With the passing of Ustad Alla Rakha (born: Allarakha Kahn) on February 3, 2000, from a heart attack, India lost one of its most influential musicians. Called the "Einstein of rhythm" by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart, Rakha helped introduce Indian classical music to the western world with his tabla playing. A longtime accompanist of sitarist Ravi Shankar, Rakha is remembered for the highly melodic rhythms that he coaxed from his instrument. Shortly after his death, Indian president K.R. Narayanan announced that "an uncommon pulsation has been stilled. His wrists, palms, and fingers produced from the tabla percussion of magical quality which maintained the tenor and tempo of India's uniquely assimilative musical culture."