years later, U. Formed Shakti Group with Srinivas, Zakir Hussain, TV Selvagnesh and Shankar Mahadevan.

Worked as Indian music consultant for the Malayalam film ‘Vanprasthaashram’ which was nominated for Grand Jury Award at Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFI Fest) in 1999, Istanbul International Film Festival in 2000 and Mumbai International Film Festival (India) in the same year, and 2000 National Film Award (India) Awarded.
Zakir Hussain is a founding member of Bill Laswell’s ‘World Music Supergroup’.

In 1978, Zakir Hussain married Antonia Minnecola, a Kathak dancer and teacher of Italian descent, with whom they have two daughters, Anisa Qureshi and Isabella Qureshi. Anisa graduated from UCLA and works in video production and film production.
Isabella is studying dance in Manhattan. Zakir Hussain has two brothers, Ustad Taufiq Qureshi, a string player, and Ustad Fazal Qureshi, also a tabla player.





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