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Tributes Swell on Death of Sitar Legend Ravi Shankar

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Tributes poured in Wednesday following the death in California of Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, who died in San Diego at the age of 92.

December 12 (RIA Novosti) – Tributes poured in Wednesday following the death in California of Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, who died in San Diego at the age of 92.

The Recording Academy, the body that organizes the annual US Grammy Awards and promotes recorded music, announced that Shankar, father of jazz singer Norah Jones, was among the recipients of the academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“My Dad’s music touched millions of people,” Jones said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. “He will be greatly missed by me and music lovers everywhere.”

From Shankar’s native India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office posted a Twitter message describing the musician as a “national treasure” and lamenting that “an era has passed away” with his death.

The Recording Academy paid tribute to the “exceptional accomplishments” of Shankar and other award recipients, saying they would influence and inspire generations to come.

“Ravi Shankar is a true ambassador for international music,” the academy said.

The New Yorker magazine, in a post on the cultural page of its website, noted Shankar’s extensive collaborations with musicians as varied as the late George Harrison of the Beatles to composer Philip Glass.

“While Shankar’s classical performances were instrumental in introducing Western audiences to the brilliance and intricacies of Indian classical music, it was those collaborative experiments that revolutionized the music world,” the magazine wrote.

Shankar was born on April 7, 1920, in what is today known as Varanasi, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He was the youngest of seven sons in a Bengali Brahmin family.

In a career spanning eight decades, he recorded and performed solo, as well as with a wide range of musicians, including at the Woodstock music festival in 1969, where Jimi Hendrix and other US pop music icons of the 1960s also played.

 

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