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Ravi Shankar was described as the “godfather of world music” by George Harrison, and a number of celebrations in London and New York were planned to celebrate his centenary, but have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
Shankar’s daughter Anoushka said: “Most people across cultures and generations seem to know the name Shankar. There definitely were decades where he was the household Indian name that was putting India on the map, culturally and artistically.” “I really do think that lots of people are turning into their kind of higher selves and that positivity and that hope and peace that I do think it makes a difference. And so any art, anything that helps people do that has incredible value.”
Ravi Shankar died in 2012 aged 92 after undergoing heart valve replacement surgery. Later that year, he was awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys, which was accepted by his daughters, one of which is singer Norah Jones.

At the ceremony, Jones said: “We know he was very excited to be receiving this award. We really miss him. He lived and breathed music. He was tapping out rhythms on the breakfast table and making me do five over seven…I am still trying to get it. We are very happy to accept the award for him.”

Meanwhile, George Harrison‘s Material World Foundation has donated $500,000 to a series of charities providing much needed aid and care during this coronavirus pandemic.

The foundation set up by George announced last month that it donated funds to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, Save the Children, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).



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The George Harrison Estate is happy to announce HariSongs, created to release music from George’s archive of Indian Classical music and his collaborations with the finest exponents of that music.

Home to George Harrison’s archive of Indian Classical and World music and his collaborations with the finest exponents of Indian Classical music. First reissues available digitally, including via streaming outlets for the first time.

The George Harrison Estate is happy to announce their new label, HariSongs, created in partnership with Craft Recordings to release Harrison’s archive of Indian Classical and World music and his collaborations with the finest exponents of Indian Classical music.
To celebrate this body of music, HariSongs launches today with two reissues in honour of both Ravi Shankar’s birthday (b. 7th April, 1920) and Ali Akbar Khan’s birthday (b. 14th April, 1922) this month. These titles — both recently out-of-print, and never before available via streaming platforms — are the acclaimed Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan In Concert 1972 and the last collaboration by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, Chants of India. These digital-only reissues are now available for the first time via streaming outlets, as well as to download (In Concert is also on Hi-Res 96/24 and 192/24 formats).

About In Concert 1972

In Concert 1972 was originally released via Apple Records in 1973, with a statement that read: “Within the small community of Brilliantly Gifted Musicians there exists an even smaller world of Masters. Two of these masters recently joined together in concert …”. The album features two of Indian Classical music’s greatest artists at the height of their powers, the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and master of the sarod, Ali Akbar Khan. The album captures the live recordings from a performance which took place at New York City’s Philharmonic Hall on October 8, 1972 and was mixed and edited by George Harrison (with Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald). Featuring tabla accompaniment by the great Alla Rakha, this mesmerising concert comprises three ragas played in the jugalbandi style (or a duet played by two solo musicians) and became a poignant tribute to the guru of both soloists (and the father of Ali Akbar), the great Allauddin Khan, who had died but a month previously.



 About Chants of India
Chants of India by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison was originally released in 1997 on Angel Records. Recorded in both Madras, India, and Henley-on-Thames, UK, this collaboration was referred to by Shankar as “one of the most difficult challenges in my life, as a composer and arranger”, and draws upon the sacred Sanskrit texts of the Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures. He added, “the repetitive use of mantras invoke a special power within oneself and I have tried to imbibe this age-old tradition in this recording… into which I have poured my heart and soul”.



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Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar’s family recently gifted one of his four sitars made in 1961 to the British Museum in London. The gifted sitar was specially designed for the maestro by Kolkata-based instrument maker Nodu Mullick. The sitar has been placed in room 33 of the renovated Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia and has been displayed as one of its most valuable possessions from South Asia. The Sitar was gifted to the British Museum by Shankar’s widow Sukanya Shankar, his daughter Anoushka Shankar along with the Ravi Shankar Foundation that is based in New Delhi. The sitar gifted to the museum is considered “particularly special” by Richard Blurton who is the head of the museum’s South and Southeast Asia section.

Blurton on Wednesday while talking about the sitar said that it was the first one to be made by Nodu Mullick for the sitar maestro. He added that other examples of Indian musical instruments exist in the museum’s collection, though none are as beautifully decorated or so connected to a cultural figure of the stature of Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Shankar who passed away in the year 2012 at the age of 92 had performed in the United Kingdom several times and was best known in the country for his collaboration with The Beatles member George Harrison. His elder brother Uday Shankar was a well-known dancer who studied and performed in London. Uday is known to have visited the British Museum to study Indian medieval sculpture as part of his efforts to develop his new Indian dance. Blurton while talking about the connection of the museum to Shankar’s family said that the wonderful gift of the sitar is just the latest chapter in the history of connections between the Shankar family and the museum.

He added that the gift of the sitar to the Museum enables the telling of the human side of the story of Ravi Shankar’s life and work, both in the west and in India, but also to place him, and other cultural ambassadors, within the context of the discovery of the cultural achievements of the entire world.