Open main menu

Shakti were a fusion band formed by English guitarist John McLaughlin, Indian violin player L. Shankar, percussionists Zakir Hussain (on tabla), Ramnad Raghavan (on the Mridangam), and T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram (on Ghatam)[1] in 1974. The band played acoustic fusion music which combined Indian music with elements of jazz.

A quartet performs acoustic music to the audience while being covered by a dark stage-light.
Shakti in 1976
Background information
Years active1974–1978
Associated acts
Past members

In addition to fusing Euro-American and Indian music, Shakti also represented a fusion of the Hindustani and Carnatic music traditions, since Hussain is from the north region of India while the other Indian members are from the South.

The group came together in 1974, after the dissolution of the first incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and toured fairly extensively during the period 1975-1977; it made only sporadic appearances (with personnel changes) thereafter.

After 1977 the albums which L. Shankar recorded with Z. Hussain and T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram stayed close to the music made popular by Shakti. Some twenty years later McLaughlin and Hussain put together another band with the same concept, called Remember Shakti, including V. Selvaganesh (son of T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram ), mandolin player U. Shrinivas and eventually Shankar Mahadevan.

Two concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival (July 6, 1976 and July 8, 1977) are included among the 17 CDs of the box set Montreux Concerts by John McLaughlin.[2]


Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Jazz
Shakti with John McLaughlin
  • Released: 1976
  • Label: Columbia Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download[5]
194 37
A Handful of Beauty
  • Released: 1976
  • Label: Columbia Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download[6]
168 32 42
Natural Elements
  • Released: 1977
  • Label: CBS Records
  • Formats: LP, CD, digital download[7]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ Innerviews. "John McLaughlin - Remembering Shakti". Innerviews: Music Without Borders. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  2. ^ "John McLaughlin – John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts". February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ "iTunes - Music - Shakti with John McLaughlin (Shakti with John McLaughlin) by Shaki with John McLaughlin". iTunes.
  6. ^ "iTunes - Music - A Handful of Beauty (With John McLaughlin) by Shakti". iTunes.
  7. ^ "iTunes - Music - Natural Elements (With John McLaughlin) by Shakti". iTunes.

External linksEdit