Music Education Monday: "Jazz Fusion Master Class" with Zakir Hussain


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Percussionist Zakir Hussain is known as a virtuoso of the tabla who has spent his career bridging Indian classical music and jazz, in the process helping to invent and popularize the notion of “world music."

Hussain (pictured) was a co-founder of the band Shakti with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, and in addition to leading his own groups also has performed and recorded with many other well-known musicians from diverse traditions, including Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart's groups Diga Rhythm Band and Planet Drum, Dave Holland, Joshua Redman, George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, and more.

In the embedded video below, you can see a master class recorded last March during Hussain's visit to the Institute for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley, in which he and lead faculty member Myra Melford listen to and work with two of the university's jazz-fusion ensembles.

For some additional context, check out the essay “The influence of Indian music on jazz" by Marc Rossi, a professor of piano and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music who's studied both Hindustani and Carnatic Indian music. For more about Zakir Hussain, listen to the interview he did last year with NPR's “Morning Edition."

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