Editorial: When East came West and the twain met

Wednesday 12 December 2012 21:03
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The late Ravi Shankar became known in the West through his association with The Beatles. But there was far more to the man George Harrison called the "godfather" of world music. He was a champion of crossover in its fullest sense. His sitar spoke to all our souls.

A charismatic and intelligent ambassador, he took the spontaneity of traditional Indian music to a global stage and brought it together with pop, classical, jazz and film music in ground-breaking collaborations with figures as varied as Yehudi Menuhin, John Coltrane, Philip Glass and Andre Previn.

His passion for music was rooted in the Vedic chants he heard as a Brahmin child, but it transcended not just culture, race and geography but class and generation. Some of that diversity will live on through his daughters, the singer Nora Jones and the sitarist Anoushka Shankar to whom, as she said, "a torch was passed".

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