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Anoushka Shankar

For Anoushka Shankar, there is legacy and then there is destiny. She is equally respectful of both, but bound to neither. Her ever-growing audience cannot help but acknowledge the familial roots of the young woman coaxing spellbinding spiritual sounds from her sitar, but neither can they deny that she is an innovator in her own right. Her name may have brought her to the stage for the first time as a young girl, but it is her talent and vision that have kept her there.

Schooled in the Indian classical music tradition by the greatest teacher any student could hope to have, maestro and father Ravi Shankar, Anoushka had already dazzled thousands with her accomplished musicianship by the time she had reached her teens. "The younger Shankar revealed herself to be a remarkably promising sitarist," said Time Out New York magazine of the 16-year-old Anoushka in 1997, while a few years later Dubai's Gulf News Panorama noted, "She has accomplished far more than many musicians would do in a lifetime."

Anoushka made her recording debut at 13, appearing on the album In Celebration, a tribute to the works of Ravi Shankar. Two years later she made her debut as a conductor on her father's Chants Of India album produced by close family friend, George Harrison.

Anoushka, her 1998 solo debut, established the younger Shankar as something of a prodigy. That same year, the British Parliament awarded Anoushka with a House of Commons Shield, making her both the youngest and the first female recipient of that high honor.

Anourag (2000), Anoushka's sophomore release, expanded upon and refined what she had offered on the debut, and 2001's Live at Carnegie Hall truly brought Anoushka into the international spotlight, garnering her first Grammy nomination and making her the youngest person ever nominated in the World Music category. Although she did not release any new recordings under her own name for the next four years, Anoushka was by no means idle. In 2002, at the historic Concert for George, a tribute to the late George Harrison in London, she conducted a new composition of her father's, "Arpan," which featured a guitar solo by Eric Clapton. Anoushka also performed Harrison's "The Inner Light" that evening.

That same year saw the release of Anoushka's book Bapi: The Love of my Life, an intimate biographical portrait of her father's exceptional journey, as well as a BBC-produced telecast documentary Anoushka Shankar: Sitar Trek, a 30-minute glimpse of life on the road with the emerging queen of the sitar.

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"Most people are musicians simply because they play a certain instrument; when they play that instrument, the music appears. But Ravi--to me, he is the music; it just happens to be that he plays the Sitar. And it's like that with Anoushka. She has that quality--She is the music. --George Harrison - 1997

"Ms. Shankar, sounding utterly different from her father, improvised against tablas, using aggressive geometric ideas, ramming home her improvisations; the crowd cheered her loudly, and Mr. Shankar, beaming, was as proud as Ms. Coltrane had been of her son." --The New York Times - June 16, 1998

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Reflections

Deutsche Grammophon
2019

buy

Traces Of You

Unknown label
2013

buy

Breathing Under Water

Manhattan Records
2007

buy

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