master of tabla Zakir Hussain says his feelings for India cannot be described in words as the country holds a very special place in his heart.
“It’s a feeling beyond explanation. India is a very special country for me. It’s like a musical symphony which despite the different components of music is able to make a unified projection of a great creativity,” Hussain said at a press conference on Saturday.
“Having been born there, raised there, learned my art there and educated there and even now, having established my residence in America for over 40 years, I still carry my Indian passport” , he added.
Hussain, who is here for a concert the day before 75th year of India’s independencesaid that Indian music developed and represented the country long before the business houses managed to make it one of the economic powers of the world.
In the 1960s-70s, the world looked to India and appreciated what it had to offer, yoga, meditation, music and cuisine, he added.
“When people were talking about India, they were talking about the culture and its music. And you can’t exclude a country from its culture,” Hussain said.
A country is loved, respected, honored and revered because of its culture, and not just because of the richness of its reserves, the table maestro added.
He said legendary musicians Ravi Shankar, Bismillah Khan and many great artists of the country have traveled the world, entertained audiences and brought attention to India’s cultural creativity.
“For this, I appreciate all the efforts made by these great maestros. And, it still happens. And people like me have the chance to travel around the world because the platform was created by the great maestros. The Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) concert, supported by the High Commission of India, will take place on Sunday, celebrating the closing cultural links between Singapore and India.
Hussain, the world renowned table virtuoso, will be joined by Indian maestros Kala Ramnath on violin and Jayanthi Kumaresh on veena.
Welcoming the maestros to Singapore, Indian High Commissioner P Kumaran said, “It is the brilliance of the artists we have here today that makes India proud globally. “They are an international phenomenon and the national treasure of India, and this year gives us the opportunity to celebrate our incredible Arts and Artists for their tremendous contribution,” he added.
The cultural ties between India and Singapore span millennia, he said, adding, “It is very encouraging to see the continuity of cultural ties between India and Singapore and the enthusiastic support for the arts and Indian artists here.
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