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"Zakir Hussain: A Tale of Tabla"


By N. Scott Robinson
from Modern Drummer 25, no. 3 (March 2001), 90-92, 94, 96, 98, 100.

Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain Khan, son of the great tabla master Ustad Allarakha Khan, has performed with a diverse assortment of artists. From India’s classical master’s Ravi Shankar, Allarakha, Shivkumar Sharma, Lakshminaravana Shankar, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ali Akbar Khan, T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, to jazz pioneers of the West such as John McLaughlin, Shakti, Mahavishnu Orchestra, George Brooks, Pat Martino, Billy Cobham, Jan Garbarek, John Handy, Peter Erskine, Pharoah Sanders, and pop musicians Mickey Hart, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Kitaro, and George Harrison. His innovative work has involved him in recordings with groundbreaking percussionists Airto Moreira, Glen Velez, Trilok Gurtu, Giovanni Hidalgo, Diga Rhythm Band, Tor Dietrichson, Reinhard Flatischler and his own innovative percussion ensemble The Rhythm Experience. Zakir has done soundtracks for films and at times appears as an actor. Most know him as a master of the tabla but I wondered about his background as a percussionist. In previous Modern Drummer interviews with Glen Velez, Airto Moreira, and Naná Vasconcelos I tried to provide insight into the collective development of a "New Percussionist." Because Zakir Hussain’s tabla playing is so innovative, I pursued him on this point to see how his interaction with Indian and jazz musicians and the percussion community might have influenced his ideas about playing tabla and other percussion. This is what he had to say . . .

NSR: What part of India did you grow up in?

ZH: I grew up on the west coast of India, in the state called Maharashtra, in the city called Bombay, even though I was originally from the North.

NSR: What kind of non-Indian culture was there? Was there a lot of Western music there?

ZH: There was quite a bit of non-Indian culture. India had a major Western influence because of being under the British government for many moons. The popular kind of music that we have is like a combination, or a fusion, to use another word, of Western and Eastern influences. Our film music [filmi] was always a combination of violins, cellos, basses, piano, horns; along with the Indian instruments, playing together. So I grew up playing in those orchestras myself, and grew up listening to that kind of music, so that influence was already there. We were watching Hollywood movies from the 1940s and 1950s, so there were all these Latin influences that came in, through the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, and the musicals, and West Side Story, and jazz. We watched Elvis Presley, and all sorts of things when we were kids. So India was sort of like a melting pot of all these various types of music, which were already there since the 1940s.

NSR: When did you start to formally study the tabla?

ZH: I was studying the tabla from two and a half or three years old. Ever since I can remember, I've found myself playing the instrument, practicing, and learning about it. So since my very, very early childhood I was already studying the tabla. By the time I was twelve, I was playing professionally in these film orchestras, and in concert with various musicians.

NSR: Besides the classical tabla, did you ever study other drumming traditions of India?

ZH: You have to know other drumming traditions of India as an accompanist because of the repertoire. As a drummer you need to know the singing repertoire, the instrumental repertoire, and the dance repertoire, so you are able to accompany them better. So we have to study all these elements of Indian music forms.

NSR: Does that include like the folk drumming?

ZH: It includes folk; it includes everything. The tabla was an instrument that was played as a folk instrument as well as a classical instrument.

NSR: Among the kinds of strokes that you do on the tabla and the bayan, you have a few that don't seem to be of the traditional classical tabla style.

ZH: It depends on what you call traditional, because tabla played 150 years ago was definitely not the same as tabla played fifty years ago. It changes; you find better ways of making the instrument, you improve the tonal quality of the instrument, and that dictates how you play it, and approach it. So it all changes. I know that my teacher sounded very different from his teacher, and then his teacher before him sounded different. So as you go along, the instrument is improved upon. Then there was the advent of sound amplification, and that allows you to highlight different frequencies and tonal textures of the instrument. Therefore, the playing of the tabla changes. That has always been the case with music, anywhere in the world.

NSR: What I specifically meant is that you do a stroke where you bend the tabla’s open sound, the tun, with the hammer, or when you snap the fingernail of your index finger against the skin of the bayan. What led you to come up with those? Did you ever get that from other drumming traditions?

ZH: Actually, it was just some stuff that I was working on, or experimenting with, in terms of sound. When I started listening to percussionists all over the world, I found that the approach was not just to play the repertoire, but also to work with the sound an instrument has, work with the surface of the instrument, and find various places to play, and experiment with subtle changes of tone. That's something that percussionists all over the world did, and I just felt that there was no reason why I could not approach my instrument, tabla, with the same focus. That's how I ended up finding different ways of using the bayan almost like a bass, and using the tabla’s open sound [tun], and seeing if I could bend the tones and sounds of it.

NSR: What brought you to the USA, and how did you get involved in playing musics that were not Indian classical, such as the fusions with John Handy or Shakti?

ZH: When I first arrived in the USA in 1970, I played nothing but Indian classical music for many years before I actually got involved in doing fusion. I arrived here because Ravi Shankar had sent for me to play an Indian classical concert tour with him. My father [Allarakha Khan], who always played with him, was not feeling well at that time, so I came to replace him. I played Indian classical music for four or five years in the United States, playing with Ali Akbar Khan, and his son Aashish Khan, and Ravi Shankar, and various other artists, before I ran into people like Mickey Hart, John McLaughlin, and others, and started working with them. I was also teaching Indian classical music at the University of Washington, in Seattle.

NSR: When you play with John Handy, Pat Martino, Shakti, Pharaoh Sanders, or Mickey Hart, what kind of adapting do you do, actually playing the tabla or playing other instruments, when you play with those kinds of artists?

ZH: Well, the instrument tabla is a very . . . what should I say? It's a versatile instrument. It fits in any kind of music that you want; it's just a question of mentally being aware of that. Then, technically, being able to have the kind of knowledge that you need to be able to use the instrument in all possible manners and forms. For me, having grown up in India playing film music, there was already some idea of how I would work with Western instruments because we had drumset, guitars, piano, the string section, the horn section and everything, already there. We were playing Indian popular music, with all these instruments. So the tabla, as I grew up playing, was already, for me, a familiar area, to work with these instruments. At the same time, rhythm is a universal language, so it is much easier for a rhythm instrument to be able to flow into any kind of music than for a melody instrument. So that advantage was already there. So having that kind of homework in India, and arriving here, and being young enough to not be tied down into a rigid discipline of what my classical music was all about, I was able to bend a bit here and there, and to be able to fit in with whatever was going on. Like this hammer on the tabla, bending of the tones, that kind of stuff, I was able to do many such little forays into the unknown percussive use of tabla.

NSR: With Pharaoh Sanders sometimes you play the mbira, and with Shakti you've played kanjira or congas. Did you actually study other drumming techniques, or do you apply tabla technique to other kinds of drums?

ZH: I eventually did learn. We did have what you would call the Indian versions of the bongos, and the congas in India. When we were playing for films, we obviously kind of fooled around with those instruments. But never really used the exact technique to approach these instruments; that, of course, I found out when I got here. But, having said that, I must say that tabla is the kind of instrument which, if you are able to play well, gives you the kind of technical knowledge you need for your hands, and also gives your fingers enough of a fluid movement capacity so that you are able to play just about any other hand percussion instrument in the world. I would apply my tabla technique to these instruments. In that sense I believe that it’s a unique kind of playing that I do. If I were to play a djembe, congas, bongos, tar, or deff, I would probably play it differently than a master of those instruments would, and it would lend a unique approach to that instrument because of my tabla technique.

NSR: When you first met T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, what kind of exchange was there between the two of you in Shakti?

ZH: When I first met him, I was already aware of the South Indian drumming, and I had already played with musicians of that variety in India. I was very curious about the South Indian tradition, so I had studied a bit about it. So when I met Vinayakram, when we got together to do Shakti, I kind of knew the tradition that he came from. I had already been working with L. Shankar, the violinist, before that, so I was aware of Vinayakram's background. When I approached him, I sort of had an idea of what I was going to do. Vinayakram, however, had not seen me play before. So he was a bit confused as to how he would approach me. But, as I said, rhythm is universal, and some of the repertoires that the South Indian drummers and the North Indian drummers play are similar. So we were able to kind of find a middle ground, or some sort of familiar territory. You see, it was much easier for me to cross over and do South Indian rhythms than him to cross over and do North Indian rhythms. So I just moved over to the South Indian part of it. So the first few years we just kind of worked in the South Indian rhythm frame when we worked together, and gradually Vikku started to come out and experiment with North Indian drumming patterns.

NSR: When you've come into contact with things like congas, and the South Indian rhythm, does the kind of practicing you do ever change, especially after you left India?

ZH: Well, Indian drumming is a very muscular tradition. So you learn to understand what each muscle in your hand does, and learn to be able to control its movement, and the flow of energy through it. So my approach, I mean, it may not be the same for any other tabla player, my approach is that of a person who is curious, you know? I'm able to use my hands in a certain manner, and having also played the piano a bit, I'm a bit ambidextrous. So I'm able to use my right hand and my left hand as if they were interchangeable. So what happens is I just approach the instrument as a curious person who wants to find out what the instrument does, what the tones of the instrument are, and what would happen if I played at the edge, or what would happen if I played it in the center, and what would happen if I combined this, and what would happen if I just used the tip of my finger, as opposed to my palm, as opposed to the all of my fingers, and opposed to one finger as opposed to three or four . . . you know, all those things. So I approach the instrument in that manner, and I am able to then extract from it the kind of response I need.

NSR: Did you ever learn drumset?

ZH: Just fooling around in Indian films. As I said before, we grew up with those all around us, so there was this curious fiddling around with these instruments. I can play a backbeat on the drumset. But to really open up and play, à la Jack DeJohnette [chuckles], or Elvin Jones, or Max Roach, I don't think so [chuckles].

NSR: It sounds as if you developed a similar kind of independence between the hands much in the way drumset players have?

ZH: The hands, but not the legs! I'm not talking about feet; I'm talking about hands. I said earlier that when you're playing tabla, you train your hands enough to be able to play just about any hand drum.

NSR: When you record, is there a different approach that you take when you're working in the classical Indian tradition, and when you're doing the Western fusion things?

ZH: It depends on whether you're recording fusion or you're recording Indian classical music. In Indian classical music, you already have repertoire, and you know it, and you play, and it's just a question of when you're supposed to finish.

NSR: What about when you work with someone like Pat Martino or John Handy? Do you have an approach for selecting instruments for recording sessions?

ZH: No; I think the music dictates what I'm going to play. I mean, my impulse always is to first reach for the tabla. If I find that the tabla is doing fine, but I could do something else on another instrument, if a song kind of suggests a certain pattern, or a certain sound that would really make it sound right, then I go for that kind of an instrument. But I never really bring a fixed set of instruments to a rehearsal. I may do that for the first day, but then for the next day I may add according to what the sounds I hear.

NSR: How do you approach composition and improvisation?

ZH: It's very difficult to describe the concept of improvising. People have tried to do that over the past 500 years, and they have not been able to come up with a complete explanation. Obviously, it's a question of what you feel comfortable with; whether you feel comfortable jumping into an unknown territory without a parachute. I think it's something like that. I mean, you go out there with an idea, or a pattern, and see where it takes you in terms of how you explore that pattern, how you get into it, and how comfortable you are with a backbeat somewhere in the back of your subconscious mind, knowing that it's there, and you know where it is. In a more basic sense, you're improvising when you're walking because you're walking, and you're doing something that is so natural to you. You're doing it, but you don't walk the same way. When you walk, you sometimes sidestep a pool, you stop, you turn, you walk faster or slower, or whatever you do. As you're walking, you're looking at signs, you're window shopping, you're saying hello to a passer-by, or you're avoiding a car; you're doing all those things. You're improvising. But you are able to do that because you've done it all your life. Therefore, you don't need to focus on being able to do it. Improvising is like that. You do that no matter if you're playing jazz, or you're taking a solo when you're playing Latin percussion, or you're playing Indian music. It is something similar; you must have done it at least 500,000 times before. Then you have it. You can walk up to an instrument and say, "I'm going to improvise." Of course, you can just bang on an instrument and do five million different things, and say, "Well, I've just improvised." But it has to be meaningful; it has to have some aesthetic value. It has to create a picture on a blank canvas, which might be a four-four beat. Say, you're going to write a poem, or you're going to paint a beautiful vision. It has to be a complete vision; it cannot be a few dots of this, and fifteen dots of that, and twelve dots of that all thrown together.

NSR: Some of the compositions you have for The Rhythm Experience ensemble are quite arranged. How does what you've been describing fit with the way you compose?

ZH: It's a composition, so a composition is composed, and therefore it is a fixed piece of music. When you have fifteen people playing together, or twelve people, or ten people, or however many, you need to have an idea of what's going on so everybody's on the same page. So you compose. But within that composing you always leave spaces for things to happen. That's what jazz is all about; when you have a composed song with chord changes, but then you tell a saxophone player, "Okay, you're improvising, and these are the chord changes to work with;" and you improvise, and then you bring it back. That's what composing is all about, when it comes to, say, Diga Rhythm Band, or The Rhythm Experience, or any kind of similar group of people working together . . . or Planet Drum, or whatever.

NSR: When you come contact with players like Trilok Gurtu, Glen Velez, Airto Moreira, or Giovanni Hidalgo, is there ever any kind of exchange between yourselves, and is there an influence on each other?

ZH: I'm sure that without wanting to we do influence each other. I've been tremendously influenced by people like Airto Moreira, Giovanni Hidalgo, or Babatunde Olatunji. Working with Glen Velez has been a revelation. Mickey Hart has been such an incredible influence in terms of introducing me to the various aspects of world drumming. But you don't meet up with the idea that you're going to impose your tradition on someone else; that you're going to come out saying, "Oh, I have a five thousand-year-old tradition, so I am the senior, and you do what I say." There's no such thing. When I approach working with people like Giovanni, or Vikku, or Airto, we play together. It doesn't matter who starts what; we work together. I'm sure that, while playing together, what I do may suggest something to Airto, and what he does may suggest something to me, or to Giovanni. Those suggestions are influences by themselves, and they help us to understand each other's approach to drumming much better. The more we do it, the more we learn about each other's approach to rhythm and a healthy respect develops that way. When all of us musicians are sitting together, and we are talking, sometimes just having a drink, or having dinner together, we sit and talk about tradition, and talk about music, and the spirit that it has, and the kind of power that it carries. It's amazing! I still remember, last year I was sitting in this very small little German town on the border of Switzerland and Germany with Glen Velez in a restaurant, and we talked for two hours, about the tradition, about drumming, and about music. Just Glen and I, we were just talking about it. That's how we relate to each other; that's what music is all about. I remember having a conversation with Airto and Milton Cardona where we were together playing a concert, about the gods among the Afro-Cuban drumming; Shango, the adventures of the god Shango with drumming, and Haiti and its drumming and witchcraft, and everything. I mean, we talk about all kinds of things when we get together. So, you know, it's special when musicians come together.

NSR: What was it that led you to start the label Moment Records?

ZH: Well, I just felt that I would start a very, very visible platform for Indian musicians to perform their music. I felt that the best way of presenting Indian classical music was in its entirety as it's performed on the stage. Because it's an improvised form of music; it's a spontaneous form of music; so the best moments of that music happens in front of the audience, when it's being performed, and the audience gets into it. So I felt that that has to be happening. A kind of platform has to be set up for Indian musicians to display their wares. That's why we came up with Moment Records; for the great moments of Indian music! All of our Indian classical records are live performances. We just put them out in their entirety, whether it's one piece of sixty-two minutes or two pieces of seventy-four minutes, it doesn't matter. It just comes out as it was performed; no mixing, no reverb, no bass or treble added; it's just straightforward recording.

NSR: I was wondering about your film Zakir and His Friends. There were a variety of percussionists in there: Indonesian, and children from Venezuela, and Caribbean. Were these musicians that you've worked with?

ZH: They were musicians I have come in contact with, you know, over the years that I've traveled extensively all over the world. And so when the film was being planned, we talked about all these various traditions that existed, that needed to have some kind of a say, and be shown to the world, what they are all about! I mean, the kids in Venezuela are doing their thing [playing on their faces with their hands but sounding like congas]. I mean, it's so important that people should know how kids are able to focus on things, and stay out of trouble, and do these things, and make a life for themselves, it's important! But unfortunately, because of the time constraints that a film has, there are many other traditions that did not make it to the film. We hope that we'll be able to make a sequel.

NSR: You mentioned children, and I just had a thought: you've grown up with this incredible tradition, and I'm wondering about how life compares today, with the very strong economic, political, and technological forces of the West. Do you feel that tradition is at all threatened, changing, or stronger?

ZH: I think the tradition is stronger, because for some reason the man and the woman of today are much more culturally inclined. They understand tradition better; they are better listeners of music and better focused when they watch theater or art of any kind. So for me, I feel that tradition and culture stand a better chance now than they ever did before. I mean, in the olden days, music was a second-hand profession. People would say, "Oh, yeah, you are a drummer, what else do you do for a living?" But nowadays people understand that art is important; culture holds something that we must relate to. Tradition, roots-these are very important. How we use them in today's world describes us, and tells people what we are all about! You see more and more people watching Western classical music, or going to opera, or seeing all kinds of other artists that travel all over the world. I see the same faces going to see Miriam Makeba, Mick Jagger, or going to see Ravi Shankar! I mean, it's amazing how a young person of today is so well-rounded in terms of culture.

NSR: Do you have any non-musical influences?

ZH: Non-musical influences? Non-musical influences [ponders question]. Well, I guess that, when you talk about non-musical influences, critics who have critiqued my music have influenced me. The kinds of suggestions they have made, or the kinds of things that they have said, have made me look into the way I perform, and tweak my approach to music, according to what I heard people say that made sense to me. Stuff like that is a non-musical influence. Music is a way of life for us. It is what we grow up with, it is what we eat, drink, and sleep. Musicians are not tied down by religious boundaries, by spiritual boundaries, by any kind of boundaries. They live their lives the way the music dictates it. If my music says that I must treat a person a certain way, then that's the way it would be. If my music says that I must live my life this way, then that's the way it is. For instance, if I'm playing accompaniment to a sitar player, I must understand his temperament in the first five minutes that I'm on the stage with him, and be able to give the kind of rhythmic accompaniment that he needs to be able to express himself. That means having some kind of a psychological idea of what this person is all about. The music dictates that because of having understood, through music, what this person is saying, I'm able to also then translate that into what that person is all about, offstage. So anything that I do, speaking in terms of the way my life is, it's, I imagine, 99.9 percent influenced by music. It's kind of difficult to say that there are non-musical influences.

[For more info on Zakir Hussain, see: http://www.momentrecords.com].

Zakir Hussain Selected Discography

Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna
Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna CD 1995 Moment Records MR 1015

George Brooks
Lasting Impression CD 1996 Moment Records MR 1016
Night Spinner CD 1998 Moment Records MR 1018

Girija Devi
Girija Devi CD 1989 Moment Records MR 1004

Diga Rhythm Band
Diga CD 1976 Rykodisc RCD-10101

Tor Dietrichson
Global Village CD 1987 Global Pacific R2-79302

Earth, Wind & Fire
Powerlight CD 1983 Columbia CK-38367

John Handy
Hard Work CD 1976 Impulse! 9314

John Handy & Ali Akbar Khan
Two Originals: Karuna Supreme & Rainbow CD 1975 MPS 519195-2

George Harrison
Living in a Material World CD 1973 Capitol 94110

Mickey Hart
Spirit into Sound CD 2000 Arista 14071

Zakir Hussain Khan
Making Music CD 1987 ECM 831544-2
Zakir Hussain and The Rhythm Experience CD 1991 Moment Records MR 1007
Masters of Percussion CD 1993 Moment Records MR 1012
Sambandh CD 1998 Terrascape TRS 4118-2 [Belgium]

Pandit Jasraj (Zakir Hussain-producer)
Pandit Jasraj CD 1992 Moment Records MR 1009

Lalgudi Jayaraman
Violin Trio CD 1995 Moment Records MR 1014

Pandit V.G. Jog
Pandit V.G. Jog CD 1991 Moment Records MR 1003

Allarakha Khan
Tabla Tradition: Rhythms from India CD 1991 EMI CDNF150051

Ustad Allarakha Khan and Zakir Hussain Khan
Tabla Duet CD 1991 Moment Records MR 1001

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
Beyond the Sky CD 1984 Padmini Music PN-101
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan CD 1991 Moment Records MR 1005
The Genius of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan CD 1992 EMI CDNF 1 50072
Homage to Mother Teresa CD 1999 Moment Records MR1019

Pat Martino
Fire Dance CD 1998 Mythos 7

John McLaughlin
Montreux Concerts CD (17 box set) 1974-1999 (2003) Warner Jazz 5046697012

Airto Moreira
The Other Side of This CD 1988 Rykodisc RCD-10207

Remember Shakti
Remember Shakti CD 1999 Polygram 559945
The Believer CD 2000 Verve 549 044-2

Pharaoh Sanders
Save Our Children CD 1999 Polygram 557297

Lakshminarayana Shankar
Song for Everyone CD 1984 ECM 823 795-2
Eternal Light CD 2001 Moment Records MR 1020

Ravi Shankar
Concert for Peace CD 1993 Moment Records MR 1013

Ravi Shanker Music Circle
Recorded in Concert Cassette 1977 Ravi Shanker Music Circle RSMC-03
Hariprasad Chaurasia: Flute Concert Cassette 1980 Ravi Shanker Music Circle RSMC-22
Vijay Raghav Rao: Flute in Concert Cassette 1980 Ravi Shanker Music Circle RSMC-24
Ravi Shanker Music Circle Cassette 1981 Ravi Shanker Music Circle RSMC-27
Ravi Shankar Music Circle Cassette 1981 Ravi Shanker Music Circle RSMC-29
Shivkumar Sharma: Santoor Concert Cassette 1982 Ravi Shanker Music Circle RSMC-31

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma CD 1993 Moment Records MR 1010

Shakti
Shakti with John McLaughlin CD 1975 Columbia CK-46868
Handful of Beauty CD 1976 Tristar 80915
Natural Feelings CD 1977 Columbia 48122

Tala Matrix
Tabla Beat Science CD 2000 Axiom/Palm 2046

Various Artists
Chevron School Broadcast "Music Makers" - Percussion LP 1973 CHEV M-21/M-22/M-23/M-24 (contains interview and tabla SPACE demonstration by Zakir Hussain).

Videography

Shiv Kumar, Zakir, A. Chakraborty, V. G. Jog 1981 Ameer Khusro Society of America
V.G. Jog, Zakir, Malabika Kanan 1981 Ameer Khusro Society of America
Girja Devi, V.G. Jog, Zakir 1981 Ameer Khusro Society of America
Ashwin Batish & Zakir Hussain: In Concert Part 1 1986 Batish Records
Ashwin Batish & Zakir Hussain: In Concert Part 2 1986 Batish Records
Circles-Cycles: Kathak Dance 1989 Documentary Educational Resources
Live from Savai Gandharva Music Festival, June '92 V1992 Alurkar Music House AV 114
Musical Festival of India 1997 Musical Festival of India
Zakir and His Friends 1998 Horizonte Film / Interartes
The Speaking Hand: Zakir Hussain and the Art of the Indian Drum 1999 (documentary film in 2 parts, 104 minutes, SPACE SPACEdirected by Sumantra Ghosal)
Remember Shakti. Shakti 2000 (Verve 016 578-2, CD/DVD silk box set)

Soundtracks & Film Appearances

Vietnam: A Television History USA TV
Apocalypse Now 1979 Paramount Home Video
Heat and Dust 1983 MCA Home Video
Little Buddha 1993 Miramax Home Entertainment
In Custody [Zakir as an actor!] 1993 Columbia TriStar Home Video
Saaz 1997 Eros International
Gaach (The Tree) 1997 Merchant Ivory Productions
Vanaprastham (The Last Dance) 1999 CLT-Ufa Intl.
Everybody Says I’m Fine 2001 [India]

Selected Bibliography

Bordowitz, Hank. "Zakir Hussain." Jazziz 9, no. 5 (September 1992): 69.

DeFilippi, M.A. "Planet Drum: Zakir Hussain." Talking Drums 1, no. 1 (1992): 4-6, 29-31.

Doerschuk, Andy. "No Mystery: The Percussion Tour of the Year" [Mickey Hart, David Garibaldi, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni SPACE SPACE Hidalgo, and Sikiru Adepoju]. Drum! 5, no. 7 (November/December 1996): 36-37, 41-45.

Doerschuk, Andy and George Marsh. "Zakir Hussain: Communicating with the World Through the Language of the Tabla." Drum! SPACE 3, no. 1 (September/October 1993): 32-34, 36, 39-40, 52.

Harbert, Benjamin J. "Zakir Hussain." Chicago Percussion & Rhythm 6, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2004): 8-9.

Helig, Steve. "Zakir Hussain: Ambassador of Rhythm." The Beat 11, no. 2 (February 1992): 40-41, 71.

Henderson, Richard. "Zakir Hussain." The Wire [England] no. 202 (December 2000): 28-33.

Keigher, Brian. "Zakir Hussain: The Tabla Titan." Chicago Percussion & Rhythm 1, no. 3 (February 1998): 6-7.

Koul, Amitav. "Zakir Hussain: Dévotion." Vibrations [Switzerland], no. 15 (December 1996/January/February 1997): 38-39.

Leiter, Richard. "Zakir Hussain: Through the Looking Glass." Keyboard 25 (March 1999): 134-135.

Prasad, Anil. "Remember Shakti: Four People as One." Dirty Linen no. 84 (October/November 1999): 38-42.

Reese, Jerome. "Zakir Hussain: Un prince des tablas" [Zakir Hussain: The Prince of the Tabla]. Jazz hot [France] no. 399 (1983): SPACE 24-28.

Robinson, N. Scott. "Zakir Hussain: Um mestre da tabla no cenário fusion." Batera & Percussão [Brazil] 4, no. 38 (October 2000): SPACE 48-51.

________. "Zakir Hussain: A Tale of Tabla." Modern Drummer 25, no. 3 (March 2001): 90-92, 94, 96, 98, 100.

Ruckert, George. "Zakir Hussain." Percussion Source 1, no. 1 (1995): 18-21.

Singh, Dayanita. Zakir Hussain: A Photo Essay. New Delhi: Himalayan Books, 1986.

Woodward, Josef. "Out of India: The Continental Crossings of Badal Roy, Trilok Gurtu, and Zakir Hussain." JazzTimes 27, no. 9 SPACE (November 1997): 38-43, 132.

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