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Global Drum Project on the Road Again

Fifteen years ago the widely acclaimed album “Planet Drum” earned a Grammy Award in the World Music category. After an absence from the touring scene for almost a decade, the Global Drum Project is on the road again with a tour that is taking them to twenty-three cities in just over a month. Fans from Tucson to Minneapolis are looking forward to performances by the talented musicians Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo again.

Mickey Hart, as the driving force behind the Global Drum Project, sees this reunion as an opportunity to take their music to new levels as they explore rhythm and noise in a blend of ancient and modern worlds. This tour marks the re-establishment of an artistic relationship between Mickey Hart and Zakir Hussain that started off in the late 1960s.

Mickey Hart was the percussionist for the Grateful Dead in 1968 when he met Zakir Hussain’s father Allah Rakha, who at that time was Ravi Shankar’s tabla player. This meeting proved to be a turning point for Hart as he became a part time student of Allah Rakha and took the Indian percussion ideas that he was learning into rock ‘n roll. In the 1970s Allah Rakha’s son, Zakir Hussain, also an accomplished tabla player, joined Hart and in 1976 they formed the percussion group, Diga Rhythm Band. After performing as the opening act for a Jefferson Starship concert, they recorded the album “Diga” which was well received.

Later in the 1970s, the percussion group Rhythm Devils, including fellow Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, was formed by Hart. Rhythm Devils recorded the percussion sound track for the movie Apocalypse Now, which was directed by Francis Coppola.

In the early 1980s, Hart had begun a detailed examination into the socio-cultural history of percussion. This resulted in him writing two books, one of them being “Drumming At the Edge of Magic” an account of his personal experiences and the other a pictorial history of Planet Drum.

With long and successful careers, each of the musicians that make up the Global Drum Project brings their own personality and skill into the music that is sure to thrill audiences wherever they perform.

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