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Ravi Shankar

Rabindra Shankar Chowdery, aka Ravi Shankar, was born on April 7, 1920, in Varanasi, India, into a well-off orthodox Brahmin family. His father, ShyÆm Shankar, was employed as a diwan (minister) by the Maharajah of Jhalawar. By the age of 13, Ravi Shankar was going along on every tour of his brother Uday Shankar's Compaigne de Danse et Musique Hindou (Company of Hindu Dance and Music). At the All-Bengali Music Conference in December 1934, he met the multi-instrumentalist Allauddin Khan. Precisely when Allauddin Khan was born is uncertain. People hazard dates in the 1860s around 1862, but in later years he himself gave his age haphazardly. He would transform many musicians' lives, but he had an incalculable effect on Ali Akbar (his son), Annapurna Devi (his daughter), and Shankar himself. Allauddin Khan joined Uday's troupe as its principal soloist around 1935-1936.

In 1938, Shankar gave up a potential career as a dancer and went to study with Allauddin Khan in Maihar. In 1939, he began giving public recitals and came out of training at the end of 1944. Until 1948, he based himself in Bombay and gave programs all over India. He toured and wrote for films and ballet. Around this time he began his recording career with a small session for HMV (India). Work for All India Radio followed, as music director from February 1949 to January 1956 in New Delhi. Concurrently, his international star was on the rise. In 1954, he performed in the Soviet Union. In 1956, he played his debut solo concerts in Western Europe and the U.S. Within a decade he would be the most famous Indian musician on the planet. Within two decades he became probably the most famous Indian alive. His English-language autobiography, My Music, My Life (1969), is still one of the best general introductions to Hindustani music. It would be hard to over-estimate his influence in late 20th century Western music. His disciples included George Harrison and Philip Glass.

Shankar was not one-dimensional. Apart from pursuing a career as a classical performer, he also experimented outside this field. For this reason he has attracted criticism from purists. Some of this, especially during the Beatles era, undoubtedly had an element of jealousy to it, and some was certainly warranted, because Shankar did take many chances. In fact, that was one of the things that kept his music exciting. To use a cricketing image -- baseball would be wholly inappropriate -- Shankar's batting average remained high throughout a long and illustrious career. In later life, he spent a great deal of time in the U.S. at his home in California, and continued to give spellbinding live performances well into the new century. However, his final concert took place in Bangalore, southwest India, in February 2012, where he shared the stage with his daughter, Anoushka. Sadly, following a long period of ill health, Shankar passed away at a San Diego hospital on December 11, 2012, aged 92. A pair of albums appeared later that year, Living Room Sessions: Part 1 and a performance of Shankar's only symphony composition, simply called Symphony, done by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with David Murphy. ~ Ken Hunt, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Living Room Sessions Part 2

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Track List: The Living Room Sessions, Pt. 1

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Track List: Best Of Ravi Shankar

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Track List: Golden Jubilee Concert Volume 2

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Track List: Live At The Monterey International Pop Festival

Comments

agustagiovan n a
He came to my house with my yoga teacher, what a honor, I will never forget tha day and the great artist, he was
Luv Hindi music fav kind of music other than hawaiian music
it's soothe the savagebreast , d e a r
I have always loved Ravi's music, always. I always will.
Love this music it's deep
Thank you for gracing the world w/ your life and music. You have been an inspiration to many and a solace to many more. Namaste
The Master Ravi give to the world peace inside the earth and a great feeling of well been forever and ever remind light full in the infinite universe .
Hope I meet him in the hereafter! I'm sure all religions and sects merge in the afterlife.
Keep the comments coming. Rav's musici was a great comfort to me in the 1960's
karen.parson s 7 9
I had the pleasure of hearing him at Blossom Music Center years ago. He was the opening act for Rod McKuen.
this is great homework music
Music which embodies what is missing from our modern lives; peace, patience, discipline, improvisatio n and transcendenc e .
music to soothe the savage beast also known as a teething baby!
this is awesome


Check apu trilogy. More great Ravi music.
1202823822
Namaste Ravi master!
Miss Ravi everyday
fredscrazych i c k
An artist who will be missed ... may he return as an musician again
tprasek
In a documentary Ravi was asked whether he was a Hindu...he did not claim to be any particular sect. But he did say that KRSNA is special, and that He (KRSNA) is everywhere. I pray KRSNA was on his mind's lips as he passed from this world. His artistic ideals are far reaching, and we'll never know how much he contributed to music. Another person not mentioned in the bio he met and instructed was John Coltrane. Coltrane must have been impressed since he named his son Ravi Coltrane after him.
cboston67
Love Ravi. His music and the spirit he projected. My other love is George Harrison and may they rest in peace together.
Love Ravi
I missed a chance to see him in philly a couple years ago... biggest missed opportunity.
bgpmd8
I never got a chance to hear him live, but have loved his music. Sooo Amazing. You will be missed, Rest in Peace.
He is so amazing! My new favorite! Ravi rocks! Go india!
solomonzen
Monterey, nuff said
The same thing Happened to me when i asked about M.S. Subbulakshmi to a North Indian guy (who is good listener of music)...He didnt know anything about M.S...what a shame she is the Queen of Classical music First Musician got Bharath Ratna.....Do n t think every one has to know about North...thin k how much you guys know about South????
I once asked some friends in Kerala (SW India) what they thought about Ravi Shakar. Who? was the response. I was outraged that they knew Bollywood garbage but had never heard of their greatest musician and composer. I became so incensed that I lost a couple of friends that day. So be it. I lost friends but their's was the greater loss. Richard Sneed- New Orleans / Jackson MS
trollscruff
Heaven's house band just got so much greater... or maybe he'll be reincarnated , and we'll get to hear him again!

...with joy and gratitude, Mr. Shankar. May you go in peace, wherever you are.
Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed by millions-but now you're among all the other musicians that have passed. Peace.
I am very sad to hear that Ravi Shankar has passed away. He will be missed. I am glad that I got to go hear him perform back in the 80's. Incredible musician!
Still a little in shock that he died on 12/12/12---p e a c e be with him.
psidhrian
शांति
ldr21949
I will miss ravi - running w his music helped alot. Peace ravi
So happy I was able to see him at least once in my lifetime.... u n f o r g e t t a b l e experience!
Rest in peace, Ravi!
you will be sooooo missed.
RIP now you joined the Gods...
lcarotenuto8
Thank you.
agrawal.law
My father met Ravi Shankar as a boy in India. I grew up listening to his beautiful, melodic, soulful music. May you find peace, joy an happiness in your next life. Thank you for inspiring the world with your music and teaching.
nhudyma3
RIP...
I saw Raviji and his daughter Anoushka, at the 1997 Spring Festival held by The Music Circle in Pasadena CC.Music from the human mind was never closer to Heaven than Ravi's! Sleep peacefully, Raviji!
joe.kolisch
Rest in Peace Ravi
so amazing, transcending . . . . . . u might also like www.facebook . c o m / a n y a s k i d a n m u s i c
janetusctroj a n
I just saw him perform last night in Long Beach ... still amazing although he did appear to be in failing health.
I saw Shankar perform in the 80's. Traditional three-piece: sitar, tabla, and that droning instrument, plus another sitar player. Incredible muscianship!

Yes, not reggae, but raga. And, not ragtime either!
Shankar, Coltrane, so transcending . . . makes life worth living
I love this music
It's raga, not Reggae. Reggae is from the West Indies (Caribean, like Bob Marley). Raga is from East India, and Ravi is the greatest sitar player ever. I like raga better than jazz, but it has some of the same kinds of minor keys and varied rhythms.
TIMING WISE THIS IS THE MOST DIFFICULT MUSICAL GENRE TO PLAY BY FAR AND THE MUSICAL TIMING CAN BE HARD ON WESTERNISED EARS AND TO PLAY AT PROPER TEMPOS AS WELL. RAGGAE PERCUSSIONIS T HAVE IT ONLY A LITTLE LESS DIFFICULT IN THEIR MUSICAL TIMING
HE WAS THE FIRST INDIAN MUSICIAN THAT PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF INDIA WERE INTRODUCED TO AND KNEW OF THANKS TO HIS FRIENDSHIP AND MUSICAL COLABORATION S WITH THE WORLD FAMOUS BEATLES
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