John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain’s group Shakti will perform at NJPAC

shakti reunion

Shakti (from left, Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, John McLaughlin, Ganesh Rajagopalan and V. Selvaganesh).

Guitarist John McLaughlin and tabla player Zakir Hussain are reviving their groundbreaking ’70s world music/fusion group Shakti and touring with it, with stops including Aug. 20 at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark. Tickets go on sale Feb. 3 at 10 a.m., with pre-sales beginning Feb. 1 at 10 a.m.; visit

Banjo master Béla Fleck will present a solo opening set, and also join Shakti during their performance.

Shakti, whose original incarnation also featured violinist L. Shankar, released three albums in 1976 and 1977. McLaughlin and Hussain are joined in the current version of the group by singer Shankar Mahadevan, violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram (son of original Shakti ghatam player T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram).

The group plans to release a new album, This Moment, this summer. You can listen to its first single, “Mohanam,” below.

“In our initial incarnation,” said Hussain in a press release, “we did not always have the time nor the means to explore. Now, with the decades of individual musical experiences we all have poured into this, the result reveals an extraordinary depth and level of interaction within this band.”

“Hearing Shakti was a revelation and I started listening right when they started,” said Fleck, in the press release. “Something about Shakti, and also making music with Zakir, was very relatable — perhaps akin to the acoustic guitar and fiddle.”


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