Asian Cultural Association Hosts Master Percussionists

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, the Asian Cultural Association (ACA) presented a performance by Zakir Hussain and The Masters of Percussion. The India Center at UCF was a partner in this event.

The group of five musicians used a variety of northern and southern Indian percussion and melodic instruments for a Hindustani percussion performance. Several hundred audience members gathered in the Bob Carr Theater in downtown Orlando for this collaborative and explorative recital.

Prior to the show, attendees were treated to a special event in the theater’s lobby. Participants in the Reliable Advocacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities (RAPID) Program were immersed in an ACA-supported initiative aimed at improving their knowledge, experience and overall enjoyment of music. This group presented its first musical performance in a 10-minute session as guests arrived. Before introducing the program, ACA representatives showed the audience a video detailing the partnership between ACA and RAPID.

The evening’s main performance included a variety of solos, improvisation and lessons in the history of the music and instruments used. The “masters” alongside Hussain were Anantha Krishnan, Sabir Khan, Navin Sharma and Mannargudi Vasadevan. Khan played the sarangi, a North Indian string instrument, which formed the base for the percussionists to improvise.

Throughout the performance, Hussain explained some history of Indian percussion and showcased pieces that have been passed down through the years. One such piece used drums to imitate the sound of a railway train passing through the countryside. Hussain also demonstrated how to turn phrases and sentiments into percussion, using his drums to invite the audience to take a seat, have a drink or something to eat and enjoy the show. From beginning to end, Zakir Hussain and The Masters of Percussion delivered a celebration of music and culture.

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