Ustad Alla Rakha: Master Tabla Player and Icon of Indian Classical Music

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Ustad Alla Rakha (29 April 1919 – 3 February 2000) was an Indian tabla player and percussionist.

Life and Career

He was born on 29 April 1919, in Ghagwal, Jammu, and Kashmir. He was one of the most prominent and celebrated tabla players of the 20th century, known for his mastery of the instrument and his collaborations with some of the world’s most famous musicians.

Alla Rakha started his musical career in the 1930s and quickly gained recognition as a talented tabla player. He began his training under his father, and later studied under several other renowned musicians. In the 1950s, he began to perform with sitarist Ravi Shankar, which led to a long and fruitful collaboration. He also performed with other well-known musicians such as Vilayat Khan and Bismillah Khan. Alla Rakha was known for his ability to blend classical Indian music with other genres, such as jazz and rock.

Alla Rakha passed away on 3 February 2000, at the age of 80. His death was a great loss to the world of Indian music, and he is remembered as one of the greatest tabla players of all time.

Award and Legacy

Alla Rakha was the recipient of several prestigious awards for his contributions to Indian music. In 1977, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India. He was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982.

Alla Rakha’s legacy lives on through his contributions to Indian classical music and his collaborations with other musicians. He was instrumental in introducing Indian music to audiences around the world, and his performances continue to inspire new generations of musicians. His sons, Zakir Hussain and Fazal Qureshi, are also accomplished tabla players and have continued their father’s legacy. On 29 April 2014, Google celebrated Ustad Alla Rakha’s 95th Birthday with a doodle.