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  • WDCH
  • Apr. 24, 2004
  • Program Features Masters of Percussion In Program Spotlighting
    Classical Music from Northern and Southern India


    Additional media support provided by KCRW

    Renowned percussionist Zakir Hussain and the Masters of Percussion perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m. as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's World Music Series. The program spotlights classical percussion music native to India and features Hussain performing on the tabla, a pair of Indian drums, each played with one hand.

    Hussain is joined by Masters of Percussion, an ensemble of leading percussion artists including Ustad Sultan Khan, performing on Indian instruments such as the ghatam, the pakhawaj, and folk drums. The performance also includes the Manipuri Jagoi Marup ensemble, one of India's premier performance troupes, combining dance, drumming and martial arts in their repertoire.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic's World Music series has spotlighted international artists from around the globe in four evenings of music. The April 24 presentation of Zakir Hussain with Masters of Percussion concludes the 2003/2004 series.

    Classical tabla virtuoso ZAKIR HUSSAIN is highly regarded in the percussion world as a leader in the world music movement. A child prodigy and the gifted son of tabla legend Ustad Alla Rakha, Hussain has been touring since the age of 12. In 1992, his album "Planet Drum," co-created and produced with Mickey Hart, received a Grammy award for Best World Music Album. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Hussain has collaborated with many leading musicians and ensembles including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, Planet Drum, and Mickey Hart. He has also recorded and performed with artists and ensembles such as George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, the Hong Kong Symphony, and the New Orleans Symphony. In 1992, Hussain 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 classical music of India.

    T. H. VINAYAKRAM (ghatam) is perhaps the greatest living master of the ghatam and an international celebrity renowned for his imaginative and singularly beautiful drumming. Son of the noted and talented musician and percussionist, Kalaimamani T.R. Harihara Sharma, Vinayakram was a child prodigy, starting his concert career at the age of thirteen. He has accompanied not only the great musicians of yesteryear and recent times, but has displayed his creative genius in various contemporary collaborations, most notably Shakti and Planet Drum. In these, his dazzling solos and duets with Zakir Hussain captivated international audiences. In the world of Carnatic music, "Vikku" is renowned for the crispness of his tone and his thorough knowledge of tala (rhythm). He alone is responsible for the universal recognition of the ghatam as a major percussion instrument. Currently, he is the founder/principal of Sri Jaya Ganesha Thala Vadya Vidyalaya Percussion School in Chennai and has published two books, "Art of Mridangam" and "Mridanga Pada Bhodhini."

    FAZAL QURESHI (tabla) began his training early under the keen eye of his father and guru, Ustad Alla Rakha. With encouragement and inspiration from his elder brother Zakir Hussain, Fazal 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 "Sangeet Sammelans" in India as well as major festivals abroad. The remarkable ease with which Fazal accompanies veteran as well as young Indian classical instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers of both North and South, as well as Western instrumentalists, speaks of the discipline and dedication with which this young, talented artist has pursued music.

    TAUFIQ QURESHI (percussion) is Zakir Hussain's youngest brother, one of the most sought-after rhythm programmers and percussionists in the world of studio recordings today. His guru and primary inspiration remains his illustrious father, Ustad Alla Rakha. However, while learning the rudiments of the tabla from his father, he was drawn from a very young age to the wider world of percussion as he watched and listened to Hussain's fusion experiments with Shakti, Diga and The Rhythm Experience. He has performed as a percussionist with a host of international luminaries including Zakir Hussain, Jeremy Spencer of Fleetwood Mac, Sivamani, Louis Banks, Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt, T.H. Vinayakram, Ranjit Barot and others. He has participated in international jazz festivals, and regularly composes music for films, TV serials, and theater pieces.

    VIJAY CHAUHAN (folk drums) is one of the foremost exponents of the dholki. This premier folk percussion instrument of Maharashtra has been played in his family for generations, the lineage including Anna Joshi, the late Shri Baban Kale and the late Shri Lalababu. His mother Sulochana Shamrao Chauhan is the greatest exponent of the famous Marathi folk singing style, lavani. Besides dholki, he plays other folk instruments such as duff, chanda, halgi and the dafali. He is a much sought-after musician and plays regularly for famous composers of Hindi, Marathi and Tamil films. He has also toured England and Australia with the great folk artist Gurdass Mann.

    USTAD SULTAN KHAN (sarangi) is one of the foremost sarangi players of India, renowned for his extraordinary technical and melodic control over this difficult stringed instrument. A representative of the Indore gharana, Sultan Khansahib is the grandson of Ustad Azim Khan, a renowned sarangi player of his time, and the son of Ustad Ghulab Khan who is both an acknowledged sarangi player and vocalist. The instrument most like the human voice, the sarangi is an exquisitely sonorous bowing instruments. The classical music audience has recently enjoyed its ascendance to
    solo performance status through the efforts of artists like Ustad Sultan Khan, whose solo performance is widely in demand all over the world. Sultan Khansahib began his initial training with his father Ustad Ghulab Khan, and, by the age of eleven, gave his first solo performance at the All-India Musical Conference. In 1974, he joined Beatle George Harrison and Pandit Ravi Shankar's "Dark Horse" tour. Since then, he has been taking his music to concert halls around the globe, has recorded widely and has gained increasing popularity among classical and world music audiences. He has a longstanding creative relationship with Zakir Hussain, performing, touring, recording and composing together for more than twenty years.

    GANESH & KUMARESH (violin) made their entrance into the world of Carnatic music at the tender ages of 7 and 5. Born into a musical family, they received training under their father, Sri Rajagopalan. In 1983, they were recognized by the government of Tamil Nadu as State Artists and many other awards soon followed. They are renowned as soloists as well as accompanists to the great Carnatic vocalists of our time.

    MANIPURI JAGOI MARUP 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, and have performed thousands of concerts in India and have enjoyed many successful international tours. Known for their dynamic athleticism as well as their unique-sounding drums, they are a visual feast, dazzling their audiences with their acrobatic choreography.



    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles



    T.H. Vinayakram, ghatam

    Fazal Qureshi, tabla

    Taufiq Qureshi, percussion

    Vijay Chauhan, folk drums

    And special guests

    Ustad Sultan Khan, sarangi

    Ganesh & Kumaresh, violin duo

    Manipuri Jagoi Marup, dancing drummers of Manipur

    Tickets ($25 - $80) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Ryan Jimenez, 213.972.3405; for photos: Beth Norber, 213.972.3409