Wednesday, July 29, 2015

RIP, Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar virtuoso and world music ambassador who gained widespread renown in the pop music world for his influence on The Beatles, has died at age 92.

RIP, Ravi Shankar

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Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar virtuoso and world music ambassador who gained renown in the pop music world with his influence on The Beatles, has died at age 92.

A statement on his web site on Thursday morning from his wife and daughter said that Shankar died near his home in Southern California after suffering upper respiratory and heart problems in the past year and undergoing heart valve replacement surgery last week.

Born to a Bengali Brahmin family in Varanesi in 1920, Shankar tour Europe and the United States extensively starting in the 1950s, and while recording for World Pacific Records first had a musical impact on the Byrds, and through them, The Beatles.

George Harrison played sitar on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" on 1965's Rubber Soul, and studied with Shankar in India for six weeks in 1966. Shankar, who also composed music for many movies,  played the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and won his first Grammy that year, and he also played Woodstock in 1969.

Along with his wife Sukanya, three grandchildren and four greeat grandchildren, Shakar is survived by his daughters, pop singer Norah Jones and sitar player Anoushka Shankar. The sitar playing Shankars are both nominated for 2013 best world music album Grammys, the father for The Living Room Sessions, Part 1 and daughter for Traveller.

Below, Shankar plays "Raga Anandi Kalyan" with his daughter.

Previously: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees announced Follow In the Mix on Twitter

Inquirer Music Critic
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