CHICAGO — The works of a man who had a major influence in Western music opened today in the South Loop.
Ravi Shankar was born in India and is known as the godfather of world music and the most famous sitar player in the world.
Shankar was instrumental in bringing Indian classical music to mainstream audiences in the West. One of Shankar’s first concerts in the US was in Chicago at the Symphony Center in 1933.
The Ravi Shankar exhibit at the South Asia Institute incorporates a collection of his music, records and photos.
His music resonated so much with Western culture that musicians incorporated the sitar into many genres of music. Most people know him from playing with George Harrison, but that was just the beginning.
Ravi’s influence was seen in rock, jazz and pop. Ravi was the only musician to perform in all three of the decade’s most famous music festivals, in The Monterey International Pop Festival, Woodstock and the Concert for Bangladesh.
The sitar is a string instrument, like a guitar but creates a much different sound.
Guarav Mazumdar is also a master at the sitar. A disciple of Ravi Shankar, he’s been nominated for a Grammy award and has been playing for worldwide audiences for three decades.
Ravi Shankar passed away in 2012, but his influence in the music industry has a lasting impact.