[Cover photo credit to Jamie Soja]
Shakti co-founders John McLaughlin (guitar) and Zakir Hussain (tabla) were pioneers in bringing together Eastern and Western musical traditions, as they launched on their 1975 debut album.
Fifty years on, McLaughlin and Hussain are still bandmates, while Shakti’s influence has inspired subsequent generations of musicians to forge their own global fusions. The group released their first new studio album in 45 years, This Moment on June 23, 2023, emphasizing their impact on “world music,” and demonstrating their ongoing concept. They have released a live video of “Shrini’s Dream” from their performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
This Moment was recorded in isolation, with each member delivering their contributions separately from their respective home cities. The tour brough them together to create their magic live. The tour’s twenty-eight dates were themselves an escalation, as the members of the current Shakti lineup, including McLaughin, Hussain, vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram built on their intricate, collaborative music.
Of his comrades, McLaughlin shares that “their influence on me as a musician and human being is without equal. It’s really a thrill, and I’m delighted to be part of this marvelous tradition of Shakti.”
Zakir Hussain adds:
And now, the decades of individual music experiences we all have had poured into this gathering’s offering has resulted in an extraordinary depth to the sound and interaction of this band.