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Indian musician Ravi Shankar passes away

Indian musician Ravi Shankar passes away

THE death has taken place of the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, who helped introduce Indian classical music to western audiences and influenced many musicians, including the Beatles. He was 92.

It was the Beatles who held propel Mr. Shankar onto the world stage. When they met in India, George Harrison asked the musician to teach him the sitar.

His collaboration with the band is credited with inspiring the psychedelic sound which developed in the 1960s.

Mr. Shankar went on to play at Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, although he refused to play at Montreal Pop Festival in the same year after being shocked when The Who destroyed their instruments on stage.

He won one of his three Grammy awards for his contribution to George Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh in 1971.

Although his collaboration with the Beatles had helped bring him worldwide recognition, he later expressed a degree of regret at the way he had been turned into a pop star.

As a young man, he had trained as a dancer and toured Europe with his brother’s troupe. However, when he reached 18 he decided to learn the sitar.

His music was said to have influenced many performers and he also collaborated with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and the jazz saxophonist John Contrane.

Mr. Shankar had also enjoyed success as a composer of film scores. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work on the 1982 movie, Gandhi.

He had been living in California in recent years and continued to tour, with his daughter Anoushka, until only weeks before his death.

Mr. Shankar passed away at a hospital in San Diego where he had recently undergone heart surgery.

He is survived by his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka, and another daughter from a previous relationship, the singer Nora Jones.

To view a performance by Ravi Shanka, click here.

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