After 15 Years Groundbreaking Global Percussion Ensemble PLANET DRUM Announces “In the Groove,” New Album out August 5th

On August 5th, two-time Grammy Award winners Planet Drum will help get the planet back in rhythm with In the Groove, the first album from the trailblazing world music supergroup in 15 years.  Renowned global rhythm masters Mickey Hart (USA),  Zakir Hussain (India), Giovanni Hidalgo (Puerto Rico) and Sikiru Adepoju (Nigeria) are Planet Drum, and In the Groove continues the legacy forged in 1991 with Planet Drum’s monumental self-titled original release, which remains one of the most successful percussion recordings of all time, topping the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks. Planet Drum won the first-ever Grammy Award for Best World Music Album and changed the perception of percussive world music forever. Their second effort, 2007’s Global Drum Project earned their second Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2009.

On In the Groove, Planet Drum recaptures and exalts the percussion magic that began so long ago, this time heightened by the challenges of COVID and the current status of the globe. As touring ceased, Hart’s busy Dead and Company schedule came to a halt, leaving him the gift of time to explore further his passion and calling  for all things percussion, which ultimately led to reconnecting with his three brothers in Planet Drum. As a lifelong student of  rhythm, Hart is captivated by its restorative nature. “I thought there was a great need for this.  Rhythmic unity among cultures is what Planet Drum is about, and with the world in torment, it sends a powerful message of healing.”  This short video was filmed in the studio and shows the genuine love, respect and pure joy the four master musicians experienced through this reunion, as well as a glimpse into their creative process. VIEW HERE

In the Groove is a dance album, a celebratory act after the exhaustion and depletion of the last two years.  Zakir says. “It’s a groove album. Very little virtuoso soloing, but four of us in sync within the groove adds up to something incredible.”  Created during the pandemic, the task of recording became mainly one of editing and spatial processing. Towards the end of recording, the supergroup was finally able to come together in-person and perform live, and that mesmerizing energy is felt throughout In the Groove.

Planet Drum’s message of unity is needed now more than ever. In a world ripe with conflict and division, Planet Drum leads by example, symbolizing the idea of bringing different cultures together to create one collective rhythm. Working together for one goal  creates stronger and more fulfilling human connections, understanding and ultimately, joy.

Planet Drum will share the groove with fans at their first live show in fifteen years on May 1st at the Frost Amphitheater. The supergroup will celebrate the release of In the Groove with two performances, on August 5th and 6th at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester NY. Go to The Capitol Theatre for on-sale dates.



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 Allarakha, whose work with Ravi Shankar redefined the place of tabla in Indian classical music.  He began a solo recording career, often in partnership with Allarakha’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, also the name of a band and hit CD which earned the first World Music Grammy.

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.