ABC: Grammy-winning couple proud to call Cary their home

Anthony Wilson writes:

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) — Many people in the music business hope they’ll hear their name someday after “And the Grammy goes to….”

Now a Cary couple is a two-time Grammy winner after the band Shakti won Best Global Music this year for its album “This Moment.”

“Because my wife and I are the producers of this album,” said Souvik Dutta. “And so we orchestrated the whole album and the world tour for them this year. So it just feels a little bit special as producers.”

The album’s on Abstract Logix, based in Cary.

“The record label has existed for about 18 years. We’ve been making albums and producing albums with artists from all over the world. In 2017, one of our artists called John McLaughlin, a guitar player that has association all the way to Miles Davis. Won a Grammy for Best Jazz, improvised solo,” he said.

That business relationship has roots in his childhood when he was a fan.

“My dad took me to see him when I was 10 in India, and after I moved to North Carolina in ’91 to go to university here and finally, you know, I have a job in RTP.,” he said. “I just didn’t want to give up on my hobby. So kind of kept doing that. And I just wrote an email to his manager at the time in Paris and had a response back, and that’s kind of how I sort of started this hobby of getting into selling records and with his and Jimmy Herring, a very dear friend of mine, our artist from North Carolina, from Fayetteville, a guitar player for Widespread Panic.”

“This time is a little bit extra special because my wife and I are the producers of this album.” – Souvik Dutta

Now, the couple works with McLaughlin and many other musicians, reflected in framed posters and photos of stars such as Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

“I’ve been a Deadhead for as long as I can remember. I love the music. I haven’t seen the incarnations of the band after I (had) friends who played in that band,” he said. “And, you know, Jimmy Herring was part of The Dead, which was one of the iterations after they passed, you know … the music of Jerry Garcia is really important to me because it’s part of me since my childhood..”And he was one of the reasons that I came to the United States, telling my parents it’s really for going to school. But I really wanted to go see him.”

Smiling, his wife, Shwetta Dutta, added: “He didn’t want to come back to study. His education was a distant thing.”

Some might call their success the ultimate side hustle since they started the business while working remotely for big tech.

“Yeah,” he said. “You know, I started the hobby, but my wife took over everything operations-wise. I have a background in it. I’ve been part of IBM for about 20-plus years, so, you know, I didn’t have time much to do operation activities,” he said. “So she and the team she put together and the team that we put together is who executes for us globally. And we must have done at least 2,000 concerts around the world and 75-plus countries and continue to do it for guys like John McLaughlin and Jimmy Herring and others.”

They’re proud to live in Cary and North Carolina, in part because of the state’s rich musical tradition.

“Thelonious Monk is from North Carolina. John Coltrane, from North Carolina. Tony Rice is from North Carolina. A lot of amazing musicians. Branford Marsalis lives in Durham. Musician Ryan Adams is from Rocky Mount, right? Here I am living the dream and you know, I go back and I talk to John McLaughlin, and he used to go on the tour with Jerry Garcia, and they used to be friends,” he said.

They also brought Shakti to Cary in 2023 for a concert at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

“So obviously we had to do a show here,” said Shwetta Dutta, “obviously, and I’m glad we did it because it won the Grammys and all from this little home.”

“We are organizing the two worldwide tours right from here.” Souvik Dutta added. “I mean, we’ve been doing that part of the work for about five, about 17 years. And now the frequency is a lot different. But there were moments that we were doing 150 nights a year of gigs from everywhere from the rainforest and Bali to Seoul to South Africa to Tokyo, and it’s all the time.

“And you know, crews that we work with, crews that we, that we really are close with, people who work for Widespread Panic and the Allman Brothers and bands like that, we would just use our friends,” he added. “Great crews to go send them and go work on location, you know. So it’s really an extended family for us. Many people are responsible for our success. Many.”

This year’s award is their second with McLaughlin.

“Won a Grammy for Best Jazz, improvised solo. And we did win the Grammy as a record label,” Souvik Dutta said. “But this time is a little bit extra special because my wife and I are the producers of this album. And so we orchestrated the whole album and the world tour for them this year. So it just feels a little bit special as producers.”

Read the full article on ABC.