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Seagram’s 100 Pipers Brought Together ‘Shakti’ the Legends of Fusion Music to ‘Play For A Cause’

Grammy-winning guitarist John McLaughlin, tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan and more played in Kolkata to raise funds for supporting the art of handcrafted musical instruments

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Jan 17, 2020

Erstwhile fusion act Shakti played last week at Kolkata’s The Saturday Club for 100 Pipers’ Play For a Cause. (From left to right) Zakir Hussain, Ganesh Rajagopalan, John McLaughlin and V. Selvaganesh.

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Seagram’s 100 Pipers kicked off another edition of Play For a Cause (PFAC), a musical event with a purpose on January 14th at Kolkata’s The Saturday Club. The event raised awareness and funds for preserving the art of handcrafted musical instruments. The showcase, in particular, supported Kolkata’s legendary musical instrument shop Hemen & Co. which has received patronage from the likes of the Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison, Indian classical music legends Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Ravi Shankar, Jethro Tull’s frontman Ian Anderson and more. 

Featuring original and new members in the band’s lineup, erstwhile fusion act Shakti performed at 100 Pipers Play For A Cause. Comprising English Grammy-winning guitarist John McLaughlin, tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain, percussionist V. Selvaganesh, multi-faceted singer/composer Shankar Mahadevan and violin maestro Ganesh Rajagopalan, the iconic Indo-jazz fusion band brought their pioneering east-meets-west sound to the City of Joy. 

Shakti’s Ganesh Rajagopalan, Shankar Mahadevan, John McLaughlin and V. Selvaganesh.

Expressing his excitement towards the collaboration, Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India said, “Seagram’s 100 Pipers Play For A Cause has consistently lived the brand’s ethos of ‘Be Remembered For Good’ by leveraging music to support initiatives that lead a positive change in the society. The association with the iconic band Shakti is yet another fusion of music with purpose, that aims to support such iconic music legends and the art of handcrafted musical instruments which faces a challenge in a world of increasing digitization and electronically generated sound. With this event, 100 Pipers and Shakti strive to support this craft and the originality of musical sound.”

The event took place on the heels of 100 Pipers’ last musical extravaganza under Play For A Cause which made Seagram’s 100 Pipers the 1st ever brand to organize 100 music gigs on a single day on November 29th, 2019, across 27 cities for 15 social causes. These events featured New Delhi rockers Parikrama and The Local Train, Chandigarh folktronica duo Hari and Sukhmani, Mumbai rock act Indus Creed and folk/rock band Ankur & The Ghalat Family, post-rockers Aswekeepsearching, Kolkata-based singer Usha Uthup and more. The program generated awareness towards 15 social causes such as climate change, the decline in Indian heritage arts, meals for under-privileged, single-use plastic, amongst others. 

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