TWO-TIME GRAMMY-WINNING COLLECTIVE FEATURING MICKEY HART, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, GIOVANNI HIDALGO & SIKIRU ADEPOJU CHAMPIONS RHYTHMIC UNITY AMONG CULTURES“Music speaks one language.” - Sikiru Adepoju
Today, two-time Grammy Award winners Planet Drum release In the Groove, the first album from the groundbreaking world music supergroup in 15 years. Only in the cosmic universe of Mickey Hart (USA), Zakir Hussain (India), Giovanni Hidalgo (Puerto Rico) and Sikiru Adepoju (Nigeria) does Planet Drum fulfill one of Mickey’s greatest achievements: “Rhythmic unity among all cultures.” Watch these musical brothers in action in this short video that was filmed during the creation of the album, and experience the genuine love, respect and pure joy they share as they create the rhythms of In the Groove. VIEW HERE Listen to/purchase In the Groove HERE.
In the Groove is Planet Drum’s third installment of their innovative percussion series which began in 1991 with their seminal self-titled release which remains one of the most successful percussion recordings of all time, topping the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks and winning the first-ever Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Their second was 2007’s Global Drum Project which earned another Grammy Award, for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2009.
Hart expresses that during times of strife and division, music can offer healing and connection. He reflected on the role Planet Drum can have during these challenging moments in a recent interview with Relix. He said, “We all feel the pain of the world, and this is a way to alleviate some of that. Sometimes it feels like everybody has their little place that they’re hiding out in, so they don’t learn about other cultures and share in the stories, hardships and joy—especially joy—of those different cultures. When you see a band like this playing together—representing different cultures from all over the world—it demonstrates that it can be done.” That mission is the purpose of Planet Drum, and it is embodied in the group’s newest video for “King Clave” which was created with Playing for Change and features the group playing with over 50 traditional drummers and dancers from around the globe. The captivating clip has been seen by over 600,000 viewers, inspiring joy in all who watch.
And after the past few years of the pandemic, In the Groove is ultimately a celebration. Hussain says, “It’s a feel-good, jump up and down, tap-your-toes dance album. It also has a combined organic and electronic sonic experience that’s very warm.” And that is the essence of Planet Drum. Four rhythm masters in sync, in the groove.
PLANET DRUM IS:
Mickey Hart: Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Hart was the son of champion marching band drummers; he was born to drum. After high school, he played in Air Force marching bands before landing in the San Francisco Bay Area where one day he met Bill Kreuzmann of the Grateful Dead. Soon the band had two drummers. He began his life-long study of various world percussion traditions with the legendary Alla Rakha, whose work with Ravi Shankar redefined the place of tabla in Indian classical music. He began a solo recording career, often in partnership with Alla Rakha’s son Zakir Hussain, while simultaneously taking on serious research on the history and anthropology of percussion. His studies led to a number of books, including Drumming at the Edge of Magic and Planet Drum.
Zakir Hussain: The pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time, Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon. A national treasure in his native India, he is one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians, renowned for his genre-defying collaborations in groups like Shakti, Masters of Percussion, the Diga Rhythm Band, Planet Drum, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland, in trio with Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer and, most recently, with Herbie Hancock. As a composer, he has scored music for numerous feature films, major events and productions and has created three concertos. He has taught at Stanford, Princeton, and U.C. Berkeley. On January 15, 2018, HarperCollins India released Zakir’s long-awaited oral memoir, (available on Amazon), A Life in Music, by Nasreen Munni Kabir, the distinguished British television producer, director, and author.
Sikiru Adepoju: Born in Nigeria to a family so firmly ensconced in music that his father’s first name meant “descended from drummers,” Sikiru was still in his teens when he began touring and recording with the Inter-Reformers Band, led by one of the true pioneers of Afro-Beat, Nigerian Juju artist Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. He came to the U.S. in 1985 to play with O. J. Ekemode’s Nigerian All-Stars, and soon after connected with Babatunde Olatunji and became an essential member of the Drums of Passion. Knowing Olatunji brought him into the musical orbit of Mickey Hart, where he has contributed to projects from Planet Drum and the Global Drum Project to albums like Mystery Box, Supralingua, and At The Edge. He has also recorded with Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, and Zakir Hussain among many others. He has also lead groups like The Honeymakers, Afrika Heartbeat, and the Riddim Doctors.
Giovanni Hidalgo: As with his brothers in Planet Drum, Giovanni is the son of a renowned drummer, the conguero “Mañengue.” Raised in Puerto Rico, he played with Batacumbele and traveled to Cuba, where he and Jose Luis Quintana, “Changuito,” created rhythms which defined the next wave of Latin music. By 1985 he was working with Eddie Palmieri at the Village Gate, where Dizzy Gillespie heard him and invited him to join Dizzy’s United Nation Orchestra. In the ‘90s, he taught at Berklee College of Music. Since joining Planet Drum in 1990, Giovanni has also worked with a wide range of musicians, from Art Blakey to Don Byron to Sammy Hagar and Paul Simon.