Harris Center Welcomes Masters Of Percussion Zakir Hussain, Eric Harland, Niladri Kumar

Simply stated, Zakir Hussain is one of the greatest musicians of our time. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have led to historic collaborations with Shakti, which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar; Planet Drum with Mickey Hart; Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland, and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Yo-Yo Ma, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Mark Morris and Pharoah Sanders.

For his 2019 performance at the Harris Center, he will be joined by the astonishing Niladri Kumar on sitar, the peerless Eric Harland (James Farm with Joshua Redman, Prism with Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks, and many others) on Western drums, and Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar and The Drummers of Kerala from the Southwestern coast of India.

They will perform together and separately, and it will be awe-inspiring, because they are truly Masters of their instruments, and Zakir Hussain is a true maestro who can bring out the magic in everyone on the stage - and in the audience.

Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion comes to the Harris Center Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $28-$48; Premium $58. Students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 12 noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Zakir Hussain's Masters of Percussion, an outgrowth of Zakir's duet tours with his late father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, began their biennial appearances in1996 to provide a platform for rarely heard rhythm traditions from India. Over time, the ensemble has expanded to include great drummers and percussionists from many world traditions, including jazz, as well as the occasional stringed instrument. 2019 will be the centennial year of Allarakha's birth, so this will be a very special MOP tour.

Zakir Hussain is the pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time and is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A national treasure in his native India, he is one of the world's most esteemed and influential musicians, renowned for his genre- defying collaborations, including Shakti, the Diga Rhythm Band, Planet Drum, Tabla Beat Science, Celtic Connection, in trio with Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer and, most recently, with Herbie Hancock.

The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Zakir was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of twelve, accompanying India's greatest classical musicians and dancers, and touring internationally with great success by the age of eighteen.

A multiple Grammy award winner, he is the recipient of countless awards and honors, including Padma Bhushan, National Heritage Fellowship and Officier in France's Order of Arts and Letters. In 2015, he was voted "Best Percussionist" by both the DownBeat Critics' Poll and Modern Drummer's Reader's Poll.

He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley, and was resident artistic director at SFJazz from 2013 until 2016, and was presented with their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 in recognition of his "unparalleled contribution to the world of music."

Blessed with a lineage of five generations of sitar players, Niladri Kumar is a world renowned and global icon to reckon with. Under the guidance and numerous years of training from his father and guru Pandit Kartick Kumar, Niladri, after gaining an in-depth, profound, and sound understanding of Indian Classical Music, went on to revolutionize the style of sitar playing and further invent his own Instrument, the red electric sitar, which he coined as the Zitar.

He is hailed as one of the serious exponents of Indian music and has an uncanny, prodigious style in making this music appealing to the youth and the masses at large. Critics state that he has an unmatchable, effortless mastery over the instrument, and it is indeed a unique treat to witness his swift, agile, and magical fingers produce soul stirring, brilliant compositions.

He has been bestowed and recognized with several prestigious awards, valued titles, has released over ten albums. In addition, Niladri has contributed immensely to the Indian film industry. His live performances are known to transport audiences to another world.

Eric Harland is the most "in demand" drummer of his generation, primarily but not exclusively in the world of jazz. He has worked on more than 400 recordings and film scores. He has shared the stage with masters on the order of Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Terence Blanchard, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Savion Glover, and the SF Jazz Collective.

He's also played with virtually all the current rising stars, including Esperanza Spalding, Jane Monheit, Taylor Eigsti, Julian Lage, Stacie Orrico, and Robert Glasper. He currently works in multiple groups, including James Farm with Joshua Redman, Prism with Dave Holland and Kevin Eubanks, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Zakir Hussain, Overtone with Dave Holland, Jason Moran, and Chris Potter, and his own Voyager.

Outside jazz, he's also collaborated with Les Claypool's Primus, John Mayer, Mariah Carey, Steve Miller, and Spike Lee. Eric was the Resident Artistic Director at the SF Jazz Center for the 2014-2016 seasons and the Artist in Residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival of 2014.

After all his extensive travels, he has come to realize that "The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation." That depth of understanding makes him a perfect member of Masters of Percussion.

Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar and The Drummers of Kerala. In the Indian tradition, Mattanuur's first teacher was his father, and from an early age he began his studies of Thayambaka, a call-and-response style of drumming using the South Indian chenda, a cylindrical instrument. He has played with such greats as Ustad Allarakha and Padmashree Umayalpuaram Sivaraman. He was awarded the Padmasree by the President of India in 2009. The Drummers include Mattannur's sons V. M. Sreekanth and V. M. Sreeraj, and their fellow Keralan Vellinezhi Anand. All three have played with outstanding Indian artists including the legendary vocalist Hariharan, both in India and all over the world, from Europe to Hong Kong and most stops in between.

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts over 400 events attracting more than 150,000 annually.

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