I was very lucky to see Ravi Shankar, the sitar player who inspired George Harrison of the Beatles, tonight.
I say I was very lucky because he is only playing seven stops on the North American Tour for 2009, and because he is 89 years old! Born April 7, 1920 (age 89) according to Wikipedia! Most people his age are dead, but he is up there on stage playing this amazing music. Inspiring!
The evening started off oddly with someone pulling the fire alarm at the Mondavi Center.
After a 30 min wait or so while the fire department checked everything out, we got to go in.
His daughter, Anoushka Shankar, was a fantastic player, well worth the price of admission even if it was just her.
Here is a bit about Ravi from his web site:
Ravi Shankar, the legendary sitarist and composer is India’s most esteemed musical Ambassador and a singular phenomenon in the classical music worlds of East and West. As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he has done more for Indian music than any other musician. He is well known for his pioneering work in bringing Indian music to the West. This however, he did only after long years of dedicated study under his illustrious guru Baba Allaudin Khan and after making a name for himself in India.
Always ahead of his time, Ravi Shankar has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, last one of which in 2008. He has also authored violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, music for Hosan Yamamoto, master of the Shakuhachi and Musumi Miyashita – Koto virtuoso, and has collaborated with Phillip Glass (Passages).
George Harrison produced and participated in two record albums, “Shankar Family & Friends” and “Festival of India” both composed by Ravi Shankar.
The drummer was awesome too. Fastest hands I’ve ever seen in person.