Ravi Shankar

Godfather of World Music

His Early Career 1930-1965

Rabendra (Ravi) Shankar was born in the Hindu city of Varanasi on April 7,1920 and was the youngest of five brothers. He was born into the highest class of the Hindu cast system.When he was seven years old his brother Uday started a dancing troupe with the rest of his family in Paris. There he attended Roman Catholic school for 5 years until returning back to India to study the sitar. He married Annapurna the daughter of his sitar master and mentor Ustad Allauddin Khan, in May, 1941 then he moved to Mumbai in 1944.In 1948 Ravi composed the music for the Indian blockbuster Pather Panchali which gained him international fame in Germany and Italy. In 1956 Ravi toured the US and UK performing jazz with Bud Shank and Paul Hora in the early 60's. He taught at the University of California while his crowds grew larger and larger.

Shankar Meets Rock Music 1966-1971

In 1966 Shankar and Violinist Yehudi Menuhin would perform at the Bath Music Festival then later performing at the United Nations. That year they would release their album

West Meets East. One year later Ravi would found the Kinnara School of Music in Mumbai. George Harrison of The Beatles, was the first to introduce Ravi to Rock music and included him in various song the album Rubber Soul. Later he would play in hit songs like Norwegian Wood and Across the Universe. At the Monterrey Music Festival he performed with many other musicians like Jimi Hendrix and The Who.

The Last Years of Ravi Shankar 1972-2012

In 1972 he performed with his good friend George Harrison in the concert for Bangladesh. Later he would record in Harrison's Dark Horse album. As his fame spread Ravi Shankar wrote numerous scores in movies like Gandhi in 1982. Later he would perform with Philip Glass in the 1990 album Passages. Following the death of Shankar's student George Harrison in 2001 Shankar wrote him many songs that were performed at Harrison's service. Ravi Shankar died December 11, 2012 at the age of 92. He lived a long life and certainly changed musical influence all over the world.

Did You Know

1. He was a vegetarian for all 92 years of his life.

2. His first live performance was when he was 9 and he performed live for the rest of his 83 years.