Waqar Hussain (b. 1980) is a tabla player who was born in Lahore. He belongs to the Punjab gharana, or school, of tabla, with the tabla player Ustad Mian Qadir Bakhsh being his great-grandfather. (Ustad Mian Qadir Bakhsh was the Khalifa, or head, of the Punjab tabla gharana and teacher of Ustad Allah Rakha). His father, Ustad Paalay Khan, taught him how to play music. He has five to six students, with one playing the piano in a hotel in Islamabad nowadays. In addition to collaborating with one of Salamat Ali Khan’s sons, he has also toured Germany, the UAE and Iran. He has been playing the tabla professionally for 18 years, and his son, who currently is in grade 5, has started learning the instrument too with much interest, despite his father’s reservations with regard to musicians’ financial security and social standing in Pakistan. Waqar Hussain plans to continue pursuing a career in music.
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