Inspirational musician Ravi Shankar has died at the grand old age of 92. For people of this blogger's generation his name and music will forever be synonymous with the Beatles but in particular George Harrision.
During those hippy days of the late sixties, when the Beatles traveled to India, fell under the spell of the Maharishi and introduced us to the psychedelic sound of the Sitar, Ravi became a household name, at least amongst a certain section of young western culture.
His music was traditional, haunting and yet able to be reinvented into a more modern frame. You can read more about the man at his dedicated website where a statement reads, Shankar Family Statement:
"It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today, December 11th, 2012.
As you all know, his health has been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday he underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery. We were at his side when he passed away.
We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music."
Sukanya & Anoushka Shankar
It is fair to say that Ravi became one of India's most famous citizens. Fame came when he was not such a young man having learned his craft well over time. He had an astounding musical career writing for Ballets around the world and so much more. The Western World first saw and fell in love with Ravi's music at the Monterey Pop Festival, Concert for Bangladesh, and The Woodstock Festival all those years ago.
He died in California on December 11, 2012, following heart valve replacement surgery last Thursday, December 6, 2012. He is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One daughter is Jazz singer Norah Jones.