Hundreds pay tribute to Ravi Shankar

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 21 December 2012
Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar

Hundreds of people turned out at a public memorial in Encinitas, California to pay tribute to late sitar player Ravi Shankar yesterday (20.12.12)

Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to Ravi Shankar yesterday (20.12.12).

The legendary sitar played passed way aged 92 earlier this month and was mourned by a crowd of around 700 fans and celebrity friends at the public service in Encinitas, California, near where he lived.

Olivia Harrison - widow of late Beatles guitarist George Harrison - spoke about how much her husband had learned from Ravi.

She said: "They were like father and son as well as brothers. They made each other laugh as if they shared a secret. And I'm sure they did.

"They exchanged ideas and melodies until their minds and hearts, East and West, were entwined, like a double helix."

Ravi helped to introduce eastern musical concepts to the west during the 60s, partly through his close work with The Beatles, as well as his own tours and records.

In his tribute, former Genesis musician Peter Gabriel told how Ravi had "opened the door to non-Western music for millions of people around the world."

Film director Martin Scorsese also called the sitar virtuoso a "true master".

Further tributes were paid by Ravi's daughters, sitar player Anoushka Shankar and singer Norah Jones. Also in attendance were jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and film director Joe Wright.

Shortly before he passed away, Ravi had been told he will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

President of the recording academy, Neil Portnow, said: "I had the honour to inform Ravi he would receive a 2013 Lifetime Achievement this February.

"He was deeply touched and so pleased, that he extended a gracious and personal invitation to visit with him at his home."

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