April 02, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

photo credit: Jim McGuire

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Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion will perform on Friday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

Joining the tour are Selvaganesh Vinayakram (Kanjira and Ghatam), Steve Smith (Western Drums), Niladri Kumar (Sitar), Dilshad Khan, (Sarangi), Deepak Bhatt (Dhol), and Vijay Chavan (Dholki).

Zakir Hussain will lead a free lecture and demonstration in the Weis Center Lobby on Friday, April 11, from noon - 1 p.m.

Immediately before the performance, from 6:45-7:15 p.m., the Bucknell Gamelan Ensemble will perform in the Weis Center Lobby. They will play traditional pieces for Balinese gamelan angklung, an orchestra of bronze metallophones, pitched gongs and gong chimes, bamboo flutes, and drums.

There will be a post-performance reception for patrons.

A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, Hussain's consistently brilliant and exciting performances have established him as a national treasure in his own country, India, and as one of India's reigning cultural ambassadors. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study.

The Chicago Tribune says, "If there is such a thing as a tabla superstar, Indian virtuoso Zakir Hussain is it."

Along with his legendary father and teacher, Ustad Allarakha, he has elevated the status of the tabla both in India and around the world. A favorite accompanist for India's leading classical musicians and dancers, Hussain is also widely recognized as a chief architect of the world music movement with his many historic collaborations, including Shakti, Remember Shakti, Diga, Planet Drum and his ever-changing musical feast, Masters of Percussion.

A child prodigy, Hussain began touring at the age of 12, becoming the most acclaimed Indian musician of his generation and one of the world's leading percussionists. He is the recipient of many honors, including a recent Grammy in the Best Contemporary World Music category for Global Drum Project with Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo and Sikiru Adepoju.

In 2002, he received the Padma Bhushan award from the government of India, which is the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India. He received the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship, the United States' most prestigious honor for a master in traditional arts. In summer 2012, he was named Best Percussionist in the Downbeat Critics' Poll.

In 1992, Planet Drum, an album co-created and co-produced by Hussain, became the first recording to win a Grammy in the Best World Music category and also won the Downbeat Critics' Poll for Best World Beat Album. Both Modern Drummer and Drum! magazines named him Best World Music Drummer and Best World Beat Percussionist, respectively, in 2007. In April 2009, his music was showcased for four sold-out nights at Carnegie Hall's Artist Perspective Series. Also in 2009, he was named an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by France's Ministry of Culture and Communication.

In March 2011 the National Symphony Orchestra commissioned and presented his Concerto for Four Soloists at the Kennedy Center conducted by Christophe Eschenbach. He has contributed to innumerable recordings and has received widespread recognition as a composer for his many projects, scores and soundtracks including Little Buddha, In Custody, Vanaprastham, Mystic Masseur, Mr. & Mrs. Iyer, YoYo Ma's Silk Road Project and the acclaimed Concerto for Banjo, Bass and Tabla commissioned by the Nashville Symphony for their center's opening gala in 2006 and co-composed with his constant colleagues, Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck.

In March 2013, SF Jazz in San Francisco presented four nights featuring Zakir Hussain in different musical collaborations for their much-anticipated new center's inaugural season. In summer 2013 he embarked on an extensive tour of South America with legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. His Masters of Percussion spring 2014 tour includes a performance at the world-famous Madison Square Garden.

This tour of Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion is funded through Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's ArtsCONNECT program with support from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62+, $10 for youth 18 and under, and $10 for non-Bucknell college students. Tickets can be purchased online at bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at 570-577-1000.

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore in Lewisburg weekdays and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 12:30 to 4 p.m.; and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center, weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by email at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

The next performance in the Weis Center's 2013-14 Series will be a jazz performance by Jason Moran and the Bandwagon on Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. Jazz pianist Jason Moran has proven more than his brilliance as a performer.

In almost every category that matters — improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique and experimentation — Moran, and his group the Bandwagon have challenged the status quo, and earned the reputation as the future of jazz. In 2010, Moran received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the MacArthur Genius Award. Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62+, $10 for youth 18 and under, and $10 for non-Bucknell college students.

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to bucknell.edu/WeisCenter or facebook.com/WeisCenter