Diga (album)

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Abstract drawing of the head and shoulders of a man, suggestive of Indian art, with clouds and mountains on a silver background
Studio album by Diga Rhythm Band
Released 1976
Recorded 1976
Genre World music
Length 40:05
Label Round Records
Producer Mickey Hart
Mickey Hart chronology
Rolling Thunder
(1972) Rolling Thunder1972
(1976) Diga1976
The Apocalypse Now Sessions
(1980) The Apocalypse Now Sessions1980

Diga is an album by the Diga Rhythm Band, a percussion-based music ensemble led by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and by Zakir Hussain. It was released by Round Records as a vinyl LP in 1976. It was remixed and released on CD by Rykodisc Records in 1988.[1][2][3]

The ensemble, originally called the Tal Vadya Rhythm Band, was founded in 1973 by Zakir Hussain, at the Ali Akbar College of Music. Mickey Hart joined in 1975, and Hussain and Hart renamed the group the Diga Rhythm Band. Diga was recorded in 1976 at Hart's studio The Barn in Novato, California.[4]

Jerry Garcia plays guitar on two of the album's five tracks. The song "Happiness Is Drumming" is an early, instrumental version of "Fire on the Mountain".[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]
The Music Box 3/5 stars [2]

On Allmusic, Jeff Tamarkin called Diga "a compelling and powerful recording that draws in the listener with its spellbinding rhythms."[1]

Writing in The Music Box in 2008, John Metzger said that the album "effectively introduced percussion-driven, globally minded grooves to an entirely new audience. It also was far ahead of its time..... Diga is, in hindsight, a very uneven affair.... If viewed from the perspective that it was the beginning rather than the end of a journey, it's much easier to see Diga's charms."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sweet Sixteen" – 8:03
  2. "Magnificent Sevens" – 12:55
  3. "Happiness Is Drumming" – 3:17
  4. "Razooli" – 2:50
  5. "Tal Mala" – 12:48


Diga Rhythm Band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


  • Mickey Hart – producer
  • Vince Delgado – associate producer
  • Zakir Hussain – production and arranging associate
  • Dan Healy – recording
  • Willy Wolf – recording
  • Betty Cantor – recording
  • Brett Cohen – assistant engineer
  • Jordan De La Sierra – cover art
  • Onehart – photograph
  • Steven Jurgensmeyer – package design

CD remix:

  • Tom Flye – engineer
  • Tom Size – assistant engineer
  • Joe Gastwirt – digital mastering


  • "This album is dedicated to our friend and teacher Ustad Alla Rakha, and to all drummers everywhere".


  1. ^ a b c Tamarkin, Jeff. Diga at Allmusic. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Metzger, John (May 21, 2008). Diga, The Music Box. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  3. ^ Diga at the Grateful Dead Family Discography. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  4. ^ Diga CD liner notes