Ravi Shankar & (daughter) Anoushka Shankar "Raga Anandi Kalyan (live)"
Yesterday news surfaced that Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar, who came to widespread fame thanks to his association with The Beatles, had died after undergoing surgery at a San Diego hospital. He was 92 years of age. Born in India, where in 1999 he was bestowed the highly revered Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India) award, Shankar (originally a dancer) began studying the sitar at age 18 and soon excelled in the instrument going on to perform countless concerts and recording many film soundtracks over the years. Although he had been touring the US and Europe, playing Indian classical concerts, since the 1950's it was his introduction to Western audiences in the 1960's by The Beatles (thanks to George Harrison who he taught how to play sitar - see video below) that helped gain him widespread recognition among younger Western audiences - something that was further cemented when he played at both Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Over the years Shankar's numerous notable musical collaborators included John Coltrane, and Philip Glass. Shankar's daughter Anoushka Shankar , who he performed with in more recent years (see video above), is a renowned sitar player. Even better known is his other daughter; the singer Norah Jones. Look for a nice selection of Ravi Shankar's numerous recordings at Amoeba Music.
George Harrison - sitar lesson with Ravi Shankar