Planet Drum to Return With First Album in 15 Years: Exclusive
Planet Drum, the Grammy-winning, all-star collective led by the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and world music artists Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hildalgo and Sikiru Adepoju, will return with their first album in 15 years on Aug. 5.
In the Groove follows 1991’s self-titled release, which spent 26 weeks atop Billboard’s World Albums chart and won the first-ever Grammy for best world music album. Their sophomore set, 2007’s Global Drum Project, won the Grammy for best contemporary world music album in 2009.
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The new album will be preceded by the group’s first live show in 15 years on May 1 at Frost Amphitheater in Palo Alto, Calif. Two more shows are on the schedule, timed to the album’s release, for Aug. 5-6 at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, N.Y.
Hart and his co-workers began work on the album during Hart’s pandemic. This was after Hart’s tour schedule with Dead and Company came to a halt.
” I thought there was a need for this,” Hart stated in a statement about drumming’s healing nature. Planet Drum is all about rhythmic unity between cultures, and with the world in pain, it sends out a powerful message .”
Hussain describes the project as a “groove record”. Very little virtuoso soloing, but four of us in sync within the groove adds up to something incredible.”
The musicians recorded initially separately, but as the pandemic eased they were able gather in person. Below video captures part of the joyful, mystical recording process. It also includes archival footage.
” All rhythms are the same, jazz, blues,” Adepoju says. “The music speaks one language.” Although the musicians come from different backgrounds and philosophies as well, Adepoju says that they are all united by their love of percussion and the healing power of music.
“What has happened in America is that we’ve lost our groove,” Hart said over footage of police wearing riot gear. “All other forces, war, famine – all of those things have rhythmic causes. The planet is out rhythm. It is possible to save the earth if we get back in rhythm.
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