Universally acknowledged to be one of the world's leading virtuosos of Indian Classical percussion, Hussain is the son of the great Ustad Allarakha, master tabla player best known for his long association with Ravi Shankar. A child prodigy, Zakir displayed an uncanny ability to learn the intricacies of his father's art, and was touring by the age of twelve. In 1970, he came to the United States, and his virtuosity, combined with his youthful openness to new sounds made him a vital player in the creation of a new world music, one which blended old traditions with fresh ideas. Zakir continues to expand the boundaries of his musical universe, working with jazz legends such as John McLaughlin (Shakti and Remember Shakti) and Charles Lloyd (Sangam) and with his genre-bending collaborations, recent Grammy winner Global Drum Project (with Mickey Hart), and his current, widely-acclaimed and Grammy-nominated trio with Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer. He has remained a peerless classical musician in his own tradition, traveling to India every year since 1971 for the winter concert season, touring globally with eminent masters of Indian music and bringing great musicians and percussionists from India for his biennial presentation, Masters of Percussion. Zakir has composed music for several ballets by Alonzo King, including Figures of Thought for Ballet Béjart (2011), Scheherazade (2009), Rasa (2007), Following the Subtle Current Upstream (2000) for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Who Dressed You Like a Foreigner? (1998). Zakir has performed live with LINES Ballet at venues including the Edinburgh International Festival, Maison de la Dance in Lyon, France, Jacob’s Pillow, Minneapolis, Austin, and San Francisco.
Violinist Kala Ramnath was rigorously trained in the classical tradition yet comfortably forges musical alliances with artists from around the globe, incorporating elements of jazz, flamenco and traditional African music into her rich and varied palette. Kala has performed at all the major music festivals in India, as well as the most prestigious stages throughout the world, including the Sydney Opera House and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Kala also appears frequently on Hollywood film soundtracks including Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond. Kala has performed with LINES Ballet at the Edinburgh International Festival and in San Francisco.