GRAMMY™ NOMINEE FOR BEST GLOBAL MUSIC ALBUM – SHAKTI’S ‘THIS MOMENT’
Nomination follows rapturously received 50th Anniversary World Tour featuring original group co-founders John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain
Shakti, the recently reconvened global fusion trailblazers, have been nominated for the 2024 GRAMMY™ Award for Best Global Music Album for This Moment – the group’s first new studio album in more than 45 years, released on June 30, 2023, on the Abstract Logix label. “After our most successful tour ever of three continents, Shakti gets a GRAMMY nomination for our album This Moment…” reacted to co-founding guitarist and composer John McLaughlin. “We are thrilled and delighted beyond words.”
“Our 2023 world tour celebrated 50 years of love and beauty,” Zakir Hussain adds. “Congratulations to my longtime brother in the music, John McLaughlin, and to our brilliant bandmates Shankar Mahadevan, Selvaganesh Vinayakaram, and Ganesh Rajagopalan.”
Shakti recently concluded their triumphant 27-city 50th Anniversary Tour, which featured 17 U.S. performances with opening sets by longtime admirers Jerry Douglas, Bill Frisell, Béla Fleck, and John Scofield. Highlights of the tour – during which the thrilling cross-cultural musical ideas first broached on This Moment was further explored and expanded – included a performance at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium (captured and released as a limited live stream) and a riveting appearance on NPR’s popular Tiny Desk Concerts program.
Shakti was formed in 1973, as McLaughlin sought deeper musical fulfillment following the success of his immensely influential and successful jazz/rock fusion outfit The Mahavishnu Orchestra. A Greenwich Village music shop owner connected McLaughlin with tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, who had been performing with giants of Hindustani music since he was a child. Their initial informal encounters grew into Shakti, an outfit that transcended the boundaries separating Eastern and Western music via dynamic virtuosity and spiritual openness. Over the succeeding decades, Shakti’s powerful albums and tours established them among the key architects of what is today called “World Music,” inspiring generations of musicians to discard arbitrary borders in search of fruitful musical hybrids. “They were a revelation,” recalls Béla Fleck.
Today’s Shakti, as experienced in concert in 2023 and on This Moment, is composed of McLaughlin (guitar, guitar synth), Hussain (tabla), vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakaram. “Shakti is truly a pioneer in the concept of world fusion,” explains Mahadevan, “where music knows no boundaries and comes together most beautifully from different genres. I am so privileged to be with the greatest maestros – the most evolved musicians that I have ever met.”
“The greatest thing we wanted to celebrate with this album was that it’s considered for Best Global Music Album and not any other category,” said percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakaram, son of original Shakti member, Carnatic music legend Vikku Vinayakaram, in an interview with Rolling Stone India. “That means this group has that global music value.”
“How apt to have the band who created this genre of ‘World Music’ be nominated for this honor on their 50th anniversary,” reflects Souvik Dutta – who was inspired by Shakti to found Abstract Logix twenty years ago. “They are the ultimate global band – the brotherhood of John and Zakir uniting in music to bring the world together.”
“This Grammy nomination,” concludes Ganesh Rajagopalan, “is a testament to the evergreen quality of the music of Shakti.”