• Saturday, June 22, 2024


Fusion band Shakti wins best global music album at Grammy

Shakti is a fusion music group comprising tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and singer Shankar Mahadevan.

By: Mohnish Singh

Shakti, a fusion music group comprising tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and singer Shankar Mahadevan, has won the 2024 Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album for ‘This Moment’.

The 2024 Grammy Awards were held on late Sunday night at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena.

‘This Moment’ features Shakti founding member, guitarist John McLaughlin alongside Hussain, Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram.

Shakti’s ‘This Moment’, the group’s first studio album in more than 45 years, was released to critical acclaim in June 2023.

The Recording Academy, which conducts the Grammy Awards, announced on its X page, “Congrats Best Global Music Album winner – ‘This Moment’ Shakti.”

Mahadevan, who took the stage alongside Rajagopalan and Selvaganesh, gave a shout-out to McLaughlin and Hussain. While McLaughlin gave the ceremony a miss, Hussain was backstage as he had won another Grammy.

“We miss you John ji. Zakir Hussain, he just had another Grammy today. Thank you, boys, God, family, friends, and India. We are proud of you, India,” said Mahadevan in the speech, dedicating the win to his wife Sangeeta.

Rajagopalan thanked the Recording Academy for the recognition.

Other nominees in the best global music album were: ‘Epifanías’ (Susana Baca), ‘History’ (Bokanté), ‘I Told Them…’ (Burna Boy) and ‘Timeless’ (Davido).

Hussain won two more Grammys at the event: one for best global music performance for ‘Pashto’ and the other for best contemporary instrumental album for ‘As We Speak’ alongside American banjo player Bela Fleck and American bassist Edgar Meyer, featuring Indian flute player Rakesh Chaurasia, nephew of legendary flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia.

Without love and music we are nothing, said Hussain in his award acceptance speech for “Pashto”.

“Thanks to the Academy, thanks to all these musicians great musicians for giving us this beautiful (live) music today. One of our members is missing, Mr Bela Fleck.

“So from him, Mr Rakesh Chaurasia, and Mr Edgar Meyer, our deepest thanks… Families are here and without them, we are nothing. Without love, music, harmony, we are nothing,” the veteran percussionist said.

The best global music performance category had eight nominees, including “Abundance In Millets”, a song by Falu and featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi; “Shadow Forces” by Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, and Shahzad Ismaily, and “Alone” by Burna Boy.

Other nominees in the best contemporary instrumental album segment included: ‘On Becoming’ by House Of Waters, ‘Jazz Hands’ by Bob James, ‘The Layers’ by Julian Lage, and ‘All One’ by Ben Wendel.

Two-time Grammy winner Ricky Kej, who attended the awards ceremony, called 2024 the year of India at the Grammys.

Billed as an “unprecedented transcontinental collaboration”, Shakti unites Eastern and Western musicians, and in the process forged the template for what is now called world music, according to the group’s official website.

“Their dynamic musical hybrid immediately enthralled audiences around the globe – and inspired generations of musicians, artists, and thinkers from all walks of life to embark on their own cross-cultural odysseys.”

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