In a monumental victory, the renowned Indian fusion ensemble Shakti has clinched the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album with their latest release, This Moment. Shakti, an international musical powerhouse founded by guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, violinist L. Shankar, along with percussionists Ramnad Raghavan and T.H. 'Vikku' Vinayakram, is celebrated for its groundbreaking fusion of Carnatic and Southern Indian music, structured improvisation, and modern jazz.
Shakti's distinctive sound, often described as an intense acoustic fusion, reflects the band members' mastery of their respective crafts, making them a legendary force in their own league. Comprised entirely of virtuosos, Shakti stands as the epitome of global music, transcending borders with their unique blend of genres. The recent Grammy win for their album 'This Moment' marks a triumphant return for Shakti, as it is their first original recording under the Shakti name in over 45 years.
The band's journey began in 1975 when McLaughlin, deeply inspired by tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, formed Shakti with Shankar, Vinayakram, and Raghavan. Their innovative self-titled debut in 1975 garnered acclaim, fusing elements of Carnatic and South Indian musical traditions with East/West improvisation and spiritual jazz. Despite a hiatus in 1978 and subsequent lineup changes, Shakti's impact endured, influencing generations of musicians globally.
Over the years, Shakti transformed, reuniting in the late '90s with new members like flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia and mandolinist U. Srinivas. Renamed 'Remember Shakti', they continued to push boundaries, releasing albums like the eponymous double-length studio offering in 1999. Despite busy schedules and the tragic loss of U. Srinivas in 2014, Shakti persisted, reuniting for This Moment in 2023, featuring Ganesh Rajagopalan as the replacement for Shankar.
Their Grammy-winning album, This Moment, stands as a testament to Shakti's enduring influence and captures the essence of their 50-year musical journey. Recorded in the U.S., Canada, and India, the eight-song set showcases original and traditional Indian compositions, highlighting the quintet's impeccable musicianship. Shakti's ability to seamlessly blend diverse musical elements has not only earned them acclaim but also solidified their position as trailblazers across the global music landscape. As they continue to push boundaries and captivate audiences, this Grammy win cements their legacy as a band that transcends time and cultural boundaries.
Listen to This Moment by Shakti below:
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