In a momentous comeback, legendary jazz-fusion band Shakti has clinched the Grammy for Global Music Album, marking their first studio release in a staggering 46 years.
The groundbreaking victory comes for their latest masterpiece, This Moment.
Released in June, This Moment showcases the brilliance of virtuoso guitar player John McLaughlin and table maestro Zakir Hussain, alongside vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram, son of Vikku.
Their triumph in the Global Music Album category at the Grammys faced tough competition from Afrobeats luminaries Burna Boy and Davido, the multicultural ensemble Bokante, and Peruvian singer Susana Baca.
Accepting the award with palpable excitement, Mahadevan expressed gratitude, saying, “Thank you boys and thank you God, family, friends, and India. We are proud of you, India. Last but not least, I’d like to dedicate this award to my wife, whom every note of my music is dedicated to.”
Notably absent from the ceremony was McLaughlin, prompting Mahadevan to say, “We miss you, John-ji.”
Meanwhile, Zakir Hussain, a standout performer at the Grammys, secured three wins. His collaboration on As We Speak earned the Contemporary Instrumental Album award, and the track Pashto claimed Best Global Music Performance.
Celebrations erupted online, with notable Indian figures, including composer Ricky Kej, hailing it as “India’s year at the Grammys”.
Kej’s post on a micro-blogging website, expressing sheer thrill, “Rakesh Chaurasia, Shankar Mahadevan, Ganesh Rajagopalan, Selvaganesh Vinayakram, and Ustad Zakir Hussain… India is truly shining!! Thrilled!!!! Six Indians win in a single year.”
Founded in 1973, Shakti’s unique fusion of jazz and Indian musical traditions, blending Hindustani and Carnatic styles, catapulted them to fame with albums like A Handful of Beauty and Natural Elements in the mid-1970s.
After extensive touring, Shakti underwent lineup changes, with McLaughlin and Hussain forming Remember Shakti in 1997. However, it wasn’t until 2020 that the original Shakti members reunited.