NDTV: Grammys 2024: 5 Facts About Zakir Hussain’s Fusion Band Shakti

It was a big evening for the Indian musical industry at the 66th Grammy Awards. Percussionist Zakir Hussain’s supergroup Shakti won the Grammys in the Best Global Music Album category for This Moment. Singer Shankar Mahadevan, percussionist V Selvaganesh and violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan are also part of the band. This Moment is Shakti’s first new studio album in over 45 years. It was released on June 30, 2023, under the Abstract Logix label. The other artists nominated in the category were Susana Baca, Bokante, Burna Boy, and Davido. At the time of accepting the Award, Shankar Mahadevan said, “Thank you boys. Thank you God, family, friends, and India. India, we are proud of you…Last but not the least, I would like to dedicate this award to my wife whom every note of my music is dedicated to.”

All you need to know about Shakti:

1. Shakti came into existence in 1973 by British jazz guitarist John McLaughlin following the disbandment of the initial Mahavishnu Orchestra.

2. In the beginning, the group featured John McLaughlin, Indian violin maestro L. Shankar, and percussionists Zakir Hussain and T. H. “Vikku” Vinayakram.

3. After the original lineup disbanded in 1978, each member embarked on a successful solo career for two decades.

4. In the late 1990s, Shakti reunited, introducing Shankar Mahadevan on vocals, U. Srinivas on the mandolin, and Selvaganesh Vinayakram taking over for his father Vikku. However, the unfortunate passing of Mandolin U. Shrinivas in 2014 led to another break. In 2020, the group reconstituted itself and resumed performing in concerts. This time with violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan.

5. Last year, Shakti marked its 50th anniversary with a global tour. The tour kicked off in India on January 20, 2023

As per its official website, “Shakti honours the legacy of the original band by acknowledging their tradition while continuing to push beyond existing boundaries into new musical landscapes.”

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