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Zakir Hussain

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Zakir Hussain was born on March 9, 1951. His father Ustad Allarakha was himself an established tabla player. Zakir Hussain did his schooling from St. Michael's High School in Mahim and completed his graduation from St Xaviers, Mumbai. Zakir Hussain was a child prodigy and started touring by the age of twelve. He came to the United States in 1970 and started his international career.


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Zakir Hussain began his international career from United States in 1970. The exceptional career includes more than 150 concert dates a year. Hussain is a founding member of Bill Laswell's 'World Music Supergroup' Tabla Beat Science. In 1992, he founded Moment Records, which features original collaborations in the field of contemporary world music, as well as live concert performances by great masters of the Indian classical music. Moment Records' 2006 released Golden Strings of the Sarode, with Aashish Khan and Zakir Hussain, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album category for that year. Zakhir Hussain also released his first solo album "Making Music" in the year 1987, which was proclaimed to be one of the most inspired East-West fusion albums ever.

Hussain also starred in the Merchant Ivory Film Heat and Dust in 1983, for which he also composed the score. He composed, performed and acted as Indian music advisor for the film Vanaprastham, which won awards at 2000 Istanbul International Film Festival (Turkey), 2000 Bombay International Film Festival (India), and 2000 National Film Awards (India). He has composed soundtracks for several movies, most notably In Custody and The Mystic Masseur by Ismail Merchant, and has played tabla on the soundtracks of Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now, Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha, and other films.

He starred in several films specifically showcasing his musical performance both solo and with different bands, including the 1998 documentary "Zakir and His Friends", and the documentary "The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum" (2003 Sumantra Ghosal). He also performs in the DVDs The Rhythm Devils Concert Experience (2008), and The Way of Beauty (2006) with the band Remember Shakti.


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Personal life

Zakir Hussain married Antonia Minnecola, a Kathak dancer and teacher, who is also his manager. They have two daughters, Anisa Qureshi and Isabella Qureshi. Anisa graduated from UCLA and is trying her hand in video production and film making. Isabella is studying dance in Manhattan.

He was named an Old Dominion Fellow by the Humanities Council at Princeton University, where he resided for the 2005–2006 semester as full professor in the music department. He was also a visiting professor at Stanford University. He now resides in San Francisco.



1988:- Padma Shri

1990:- Indo-American Award

1990:- Sangeet Natak Akademi Award

2002:- Padma Bhushan

2006:- Kalidas Samman from the government of Madhya Pradesh


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