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World Music Present Zakir Hussain And Niladri Kumar

Press Release

World Music/CRASHarts presents Zakir Hussain & Niladri Kumar on Saturday, November 6, 8pm at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. Tickets are $37, $32 and $28. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.


Tabla superstar Zakir Hussain and young sitar virtuoso Niladri Kumar, two extraordinary artists who have collaborated several times in the past, including on Hussain’s Masters of Percussion, come together for a brilliant evening of Indian classical music.


Zakir Hussain is appreciated in both the fields of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, Hussain plays with uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study. He has become a favorite accompanist for many of India's greatest classical musicians and dancers. His contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations including Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar in the early 1970’s, the Diga Rhythm Band, Making Music, the Grammy Award-winning Planet Drum with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, and Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland. Hussain has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Yo Yo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Airto Moreira, Giovanni Hidalgo, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Mark Morris, Bela Fleck and Rennie Harris, among many others. His music and extraordinary musical contributions were honored in April 2009, with four widely heralded and sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Artist Perspective series.


The recipient of countless honors, Hussain became the youngest percussionist to be awarded the titles of Padma Bhushan in 2002, and Padma Shri in 1988, given to civilians of merit by the Indian government. In 1990, he was awarded the Indo-American Award in recognition for his outstanding cultural contribution to relations between the United States and India. In April 1991, he was presented with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the President of India, making him one of the youngest musicians to receive this recognition from India's governing cultural institute. He is the recipient of the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship, the United States’ most prestigious honor for a master in the traditional arts. In 2006, he was the recipient of the prestigious Kalidas Samman from the government of Madhya Pradesh, an award for artists of exceptional achievement. On February 8, 2009, Hussain received a Grammy award in the Best Contemporary World Music category for Global Drum Project, his group with Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo and Sikiru Adepoju. In 2009, he was conferred the title of- Officer in the Order of  Arts & Letters by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication. His work with Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck resulted in the The Melody of Rhythm, which was nominated for a 2010 Grammy award.


Recognized as being at the forefront of progressive Indian music, Niladri Kumar’s music pays homage to tradition while rocketing fearlessly into the future, folding together established genres such as rock, jazz, electronica and world music so seamlessly that something wholly new emerges. The son and the disciple of celebrated sitarist Pandit Kartick Kumar, Niladri is one of India’s finest young sitar virtuosos, already recognized for his dazzling technical prowess and the maturity of his melodic acumen. A rare instrumentalist equally at home playing traditional classical or contemporary world music, he has proven to be one of the brightest talents of his generation, regarded with high esteem by his peers and promising to extend the musical horizon.


Kumar has released several albums including Together: With Kartick Kumar (OMI Music, 1989), Raga Bilaskhani Todi (Times Music Inc., 2000), Revelation (Navras Records Ltd., 2002), De-Stress: Revive: Niladri Kumar & Rupak Kulkarni (Times Music, 2006), Faith (Sona Rupa, 2007) and the exhilarating Zitar (Disques Dreyfus, 2008). The album Zitar featured a five-string electrified sitar (considerably fewer strings than the instrument's usual 20) customized by Kumar, which sports a special pickup designed to give the instrument a range of guitar effects. Its sound is at once familiar yet undeniably unexplored. Kumar has maintained a busy schedule of recording and live performance throughout his career, which has taken him into many diverse forms of music. He has collaborated with Jonas Hellborg and V. Selvaganesh on their album Kali's Son (Bardo Music Inc, 2005), was featured as a guest musician on the latest CD by jazz guitar legend John McLaughlin Floating Point (AbstractLogix, 2008) and took part recently in Zakir Hussain's Masters of Indian Percussion tour. Kumar is also well-known for his work with various Bollywood music directors such as A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Pritam. Kumar has won awards and accolades as varied as the Sangeet Natak Akademi's Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in 2007 to the MTV Immies in the Best Classical/ Fusion Instrumental Album category in 2004 for his album IF (Sona Rupa Ltd, 2003).


To download high resolution digital photos go to www.WorldMusic.org and click “PRESS CENTER.”


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About World Music/CRASHarts

World Music, a non-profit organization established in 1990, is New England’s premier presenter of global culture, featuring music and dance from the far and near corners of the globe. In 2001, World Music launched CRASHarts as a division of World Music dedicated to presenting a contemporary performing arts series in greater Boston. World Music/CRASHarts strives to offer audiences an opportunity to share in many different cultural and artistic expressions and seeks to foster an atmosphere of discovery and exploration. The organization presents approximately 70 concerts and 15 educational programs per year. For more information, call (617) 876-4275 or visit www.WorldMusic.org.


World Music/CRASHarts is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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