Photo: Harper Smith
It took a while for sitarist Anoushka Shankar to get out of her comfort zone as an artist. Her first releases mostly consisted of ragas written by her father Ravi, but after 2005’s “Rise,” she began expanding her musical horizons by incorporating jazz, world music and electronica (2007’s excellent “Breathing Under Water” is a great example) while collaborating with other musicians.
On “Traveller” (Deutsche Grammophon), she takes things up a notch by mixing her signature sitar sound with the sounds of flamenco. Read the rest of this entry »
When we in the West think of Indian classical music, we tend to think of instruments exclusively associated with that tradition such as the sitar and the tabla, but there is a long tradition of flute performance in India that predates its use in the West but which makes use of the same ragas and rhythms of Indian music though in a more subtle manner. This rare performance by Indian flute virtuoso T.S. Sankaran is part of the four-day “Dance India: Choreographing Traditions” festival and conference that is attracting Indian musicians and dancers from India and elsewhere and which will present Sankaran accompanied by Srikanth Venkataraman, a master violinist in the Indian classical tradition, and G. Vijayaraghavan on the South Indian drum known as the mridangam. Read the rest of this entry »
Unlike a certain other daughter of legendary Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar who made a household name for herself superficially singing breathy interpretations of standards and elevator jazz, Anoushka Shankar is a multi-faceted musician whose talent is limited only by her imagination. Those of us who follow her father’s career know that it is Anoushka who alternates playing lead and second sitar in Ravi’s ensemble, paying strict attention to the extraordinary demands of his style of Indian classical music. But on her own, Anoushka’s music owes as much to the West as it does to the Indian tradition, and hers is truly a unique fusion of ambient music with an Indian sensibility as her newest album “Rise” (Angel/EMI) attests. A special DJ set by Karsh Kale will open this third and final concert in the City of Chicago’s new world-music series. Read the rest of this entry »