Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia Perform in NYC

Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia

Article by Keen Lee
Photo by Francis Latif

As I closed my eyes and listened to the music, Rakesh Chaurasia’s music brought me to another world.  I felt like I was placed in a forest where nature surrounded me.  I heard the sounds of wildlife. I had imagined the voices of birds in the trees above me.  Chaurasia’s music was very soothing and relaxing to listen to.  As Chaurasia played the flute, Zakir Hussain steadily transitioned into the music with his tabla without stealing the spotlight.

Rakesh Chaurasia

Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia presented at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at PACE University on Sunday, October 13th. Hussain is known to be the world’s foremost player of tabla percussion, and the New York Times calls him “a fearsome technician (and) a whimsical inventor…the blur of his fingers rivals the beat of a hunmmingbird’s wings.” On this evening, the bansuri flute prodigy Rakesh Chaurasia joined the tabla superstar.

Zakir Hussain

I have never witnessed such amazing chemistry between two musicians who play two different instruments before. Rakesh did not speak throughout the performance but through his music and body language, he supported Zakhir the entire time.

Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia

The duet played gracefully as the music was filled with energy and peace.  As Hussain played his tabla throughout the night, he brought laughter to the audience by adding a little bit of humor to his music.  I was impressed with how Hussain was able to poke fun from playing the tabla and making funny musical sounds.

Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia

It was a pleasure to have watched and met such humble and talented artists of our time. It was my first time watching a beautiful Indian piece and it certainly will not be my last.

Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia

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