“I will keep playing as long as my body lets me, and as long as I'm wanted by my listeners. Because music is the only thing that keeps me going.”
“In India, I have been called a 'destroyer.' But that is only because they mixed my identity as a performer and as a composer. As a composer I have tried everything, even electronic music and avant-garde. But as a performer I am, believe me, getting more classical and more orthodox, jealously protecting the heritage that I have learned.”
“I have always had an instinct for doing new things. Call it good or bad, I love to experiment.”
Ravi Shankar (born Rabindra Shankar Chowdhury on April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, India) was an Indian musician and composer. By the age of thirteen, Ravi had become a member of the dance group choreographed by his brother, Uday Shankar. Ravi toured Europe and the United States in the mid 1930s with the group, discovering Western classical music, jazz and cinema. Ravi’s studied Indian classical music in 1938, learning the sitar and surbahar. His debut performance came in 1939 and he completed his training in 1944. During the mid-1950s, Ravi composed the music for the critically acclaimed Apu Trilogy films by Satayajit Ray. Ravi and his music was introduced to a greater international audience when he befriended George Harrison of The Beatles. Ravi performed at Woodstock in 1969, though he disliked the festival. Throughout the 1970s, Ravi distanced himself from the hippie movement and focused on performing and recording. By the end of his career, he had won five Grammy Awards, including Album of The Year in 1973 for The Concert For Bangladesh. In Dec. 2012, Ravi was admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego, California after suffering breathing difficulties. He passed away on Dec. 11, 2012, after undergoing heart valve replacement surgery.
Best Known For:
Ravi Shankar was best known as an Indian musician, composer and friend of Beatles guitarist George Harrison.
Ravi married Annapurna Devi, the daughter of his mentor, Allauddin Khan, in 1941. Their son, Shubhendra Shankar was born in 1942. They separated in the 1940s and he begun a relationship with dancer Kamala Shastri. His affair with Sue Jones, a New York concert producer, resulted in the birth of Norah Jones in 1979. While living with Sue, Ravi had an affair with Sukanya Rajan, which resulted in his daughter, Anoushka Shankar. He and Sukanya wed in 1989.