- Ukraine PM vows to find ‘bastards’ behind anti-Semitic fliers
- Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
- Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation in South Korea
- Militants kill 14 Algerian soldiers in ambush
- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
Hundreds honor Ravi Shankar at California memorial
ENCINITAS, CALIF. (AP) - Hundreds of friends and family on Thursday remembered sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar as an unfailingly generous teacher with a gentle spirit and sense of humor whose music fostered understanding between East and West.
“They were like father and son as well as brothers,” Harrison said on an outdoor stage decorated with garlands of white flowers at the Self Realization Fellowship center in Encinitas, the oceanfront suburb north of San Diego where Shankar lived for the last two decades.
Conductor Zubin Mehta said he felt like a “little crumb” listening to Shankar play and credited his close friend with introducing India to the world.
Shankar died last week in San Diego at age 92.
His wife, Sukanya Rajan, and daughters _ singer Norah Jones and Grammy-nominated sitarist Anoushka Shankar _ sat in the front row as speakers paid tribute. The audience listened to clips of Shankar’s music and recorded voice.
“Music is the only language I really know,” Shankar said in one clip.
Under blue skies on a warm Southern California morning, a family friend read messages from political and cultural luminaries including musicians Phillip Glass and Peter Gabriel, who thanked him for teaching them. The audience heard excerpts from newspaper stories that trumpeted Shankar’s enormous influence.
Labeled “the godfather of world music” by Harrison, Shankar helped millions of Westerners _ classical, jazz and rock lovers _ discover the centuries-old traditions of Indian music. From Harrison to John Coltrane, from Yehudi Menuhin to Andre Previn, he bridged the musical gap between East and West.
Pirashanna Thevarajah, one of his students, said Shankar was the reason he pursued a music career and that his teacher sometimes believed more in him than he believed in himself. He called Shankar “a very simple soul with a wonderful sense of humor.”
Thevarajah said Shankar followed his puns with the line, “That’s why the call me a pundit.”
Film director Joe Wright, Shankar’s son-in-law, recalled a risky medical operation that Shankar’s family was unsure he would survive. Though he made it through, Wright thought he might never again see Shankar alive as he was rolled into the operating room.
Wright saw Shankar’s fingers moving as he was wheeled away.
“I never at any moment saw his fingers not playing, not beating a rhythm,” Wright said.
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Former Blue Angels commander relieved of duty for alleged misconduct
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.