Basic Background Info

Birth: March 9, 1951
Location: India
Band: Shakti
Genres: World
Instruments: Tabla
Occupation: Musician



Prodigious tabla player Zakir Hussain is the son of brilliant Indian tabla player, Alla Rakha. As the son of a musician, Zakir Hussain started touring when he was twelve and by nineteen he left India for the United States and an international career.

Critics hailed Zakir Hussain's first solo album 'Making Music,' as an inspirational East-West fusion album in 1987. Zakir Hussain earned a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for his collaboration with Mikey Hart on Planet Drum. Zakir Hussain and Bill Laswell founded Tabla Beat Science in 1999, a super-group of world musicians. Zakirís band Shakti, including John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, still regularly impresses crowds around the world.

Although Zakir Hussain's music is rooted in classical Indian sound, he frequently creates fusion music with contemporary artists. For example, he worked with the Beatles, L. Shankar, Mickey Hart, and American psychedelic band Shanti. Zakir Hussain also performed with George Harrison, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Aashish Khan, Vasant Rai, Imrat Khan, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharaoh Sanders, Billy Cobham, Charles Lloyd, the Hong Kong Symphony, and the New Orleans Symphony.

Zakir Hussain's performances are notoriously brilliant and exciting, incorporating intuition, dexterity, and knowledge into an entertaining experience.

Zakir Hussain is not only a performer; he is an educator. Zakir taught at Princeton University for a semester in 2006 and at Stanford University for a quarter in 2007. He regularly teaches advanced tabla to students in San Francisco and Mumbai. Zakir Hussain also founded Moment! Records, which showcases original works of contemporary world music and live performances by master of classical Indian music.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1960 Exotic Sounds on Guitar Brij Bhushan Kabra
1960 Master's Touch Brij Bhushan Kabra
1971 Shanti Shanti
1972 Rolling Thunder Mickey Hart
1973 Living in the Material World George Harrison
1974 Sarangi: The Music of India Ustad Sultan Khan
1975 Karuna Supreme John Handy &Ali Akbar Khan
1975 Shakti with John McLaughlin Shakti
1975 Two Originals: Karuna Supreme/Rainbow John Handy &Ali Akbar Khan
1976 Diga Diga Rhythm Band
1976 Handful of Beauty Shakti
1976 Hard Work John Handy
1976 Vimana Nova
1977 Natural Elements Shakti
1979 Apocalypse Now Original Soundtrack
1979 Fantasy without Limits L. Subramaniam
1979 Into the Music Van Morrison
1980 All-Ears Review, Vol. 1: Hottest New Sounds from Africa Various Artists
1980 Who's to Know Shankar
1983 Powerlight Earth, Wind &Fire
1984 In Concert Various Artists
1984 Mahavishnu Mahavishnu Orchestra
1984 Song for Everyone Shankar
1985 Nature of Things Narada Michael Walden
1986 Dancing on the Edge of the World Kit Walker
1986 Indian Classical Music: S. Indian Classical Ragas L. Subramaniam
1986 Making Music Zakir Hussain
1987 Altiplano Alex de Grassi
1987 ECM Spectrum, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1987 Global Village Tor Dietrichson
1987 Light of the Spirit Kitaro
1987 R∆g Madhuvanti &R∆g Misra Tilang Shivkumar Sharma
1988 Other Side of This Airto Moreira
1988 Super Percussion of India Various Artists
1988 Tabla Duet Zakir Hussain &Ustad Alla Rakha
1989 Indian Night Live, Stuttgart '88: Raga Malkauns Hariprasad Chaurasia/Zakir Hussain
1989 M.R.C.S. Shankar
1989 Master of the Bamboo Flute, Vol. 2 G.S. Sachdev/Zakir Hussain
1989 Pancha Nadai Pallavi Shankar
1989 Passion: Sources Various Artists
1989 Vocal Girija Devi
1990 At the Edge Mickey Hart
1990 Nobody Told Me Shankar
1990 Raga Lalit/Raga Bhairagi Bhairav Brij Narayan/Zakir Hussain/Neil Sorrell/
1990 Sarangi Sultan Khan
1990 Soul Searcher Lakshminarayana Shankar
1990 Together Alla Rakha &Zakir Hussain
1990 Venu Hariprasad Chaurasia
1990 World Without Walls Ancient Future
1991 Around the World for a Song Various Artists
1991 Illuminations: An Axiom Compilation Various Artists
1991 Memorable Tabla Duet Zakir Hussain &Alla Rakha
1991 Moment Records Collection, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1991 Naked Vision John Singer
1991 Pioneers of the New Age Various Artists
1991 Planet Drum Mickey Hart
1991 Santoor Shivkumar Sharma
1991 Sarod Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
1991 Tabla Duet Alla Rakha/Zakir Hussain
1991 Violin V.G. Jog
1991 Vocal Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
1991 Zakir Hussain &The Rhythm Experience Zukair Hussain &The Rhythm Experience
1992 Pandora Kazumi Watanabe with Resonance Vox
1992 Regarding the Human Condition Patsy Moore
1992 World Music Various Artists
1993 Duet Ali Akbar Khan &L.Subramaniam
1993 Ekstasis Nicky Skopelitis
1993 Flights of Improvisation G.S. Sachdev
1993 Garden of Dreams Ali Akbar Khan
1993 Hallucination Engine Material
1993 Manifestation: Axiom Collection II Various Artists
1993 Paradise Lost Steve Kindler
1993 Passion Sources Various Artists
1993 Rag Rageshri Pandit Shivkumar Sharma/Zakir Hussain
1993 Raga Du DÈbut De La Nuit Sultan Khan
1993 Raga Pour La Saison Des Pluies Sulochana Brahaspati
1994 Big Bang: In the Beginning Was a Drum Various Artists
1994 Heat &Dust Original Soundtrack
1994 In Custody Original Soundtrack
1994 Masters of Percussion Various Artists
1994 Music of Deserts, Vol. 4 Zakir Hussain
1994 Trance Planet, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1994 Voices of the Spirit: Songs &Chants Various Artists
1995 Best of Shakti Shakti
1995 Big Bang [Ellipsis] Various Artists
1995 Concert for Peace: Royal Albert Hall Ravi Shankar
1995 Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna: Vocal Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna
1995 In Concert Lalgudi Jayaraman
1995 Is This Real Emam
1995 Magical Moments of Rhythm Zakir Hussain
1995 Promise John McLaughlin
1995 Raga Aberi Shankar
1995 Then and Now: The Music of the Masters Continues Ali Akbar Khan
1995 World Music Festival Budapest Various Artists
1996 Ecstasy's Dance: The Best of Narada Michael Walden Narada Michael Walden
1996 Elements of Love: Ballads Earth, Wind &Fire
1996 Elements: Space Zakir Hussain
1996 Khyal Rashid Khan
1996 Layers of Time Reinhard Flatischler
1996 Mickey Hart's Mystery Box Mickey Hart
1996 Raga Purya Kalyan Shivkumar Sharma &Zakir Hussain
1996 Ragas Du Nord Et Du Sud Hariprasad Chaurasia/Hussain
1996 Slide Crazy! Various Artists
1996 This Is Jazz, Vol. 17 John McLaughlin
1996 Violin Lalgudi Jayaraman
1996 World Christmas Various Artists
1997 Asana Various Artists
1997 Best of Ellipsis Arts: Big Bang Various Artists
1997 Best of Ellipsis Arts Various Artists
1997 Cosmic View Tor Dietrichson
1997 Electric World Neal Schon
1997 Hazir Hariharan/Ustad Zakir Hussain
1997 In Concert, Vol. 1: Live in Vancouver Zakir Hussain/Pandit Jasraj/Harprad Chau
1997 In Concert, Vol. 2: Live in Vancouver Zakir Hussain/Pandit Jasraj/Harprad Chau
1997 Introduction To Amiata's Secret World Series, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1997 Kirwani: Essence of a Raag Krishna Bhatt &Zakir Hussain
1997 Unimaginable Life Kenny Loggins
1998 Amiata's Secret World, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1998 Behind Closed Doors, Vol. 1 Peter Erskine
1998 CrËme de la CrËme of Indian Music: A Sampler Various Artists
1998 Dawn to Dusk Ustad Vilayat Khan
1998 Glimpses of Great Masters: Creme de la Creme Various Artists
1998 Ketu Reinhard Flatischler
1998 Living Legend of Bansuri Live, Vol. 1 Hari Prasad Chaurasia
1998 Living Legend of Bansuri Hari Prasad Chaurasia
1998 Night Spinner George Brooks &Zakir Hussain
1998 Sambandh Zakir Hussain
1998 Shy Angels: Reconstruction And Mix Translation Of... Sussan Deyhim vs. Bill Laswell
1998 Superlingua Mickey Hart &Planet Drum
1998 Wake up &Dream Ekstasis
1999 Classical North Indian Ragas G.S. Sachdev &Zakir Hussain
1999 Dawg Duos David Grisman &Special Guests
1999 Homage to Mother Teresa Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
1999 It's a Curious Life Anthony Hindson
1999 Live Concert Hidayet Khan/Ustad Zakir Hussain/Ustad V
1999 Live in Mumbai, India Ustad Vilayat Khan
1999 Passion Planet: Songs Of Love From Around The World Various Artists
1999 Remember Shakti John McLaughlin
1999 Save Our Children Pharoah Sanders
1999 Two Moods G.S. Sachdev
1999 Versatile Genius, Vol. 2 Ustad Zakir Hussain &the Maestros
1999 Versatile Genius, Vol. 3 Ustad Zakir Hussain &the Maestros
1999 Versatile Genius, Vol. 4 Ustad Zakir Hussain &the Maestros
2000 Acoustic Disc: 100% Handmade Music, Vol. 5 Various Artists
2000 Asana 2: Moving Meditation Various Artists
2000 Caravan Kronos Quartet
2000 Eternal Light Shankar
2000 Ethnic 2000, Vol. 2 Various Artists
2000 Honour Simplicity, Respect the Flow Kai Eckhardt
2000 Jewels of the Subcontinent Various Artists
2000 Jugalbandi: Sarod and Sarangi Duet Aashish Khan
2000 Keep Left, Vol. 1: A Benefit for David Barsamain and Alternative Radio Various Artists
2000 Little Buddah Ryuichi Sakamoto
2000 Live at Shivaji Park, Bombay Pandit Jasraj
2000 Lo. Def Pressure Bill Laswell
2000 London June 10, 1983, Vol. 2 Shivkumar Sharma
2000 Rag Madhmad Sarang &Bhajan Veena Sahasrabuddhe
2000 Spirit into Sound Mickey Hart
2000 Tala Matrix Tabla Beat Science
2000 Terra Nova Megadrums
2001 Changing Platforms: 30 Years of the Contemporary Music Various Artists
2001 Gurjar Prabhaat Praful Dave
2001 Gurjar Sandhya Praful Dave
2001 Master Drummers of India Ravi Shankar
2001 Sangeet: Strings Of Solidarity Various Artists
2001 Soul of Tibetan Chant Various Artists
2001 Spiritual Beauty: Imaginal Orient Various Artists
2002 Amazing India: Instruments of India Various Artists
2002 Asana: Soul Practice Various Artists
2002 Best of Mickey Hart: Over the Edge and Back Mickey Hart
2002 Essential Kenny Loggins Kenny Loggins
2002 Faces &Places Joe Zawinul
2002 Film Works Ryuichi Sakamoto
2002 Finally the Rain Has Come Leni Stern
2002 India's Maestro of Melody: Live Concert, Vol. 5 Nikhil Banerjee
2002 Indian Summer Various Artists
2002 Life on Earth Renee Rosnes
2002 Live in San Francisco at Stern Grove Tabla Beat Science
2002 Meta Collection Various Artists
2002 Mondo Head Kodo
2002 Mystic Masseur Original Score
2002 Rarum, Vol. 2: Selected Recordings Jan Garbarek
2002 Remember Shakti John McLaughlin
2002 Selects Zakir Hussain
2002 Virtuoso From Afghanistan Ustad Mohammad Omar
2003 Best of Zakir Hussain Zakir Hussain
2003 Classical Indian Collection Various Artists
2003 Flow of Time Pandit Shivkumar Sharma/Ustad Zakir Huss
2003 Hello Kronos: Best of the Kronos Quartet The Kronos Quartet
2003 Liberation Karsh Kale
2003 Live, Vol. 1 Garaj Mahal
2003 Spirit of the Heart Various Artists
2004 Destination Lounge: San Francisco Various Artists
2004 Drum Nation, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2004 Guitar &Bass John McLaughlin
2004 John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts John McLaughlin
2004 Live in Dublin Kila
2004 Masters of Indian Classical Music Various Artists
2004 Shared Moments Alla Rakha/Zakir Hussain
2004 Taalisma Taufiq
2004 Yo Miles!: Sky Garden Henry Kaiser/Wadada Leo Smith
2005 In Memory of Alla Rakha - The Wizard of Tabla, Vol. 1 Alla Rakha
2005 In Memory of Alla Rakha: Wizard of Tabla: Live Zakir Hussain
2005 Surround Yourself With Hindustani Ragas Various Artists
2005 Yo Miles!: Upriver Henry Kaiser/Wadada Leo Smith
2005 You've Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman's Bollywood The Kronos Quartet with Asha Bhosle
2006 First LP Record Zakir Hussain
2006 Industrial Zen John McLaughlin
2006 Maestro of the Indian Flute Hariprasad Chaurasia
2006 Man and His Music Ravi Shankar
2006 Rhythmic Impressions of Ustad Zakir Hussain Various Artists
2006 Sangam Charles Lloyd
2007 Ara Dorian Cheah
2007 Best of Zakir Hussain Zakir Hussain
2007 Deserts of Rajasthan Zakir Hussain
2007 Essential John McLaughlin John McLaughlin
2007 Global Drum Project Mickey Hart &Zakir Hussain
2007 Music from the Taj: Symbol Of Music Various Artists
2007 Question of Time Jack Bruce
2007 Raga at Fast Track Ravi Shankar
2008 Into the Music Van Morrison
2008 Samjanitha U. Shrinivas
2008 Can You Follow Jack Bruce
2009 Melody of Rhythm: Triple Concerto & Music for Trio Bela Fleck
2010 Yo Miles: Shinjuku Henry Kaiser
2011 The Columbia Masters Earth, Wind & Fire
2011 Hard Work/Carnival John Handy
2011 Aspiration Bill Laswell
2011 Arkives: 1993-2010 Plastikman
2012 Mysterium Tremendum Mickey Hart
2012 Explorer Series: Kronos Quartet Kronos Quartet
2013 Live in Mumbai Vilayat Khan
2014 Rumi Symphony Project: Untold Hafez Nazeri
2014 A Thousand Thoughts Kronos Quartet


  • In 1990 India and America collectively awarded Zakir with the Indo-American Award for his cultural contributions to improving relations between the two countries.
  • Zakir co-composed the opening music for the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1996.

Instruments of Choice




Pics &Clips