Zakir Hussain – The Tabla Maestro
About five years ago, Zakir Hussain, like all other talented tabla players, was known merely as an accompanist. Being the son of a world famous artiste, Ustad Alla Rakha, he had far more exposure than those with less exalted family connections, but he did not draw crowds for himself, as he does today.
This star status, this cult that has been built around Hussain, really started, predictably enough, with news of his experimentation with jazz and classical musicians abroad. “Suddenly, when ‘Shakti’, our musical trio, with L. Shankar, violinist, and John Mclaughlin, and myself, became a success in the States, I found, on my return to India that year, that I was something of a celebrity,” Hussain admits.