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Sitar Virtuoso Ravi Shankar

He brought Indian music to the world. We’ll remember sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar.

In this Aug. 3, 1967 file photo, George Harrison, of the Beatles, left, sits cross-legged with his musical mentor, Ravi Shankar of India, in Los Angeles, as Harrison explains to newsmen that Shankar is teaching him to play the sitar. Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, died Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. He was 92.  (AP)

In this Aug. 3, 1967 file photo, George Harrison, of the Beatles, left, sits cross-legged with his musical mentor, Ravi Shankar of India, in Los Angeles, as Harrison explains to newsmen that Shankar is teaching him to play the sitar. Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, died Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. He was 92. (AP)

Ravi Shankar did not play with the Beatles on “Norwegian Wood.”  That was George Harrison learning the sitar.  But it was Ravi Shankar, sitar virtuoso and master of classical Indian music, who built the bridge between East and West.

Inspired John Coltrane.  Jammed with Yehudi Menuhin.  Played for Zubin Mehta.  For Bangladesh.  For India.  Opened up the world.  Died this week at 92.

This hour, On Point:  remembering the great Ravi Shankar.  Zubin Mehta is with us.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ken Hunt, music critic, broadcaster and lyricist. He’s Ravi Shankar’s approved biographer.

Karthik Seshardi, sitarist and musical disciple of Ravi Shankar.

Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor of western classical music. He collaborated with Ravi Shankar and the London Philharmonic Symphony on Shankar’s second sitar concerto in 1981.

From Tom’s Reading List

BBC “Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar has died in a hospital in the US, aged 92. His family said he had been admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego last week, but had failed to recover fully from surgery. Shankar gained widespread international recognition through his association with The Beatles.”

Video

Here Ravi Shankar plays with Beatle George Harrison in India in 1968.

Here’s Ravi Shankar on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969.

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