Zakir Hussain is a true legend. His work on the tabla was hugely influential, as Indian music broke through into the Western musical mainstream. The album that launched his American music career was Rolling Thunder, Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart’s first solo album, released in 1972. Hussain would go on to have a vibrant career, collaborating with musicians like John McLaughlin and Ravi Shankar, while also contributing music to films like Apocalypse Now. However, it was his connection with Hart that started it all, and he would re-connect with Hart on several occasions throughout his career, appearing on seven more albums and countless shows with Hart over the years.
Now,Hussain has revealed just how he initially crossed paths with Hart, in a new interview. Zakir will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the SFJAZZ Gala in January 2017. Hart will be on hand to present the award. Listen to a five-minute clip from the interview below, where Hussain discusses his early encounter with Mickey Hart, and learn how a piece of musical history was made.