The Global Drum Project Tour brings Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo together again in a reunion sparked by the 15th anniversary of the ground-breaking album Planet Drum. Released in 1991, it went on to earn the first-ever Grammy Award in the World Music category. The tour is the groups first in almost a decade. It also marks the resumption of an artistic relationship – between Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain – that goes back to the late 1960s. The Global Drum Project will be playing the Boulder Theater on September 23rd, 2007 (more Global Drum Project dates below).
Mickey Hart is best known for his nearly three decades as an integral part of an extraordinary expedition into the soul and spirit of music, disguised as the rock and roll band the Grateful Dead. As half of the percussion tandem known as the Rhythm Devils, Mickey and Bill Kreutzmann transcended the conventions of rock drumming. Their extended polyrhythmic excursions were highlights of Grateful Dead shows, introducing the band's audience to an ever-growing arsenal of percussion instruments from around the world. Exposure to these exotic sounds fueled Mickey's desire to learn about the various cultures that produced them.
His tireless study of the world's music led Mickey to many great teachers and collaborators, including his partners in Planet Drum. Planet Drum's self-titled album not only hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart, remaining there for 26 weeks, it also received the Grammy for Best World Music Album in 1991 - the first Grammy ever awarded in this category. Planet Drum is one of twenty-nine recordings released on Mickey's the WORLD series on Rykodisc. The WORLD offers a wide variety of music from virtually every corner of the globe with releases like Voices of the Rainforest from Papua New Guinea and Living Art, Sounding Spirit: The Bali Sessions. In 2002, Mickey established The Endangered Music Fund to return royalty payments from many of these recordings to the indigenous people that produced them, and to further the preservation of sounds and music from around the globe.
Mickey's experiences have paved the way for unique opportunities beyond the music industry. He composed a major drum production performed by an assembly of 100 percussionists for the opening ceremony of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Additionally, Mickey has composed scores, soundtracks and themes for movies and television including Apocalypse Now, Gang Related, Hearts of Darkness, The Twilight Zone, the 1987 score to The America's Cup: The Walter Cronkite Report, Vietnam: A Television History, and The Next Step. In 1994 Mickey was inducted with The Grateful Dead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mickey has written four books documenting his lifelong fascination with the history and mythology of music. These include Drumming at the Edge of Magic, Planet Drum, Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music, and Songcatchers: In Search of the World's Music.
Long a social activist, Mickey appeared in August, 1991 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging, speaking on the healing value of drumming and rhythm on afflictions associated with aging. Since joining the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Hospital in 2000, Mickey is continuing his investigation into the connection between healing and rhythm, and the neural bases of rhythm.
In 1999, Mickey was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where he heads the sub-committee on the digitization and preservation of the Center's vast collections. In October of 2000, the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters upon Mickey for his work in advancing the preservation of aural archives.
Zakir has worked with many western and Indian artists, and has produced many works for fusion, perhaps most notably with The Beatles. In 1971 he recorded with an American psychedelic band called Shanti. He has also worked with John McLaughlin in Shakti in 1975, with L. Shankar in the Diga Rhythm Band, and with Mickey Hart on his Rolling Thunder album (on which he and his father played a tabla duet). Although Shakti was disbanded a few years later, it reunited under the name Remember Shakti. Zakir was touring by the age of twelve. He did his schooling in St. Michael's High School in Mahim. He completed his graduation from St Xaviers, Mumbai. Zakir went to the United States in 1970, embarking on an international career which includes no fewer than 150 concert dates a year.
In 1987, his first solo release, Making Music, was acclaimed as "one of the most inspired East-West fusion albums ever recorded." In 1988, he became the youngest percussionist to ever be awarded the title of Padma Shri. In 1990, he was awarded the Indo-American Award in recognition for his cultural contribution to relations between the United States and India. In April, 1991, he was presented with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the President of India, making him one of the youngest musicians to receive this recognition from India's governing cultural institute.
In 1992, Planet Drum, an album co-created and produced by Zakir and Mickey Hart, was awarded a Grammy for Best World Music Album, the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best World Beat Album, and the NARM Indie Best Seller Award for World Music Recording. Planet Drum, with Zakir as music director, toured nationally in 1996 and 1997. Zakir also continues to tour with the musicians from Shakti — John McLaughlin, Shankar and T.H. Vinayakram — in different collaborations and ensembles as well as leading various percussion ensembles of his own design. In Summer'99, Shakti re-grouped for an international tour.
In 1992, Zakir founded live concert performances by masters of the classical music of India. The label presents Zakir's own world percussion ensemble, The Rhythm Experience, both North and South Indian classical recordings, Best of Shakti, and a Masters of Percussion series. He has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Aashish Khan, Vasant Rai, Imrat Khan, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Pharoah Sanders, Billy Cobham, Charles Lloyd, the Hong Kong Symphony and the New Orleans Symphony.
Sep 20, 2007 Centennial Hall - Tucson AZ
Venue Website Tickets: 520-621-3341
Sep 27, 2007 Laxson Auditorium - Chico CA
Sep 30, 2007 John Van Duzer Theatre - Arcata CA
Oct 05, 2007 Ferst Center/Ga Institute Of Tech - Atlanta GA
Oct 06, 2007 Jemison Concert Hall - Birmingham AL
Venue Website Tickets: (205) 975-ARTS (or) 1-877-ART-TIKS
Oct 11, 2007 Lisner Auditorium - Washington DC
Oct 13, 2007 Flynn Theatre - Burlington VT
Oct 14, 2007 Bardavon 1869 Opera House -Poughkeepsie NY
Venue Website Tickets: (845) 339-6088 (Kingston) or (845) 473-2072 (Poughkeepsie)
Oct 16, 2007 Eisenhower Auditorium - University Park PA
Oct 20, 2007 Wharton Center for the Performing Arts -East Lansing MI
Oct 21, 2007 Southern Theatre - Columbus OH
Venue Website Tickets: 614-469-0939 (CAPA ticket office) or 614-431-3600 (Ticketmaster)
Oct 27, 2007 Orchestra Hall - Minneapolis MN
Venue Website Tickets: : 612.371.5656 or 1.800.292.4141