He turns 65 today and is always young at music and heart. He has performed throughout the world and continues to allure masses of various regions. He is also a music composer, film actor and a musical producer.
Here are some facts about this legend.
1. Zakir Hussain is the youngest percussionist to be awarded civilian honors – the Padma Shri in 1988 – by the Indian government.
2. He is the alumnus of the well known, St.Xaviers College in Mumbai.
3. He married Italian American Antonia Minnecola, a Kathak dancer, in 1978, and the couple have two daughters – Anisa and Isabella Qureishi.
4. He was part of a rhythm band named Planet Drum and received the 1992 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album, which was the first Grammy in this category.
5. The band reunited in 2007 after 15 years and won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2009.
6. Hussain first appeared in the film Heat and Dust (1983) for which he composed the music.
7. Pandit Ravi Shankar recommended Hussain for a music teacher’s position at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.
8. Hussain was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2002.
9. He also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1990.
10. In 1999, he was awarded the United States National Endowment for the Arts’s National Heritage Fellowship, the highest award given to traditional artists and musicians.
11. He composed, performed and acted as Indian music advisor for the Malayalam film Vanaprastham, was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
12. Hussain is a founding member of Bill Laswell’s “World Music Supergroup” Tabla Beat Science.