During a lull in activities with the Grateful Dead, percussionist and ethnomusicologist Mickey Hart joined with tabla player, Zakir Hussain, son of longtime Ravi Shankar accompanist, Alla Rakha, and students of the Ali Akbar College of Music to form the heavily percussive Diga Rhythm Band in 1975. Recording their sole album, Diga, in Hart's barn/studio in Novato, California, the 11-piece group was augmented by Jerry Garcia on guitar and Jim McPherson, Kathy McDonald and David Freiberg on vocals. One tune on the album, Happiness Is Drumming (Fire on the Mountain) went on to be a staple at concerts by the Grateful Dead, the Other Ones and Hart's Planet Drum.

Formed as the Tal Vadya Rhythm Band in 1973, the group was renamed the Diga Rhythm Band following Hart's arrival two years later.

Hart severed his connection with the group after returning his focus to a re-energized Grateful Dead in 1976. He has continued to collaborate with Hussain, a charter member of Planet Drum. Other Diga Rhythm Band members who have remained active include tabla player Tor Dietrichson, who signed a solo contract with Global Pacific, and marimba player Jim Loveless, vibes player Ray Spiegel and duggi tarang and nal player Arshad Syed, who joined multi-ethnic fusion group, Ancient Future in 1993.

Originally released on the Grateful Dead's own label, Round records, Diga was released on CD in 1983 as part of a series of Hart-produced recordings issued by Rykodisc. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi

Diga Rhythm Band-Sweet Sixteen
Diga Rhythm Band - Fire On The Mountain 1975-05-30
Diga Rhythm Band with Jerry Garcia at Golden Gate Park 5/30/75
Magnificent Sevens
Sweet Sixteen
Happiness Is Drumming
Diga Rhythm Band-Razooli
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