ZAKIR HUSSAIN RETURNS TO PERFORM IN FLORIDA
Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain is returning to the Sunshine State with his Masters of Percussion series in Tampa (April 7), South Florida (April 8) and Orlando (April 9).
Playing in the footsteps of his illustrious father, Ustad Allarakha, Hussain has acted as a musical bridge between his birth land and the rest of the world. To that end, every other year since 1996, he has served as curator, producer and host in bringing the very cream of Indian music to his America and European tours with the Masters of Percussion. In this show, the Grammy-winning musician leads a mesmerizing ensemble featuring masters of Indian percussion Sabir Khan (sarangi), Navin Sharma (dholak), and Mannargudi Vasudevan (tavil).
“There are about 200 percussion traditions in India and people in the U.S. had seen only a few of them,” said Hussain in an exclusive telephone interview with Khaas Baat. “So, at the behest of my father, I took it up on myself to organize a concert tour of rarely-heard drumming traditions from India. For the last 20 years now, we’ve been presenting a bi-annual Masters of Percussion and each tour presents a new set of Indian percussion traditions.”
The tabla superstar is excited that the young future musicians have proved themselves to be rhythmists of a high order and “I am hoping the trend will continue with these young masters, focus on rarely heard rhythm traditions from remote parts of India.”
During his Florida tour, Hussain looks to highlight certain styles of drumming but with different tones. “So, we will combine the dholak, mridangam and tavil drums played sideways but with different tones and traditions. All are double-headed cylindrical drums and have tonal differences that are interesting to hear. To that, we add the sarangi to create rhythm and melody.”
Ever modest, Hussain claims to be just one miniscule part of Masters of Percussion. “Each and every musician is an accomplished and fabulous artist of that tradition,” he says, urging music followers to “come with an open ear, mind and join us on this journey to explore India through its rhythmic traditions.”
Here is detailed information on the concerts in the three Florida cities:
APRIL 7: Straz Center, Ferguson Hall, 1010 N. W.C.MacInnes Place, Tampa; 7:30 p.m.; tickets starting at $22 can be purchased at www.strazcenter.org; for information, call (813) 229-7827.
SOUTH FLORIDA (LAKE WORTH)
APRIL 8: Presented by Duncan Theatre in partnership with Association of Performing Arts of India; Duncan Theatre, 4200 S. Congress Ave., Lake Worth; 8 p.m.; $35 general tickets and $75 VIP can be purchased at www.duncantheatre.org; for information, call (561) 868-3309.
APRIL 9: Bob Carr Theater, 401 W. Livingston St., Orlando; 7:30 p.m.; tickets starting at $30 can be purchased at www.drphillipscenter.org
Khaas Baat Business Beat
A partnership with Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, Tampa
GAINESVILLE INDIA FEST & HEALTH FAIR APRIL 9
The India Cultural & Education Center will hold its annual India Fest & Health Fair on Saturday, April 9, in Gainesville. The health fair will be 9 a.m. to noon and the festival will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Santa Fe Community College, Gymnasium (Building V), 3000 N.W. 83rd St., Gainesville. There will be Indian food, dance, art, music, jewelry, clothing, henna. Admission is $5 per person and children age 5 and under are free.
SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA TO PRESENT FREE DISCOURSES IN JACKSONVILLE (APRIL 2-7), MIAMI (APRIL 9-15), TAMPA/ST. PETERSBURG (APRIL 16-24)
Renowned spiritual leader Swami Mukundananda will be touring Florida this month to present discourses in English, as well as yoga and meditation. A Vedic scholar and senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji, Mukundananda has held discourses throughout the world for devotees dedicated to achieving true, unlimited bliss in all aspects of life.
The program is possible thanks to Jagadguru Kripalu Yog, a non-profit organization dedicated to the spiritual, mental and physical wellness of human beings through yoga and spirituality.
Unlike the increasingly popular practice of “yoga,” limited to asans or physical exercises, the Jagadguru Kripalu Yog program emphasizes a comprehensive purification of the body, mind and soul. Offering new ways of understanding and applying the knowledge of the scriptures into our daily lives to ascend toward a heightened spirituality and realization of God, Swamiji covers the teachings of the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagwad Geeta, Ramayana and other Eastern and Western philosophies in a modern context.
The Jagadguru Kripalu Yog’s many philanthropic activates are committed to serving those who lack education, healthcare and sustenance throughout India. For more information about the Jagadguru Kripalu Yog, visit www.jkyog.org
APRIL 2-7: “GROW FROM WITHIN TO SUCCEED IN LIFE;” Hindu Society of North East Florida (HSNEF), 4968 Greenland Road, Jacksonville; 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; for information, call Sonia Shahani at (904) 429-3803.
SOUTH FLORIDA (MIAMI)
APRIL 9-15: “THE ESSENCE OF SPIRITUALITY;” Miami Laxmi Narayan Mandir, 9851 S.W. 168 St., Miami; 4 to 7 pm. Saturday-Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 to 9 p.m. Friday; followed by dinner; for information, call Sarada Premmaraju at (860) 605-3683.
APRIL 16-21: “GROW FROM WITHIN TO SUCCEED IN LIFE;” Vishnu Mandir, 5803 Lynn Road, Tampa; 5 to 8 pm. Saturday-Sunday, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday; followed by dinner; for information, call Sushma Srivastava at (727) 490-2298 or (727) 743-1183.
APRIL 22-24: “FLORIDIAN RETREAT WITH SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA;” Days Inn St Petersburg North, 5005 34th St. N., St. Petersburg; $250 per adult and $125 per child; for information, call Sushma Srivastava at (727) 743-1183 or (904) 962-9378.
FLORIDA REGION OF EKAL VIDYALAYA RAISES $402,000
The Tampa Bay chapter of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA raised about $210,000 on March 19, enough to fund 575 one-teacher schools for needy villages in rural India. Renowned and versatile singers Rajdeep Chatterjee and Pallabi (Dia) Roy Chowdhury drew an audience of 450 to the India Cultural Center in Tampa.
At least 16 families and entities contributed $5,000 and more to be Grand Sponsors. Several families supported one school for the first time or renewed their pledge. Padmaja Ginde pledged to support 80 schools to celebrate the 80th birthday of Dr. Yashwant Ginde, who presented a report of their visits of Ekal schools in India.
The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA (www.ekal.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating children in functional literacy throughout tribal and rural India through the use of one-teacher schools, each serving 30 to 40 children. Each school teaches reading, writing, and arithmetic, and costs $365 to run for a year – a dollar a day.
The fundraiser, which was co-sponsored by the trustees of India Cultural Center, Florida Association of Physicians from Indian Origin and Rajasthani Association, was part of a national fundraising effort by Ekal Vidyalaya. Two teams of musicians -- Rajdeep Chatterjee and Roy Chowdhury in one team; and Vibhavari Yadava and Ananad Vinod in second team, are visiting 62 cities over four months to raise funds and awareness for the Ekal cause. The performers chose classical, folk and Bollywood film songs.
“So far, we have raised funds for 1,100 schools from Florida alone,” said Jawahar Taunk, president of Ekal’s Florida fundraising efforts. The Rajdeep team helped raise $22,265 in Lakeland, $210,000 in Tampa and $95,000 in Orlando. Vibhavari team raised $33,215 in Ocala, $36,500 in Jacksonville and $6,000 in Tallahassee.
The core of Tampa event organizers included President Umesh Choudhry, Vice President Malti Pandya, Secretary Sanjiv Jain, Treasurer Chirag Shah, Florida President Jawahar Taunk, Florida Vice President Vijay Patel, Florida Secretary Kaushal Chari, and former National President of Ekal USA, Chandresh Saraiya.
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