Zakir Hussain: Shakti gives us same joy and the feeling of flying without Wings

The greatest tabla player of all time to discusses the Shakti journey, association with John McLaughlin and forthcoming London shows.

By: Asjad Nazir

When British guitarist John McLaughlin and Indian tabla player Zakir Hussain teamed up in the early 1970s, they couldn’t have imagined the path-breaking journey that was ahead of them. They founded the group Shakti, with violinist L Shankar, percussionist TH ‘Vikku’ Vinayakram and mridangam player Ramnad V Raghavan. The musical maestros presented the kind of East-West fusion not been seen before with live performances and an iconic album. The lineups changed in subsequent decades, but what remained constant was McLaughlin and Hussain as the heartbeat.

Apart from making a name for themselves as world-leading live performers, they created musical masterpieces and inspired generations, who have followed in their giant fusion footsteps. They are currently on a 50th anniversary world tour with the latest line-up of Selvaganesh Vinayakram, who replaced his father in the group, Shankar Mahadevan, and Ganesh Rajagopalan. They will deliver two of this year’s finest concerts at Eventim Hammersmith Apollo in London on June 27 and 28.

Eastern Eye caught up with arguably the greatest tabla player of all time, Ustad Zakir Hussain, to discuss the Shakti journey and forthcoming London shows. He also gave key advice to young musicians. Read entire article here: