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Ravi Shankar, The Man Who Brought Indian Music To The Beatles, Is Dead

Ravi played sitar, jamming good with John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Ravi Shankar, The Man Who Brought Indian Music To The Beatles, Is Dead

Ravi Shankar has died, a week after he underwent surgery in San Diego. The 92-year-old sitar virtuoso, who played at both Woodstock and the Monterey Jazz Festival, was described by Beatle George Harrison, whom he taught how to play the sitar, as “the godfather of world music.” As well as the Fab Four, Shankar also collaborated with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and saxophonist John Coltrane.

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Born in the Indian holy city of Varanasi, he was originally a member of his brother’s dance troupe until, as an 18-year-old, he studied the sitar. Unimpressed by Jimi Hendrix’s guitar-burning antics– “That was too much for me. In our culture we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God.”– he was venerated and revered as a “national treasure” in his home country.

[Image from Flickr user Kholkute]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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