Fans of Ravi Shankar might say that it is the sitar that gives Indian classical music its distinctive sound. But the Indian hand drum known as the tabla is every bit as part of the Indian tradition as well. Coming to Santa Cruz on April 10 at the Rio will be the man generally considering the world’s greatest tabla player, Zakir Hussain, who will be performing alongside Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, a master of the sandoor, the Indian hammer dulcimer, in a show being billed as “Maestros in Concert.”
Hussain has the advantages of royal bloodlines when it comes to Indian music. He is the son of the great tabla man Allah Rakha, a long-time cohort of Ravi Shankar, who is largely credited with bringing the tabla to Western ears. Hussain has expanded his father’s vision by dovetailing Indian musical tradition into Western rock and pop idioms, having played with George Harrison, Van Morrison, Pharoah Sanders and others.
It’s a chance to see one of the greats. Don’t miss it. Here’s a taste of Hussain at work: