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Schedule Thu, 17 Aug 2023  7:00 PM Venue Boch Center - Wang Theatre
270 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02116

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Shakti 50 - The Historic 50th Anniversary World Tour In Boston

Following word of the Summer 2023 release
of This Moment – their first new studio album in 46 years – revolutionary world
music ensemble Shakti will continue to discover and explore the musical common
ground bridging East and West on an extensive U.S. tour, beginning August 17 in
Boston. Born in the mid-1970s out of the deep artistic and spiritual connection
bonding British guitarist John McLaughlin and Indian tabla player Zakir
Hussain, Shakti’s cross-cultural musical conversation dissolved boundaries with
uncommon passion, grace, and dexterity –awakening subsequent generations of
musicians to the possibilities of such hybrids in the process. Alongside
McLaughlin and Hussain, today’s Shakti features vocalist Shankar Mahadevan,
violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan, and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram (son of
original Shakti ghatam player T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram).

Looking ahead to the performances, McLaughlin equates the
endeavor to a homecoming of sorts. “Shakti was born in the USA in 1973,” he
reflects, “and is also no stranger to American audiences. We’ve played concerts
all over the US from coast to coast and north to south – and everywhere we’ve
played, we’ve had wonderful audiences.”

Joining Shakti on more than half of the dates will be
another performer dedicated to intermingling and transcending genres, Béla Fleck,
who will open the performances with a solo set and will then join forces with
Shakti later each evening. “Hearing Shakti was a revelation and I started
listening right when they started,” Fleck recalls. “Something about Shakti, and
also making music with Zakir, was very relatable – perhaps akin to the acoustic
guitar and fiddle. But it wasn’t until playing with Zakir and Edgar Meyer [on
2009’s Melody of Rhythm: Triple Concerto & Music for Trio] that I started
having more of a sense of what they were up to. Keeping in mind the virtuosic
and energetic level of the band, I’ll be attempting to create a solo set that
mesmerizes and excites.”

“Béla is a truly fine musician and one I have admired for
decades,” McLaughlin says. “In addition, Béla has toured and recorded with
Zakir Hussain and is no stranger to the musical culture of India.” McLaughlin
and Fleck have only shared the stage once before – during a Chick Corea
birthday show at the Blue Note in New York – making these upcoming
collaborations a thrilling proposition for both audiences and performers alike.
Shakti will also be joined by Bill Frisell and other special guests on select

With the recording of their new studio album now complete,
the members of Shakti now await the opportunity to continue their pan-global
dialogue. “In our initial incarnation,” Zakir Hussain concludes, “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.”

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