24 May 2013 - RAVI SHANKAR - Sitar Maestro


- Sitar Maestro -

G'day guys,

Ravi Shankar, known by the Beatles as 'The Godfather of world music', has died at the age of 92.

In a statement, Shankar's family said he had been in fragile health for several years and recently underwent heart-valve replacement surgery in California.
"Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery," his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka said.

"We were at his side when he passed away.
"Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives."
"He will live forever in our hearts and in his music."

Shankar lived in both India and the United States. He is also survived by his daughter, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh expressed his sadness over the death and hailed Shankar as "a national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage".

Shankar, perhaps best known for his work with the Beatles, was born into a high-caste Bengali Brahmin family in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi in northern India on April 7, 1920.

He taught close friend and late Beatle George Harrison to play the sitar and collaborated with him on several projects, including the groundbreaking Concert for Bangladesh in 1971.

Shankar, who appeared at the 1967 Monterey Festival and Woodstock in 1969, was a three-time Grammy winner and had recently been nominated for a 2013 Grammy for his latest album, The Living Room Sessions, Part 1.

He was nominated for an Oscar in 1982 for his work on the film Gandhi, was a recipient of both India and France's highest civilian honours, and was awarded an honorary knighthood in Britain as well as a string of honorary degrees.

Shankar, who also sat in India's upper house of parliament and set up a charitable foundation, once said Indian audiences did not always approve of his association with Western rock stars and he was also not comfortable with the fame it brought him.

"When I started working with George Harrison I became like a pop star myself," he told The Guardian newspaper in a June 2011 interview.
"Everywhere I went, I was recognised. I didn't like that at all."

"When George became my student, I got a new audience: the younger generation," Shankar told Rolling Stone in 1997. "And, of course, they came like a flood because the whole thing happened with the hippie movement and this interest in Indian culture. Unfortunately it got all mixed up with drugs and Kamasutra and all that. I was like a rock star . . . I never said one shouldn't take drugs or drink alcohol, but associating drugs with our music and culture, that's something I always fought. I was telling them to come without being high on drugs. I said, 'Give me the chance to make you high through our music,' which it does, really. I think it's good I made that stand, and that's why I'm still here today." 

Shankar was also a teacher to jazz icon John Coltrane, who was so influenced by the musician that he named his own son Ravi. 

As his popularity rose, Shankar performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock two years later. In 1971, Shankar and Harrison organized the Concert for Bangladesh, which helped raise money for refugees fleeing that country for India and set the example for future all-star benefits like Live Aid.

Now, you might like to listen to a magnificent song by Ravi's famous, and beautiful, daughter - Norah Jones:

'Come away with me'.


Clancy's comment: Thank you, Ravi. Loved ya work! Pax vobiscum.

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