Did you know that Ravi Shankar performed at Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969? That he mentored George Harrison in the finer points of playing sitar (as Harrison did on “Norwegian Wood”)? That he also influenced music by American jazz and classical artists?
Shankar was perhaps one of the most unlikely of influences on American music when brought the sitar from his native India. Harrison bestowed on him the title, “the godfather of world music.” David Crosby, who was a member of The Byrds when Shankar’s influence started being felt in the rock world once said, “Any player on any instrument with any ears would be deeply moved by Ravi Shankar. If you love music, it would be impossible not to be.”
Shankar died this week (12/11) at age 92 in San Diego after undergoing heart surgery a few days earlier. His best known offspring, singer-songwriter-pianist Norah Jones issued a statement via her record label which said, “My dad’s music touched millions of people. He will be greatly missed by me and music lovers everywhere.”
• Watch Shankar’s performance at Woodstock
• Watch the teacher and his student, Shankar and Harrison
Photo (Harrison and Shankar in 1970) by Central Press/Getty Images