Bollywood Zakir Hussain

Zakir Hussain Career & Biography | Age, Height, Movies, More

Zakir Hussain is an Indian Tabla player known as Tabla maestro popularly. He was interested in Tabla from childhood and performed live on stage only at twelve. He was honored with Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan by the government of India and National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship, the highest award given to traditional artists and musicians by the government of USA.

Personal profile:

Born                       : 9 March 1951

Nickname             : Not Known

Birthplace             :   Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Height                   : Not Known

Weight                  : Not Known

Religion                 : Islam

Marital Status     : Married

Nationality          : Indian

Debut                    : Evening Ragas (1970)

Awards                : Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.


Zakir Hussain was very interested in Tabla from his young age and first performed on stage at the age of twelve. He first played for Vasant Rai in the album Evening Ragas in 1970. He later performed with many Indian and international artists like Karuna Supreme (MPS, 1976) – John Handy with Ali Akbar Khan, Natural Elements (1977) – Shakti with John McLaughlin, Making Music (1987) with Jan Garbarek, John McLaughlin and Hariprasad Chaurasia, At the Edge (1990) – Mickey Hart and many others. He released his first solo album making music in 1987, which was one of the most inspired East-West fusion albums ever. In 1991, Zakir Hussain’s first Planet Drum album Planet Drum on the Rykodisc label won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album and it was the first Grammy ever awarded in this category. He composed and performed for the Malayalam film Vanaprastham which was the India’s entry at Cannes Film Festival in 1999. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival (AFI Fest) and subsequently won award at Istanbul International Film Festival (Turkey) in 2000. He was starred in several music based film and documentaries such as “Zakir and His Friends”,[9] and the documentary “The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum” (2003 Sumantra Ghosal). Zakir Hussain has been the founding banner Bill Laswell’s ‘World Music Supergroup’ Tabla Beat Science. He was one of many legendary Jazz, World and Fusion musicians to be invited by the President Obama to the International Jazz Day 2016 at White house.


  • Evening Ragas (1970)
  • Rolling Thunder (1972)
  • A Handful of Beauty (1976)
  • Who’s to Know (1980)
  • Tabla Duet (1988)
  • Maestro’s Choice Series One (1991)
  • The One and Only (1992)
  • Concert for Peace (1993)
  • Mickey Hart’s Mystery Box (1996)
  • Essence of Rhythm (1998)
  • Supralingua (1998)
  • Spirit into Sound (1999)
  • Selects (2002)
  • Punjabi Dhamar (2004)
  • Sangam (2006)
  • Mysterium Tremendum (2012)


  • Heat and Dust (1983) Merchant Ivory Film
  • Miss Beatty’s Children (1992)
  • Saaz (1998)
  • Zakir and His Friends (1998)
  • The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum (2003) Sumantra Ghosal
  • Talamanam Sound Clash – Further Adventures in Hype (2003 – DVD) – Tabla Beat Science
  • The Way of Beauty (2006 – DVD) – Remember Shakti
  • The Rhythm Devils Concert Experience (2008 – DVD) – The Rhythm Devils

Early and personal life:

Zakir Hussain was born to legendary Tabla player Alla Rakha on 9 March 1951. He studied at St. Michael’s High School in Mahim, and graduated from St. Xavier’s, Mumbai. He obtained his PhD at the University of Washington, receiving a doctorate in music and after that his international career was launched. He is married to Antonia Minnecola, a Kathak dancer and teacher, who also act as his manager.

Zakir Hussain

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Photo ofZakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain
Job Title
tabla player

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