Santoor player Rahul Sharma and tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain to perform on April 16 in Cambridge, MA

Zakir Hussain (Photo: Jim McGuire)

BOSTON– Renowned santoor player Rahul Sharma and tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain will perform at an Indian music concert on April 16 at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, MA. The program is organized by World Music/CRASHarts.

The concert will start at 7:30 pm at Sanders Theatre located at 45 Quincy St. in Cambridge. Tickets are $58, $48, $32, and $28, reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at

Rahul Sharma (Photo: Jatin Kampani)

Hussain is appreciated in both the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, Hussain plays with uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, founded in formidable knowledge and study. The favorite accompanist for many of India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, he has not let his genius rest there.

His contribution to world music has been unique, with many historic collaborations including Shakti,which he founded with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar in the early 1970’s; the Diga Rhythm Band; and the Grammy Award−winning Planet Drum with Mickey Hart. Hussain has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Yo Yo Ma, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, and Bela Fleck, among many others. His music and extraordinary musical contributions were honored in April 2009 with four widely heralded and sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall’s Artist Perspective series.

Zakir Hussain (Photo: Jim McGuire)

The recipient of countless honors, Hussain was the youngest percussionist to receive the Padma Bhushan in 2002, and the Padma Shriin 1988, awards given to civilians of merit by the Indian government. In 1990, he was granted the Indo-American Award in recognition of his outstanding cultural contribution to relations between the United States and India. In April 1991, he was presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the President of India, making him one of the youngest musicians to receive this recognition from India’s governing cultural institute. He is the recipient of the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship, the most prestigious U.S. honor for a master in the traditional arts. In 2006, he was the recipient of the prestigious Kalidas Samman from the government of Madhya Pradesh, an award for artists of exceptional achievement. On February 8, 2009, Hussain received a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary World Music category for Global Drum Project, his group with Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo and Sikiru Adepoju. That same year, he was conferred the title of Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by France’s Ministry of Culture and Communication. His work with Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck resulted in The Melody of Rhythm, which was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award. In 2011, the National Symphony Orchestra with Christoph Eschenbach commissioned and premiered Zakir’s Concerto for Four Soloists at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts; it was met with great acclaim.

Hussain was in residence for the San Francisco Jazz Center inauguration in 2013. In 2015, he was voted “Best Percussionist” by the Downbeat Critics’ Poll and by Modern Drummer’s Readers’ Poll. His third concerto, Peshkar, debuted in September 2015 to rapturous acclaim in Mumbai and will premiere in the United States in April, 2017, by the National Symphony Orchestra.

Sharma is an internationally-renowned concert artist and master of Indian classical music, New Age music, and the santoor, a type of hammered dulcimer. Son of the famous santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Rahul studied Indian classical music at an early age, and began his performing career alongside his father in 1996 at the age of 24. With a career spanning over 20 years and numerous best-selling albums, Rahul has performed extensively in North America and throughout Europe, at prestigious venues like the Royal Festival Hall in London, and at various folk and world music festivals, including the WOMAD and Edinburgh festivals.

In September 2000, Real World Records released Music of the Himalayas, a live performance in Turin featuring Rahul, percussionist Pandit Bhawani Shankar, and tabla player Ustad Shafat Ahmed Khan. He has collaborated with several international musicians including Grammy-winner Kenny G, Éric Mouquet (of the group Deep Forest), pianist Richard Clayderman, and keyboardist Kersi Lord, among others. Rahul has also worked extensively with Bollywood films, providing the music for movies like Mujhse Dosti Karoge, for which he received the 2002 Zee Bollywood Music Award for “Best Debut – Music Director.” In 2011, he was honored with the Sangeet Natak Academi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists.

World Music/CRASHarts is a nonprofit organization that presents an eclectic mix of global, folk, jazz, and indie music along with contemporary and world dance in a series of concerts, events, and educational programs in greater Boston. It strives to offer audiences an opportunity to share in many different artistic performances and seeks to foster an atmosphere of cultural discovery.


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