Music Current Choice

Ravi Shankar
Father and daughter

Norah Jones isn't the only daughter of Ravi Shankar with a recording career of her own. Anoushka Shankar, who grew up splitting her time between London, California, and India, and unlike Jones spent a great deal of her childhood with her father, decided to walk at least a bit in Dad's footsteps: She studied sitar with him and the two were sharing stages by her early teens.

Now, after making three recordings that stayed fairly close to the classical tradition, the student is striking out away from her master's shadow. With Rise (Angel Records), she enters the vast world of hybridized modern world music, adding electronic keyboards and programming to her centuries-old sitar, and combining Indian forms with traditional Western instruments and even a didgeridoo.

Fans of Indian music have a rare opportunity next week, as Anoushka is joined by her legendary father for a show at Austin's intimate Paramount Theater. (An Austin show of this stature would usually be held in U.T.'s much larger Bass Concert Hall.)

Current Choice

Ravi Shankar
Anoushka Shankar

Tue, Sep 20

Paramount Theater
713 Congress Ave, Austin
1-866-4GET TIX or

For the uninitiated: Ravi Shankar, now in his mid-'80s, is the world's most famous purveyor of classical Indian music. After going on international performing tours in the '50s, Shankar became instrumental to the sound of Western pop when his music was embraced in the '60s by the Beatles - the sound of a sitar solo on a psychedelic record would soon become a cliché, but the more general influence of the cross-pollination was long-lasting.

Shankar sold innumerable albums in the West and was embraced at the Monterey Pop fest and Woodstock. But while he happily collaborated with others and embarked on projects that annoyed purists, he remained a master of his nation's traditional forms like the raga. To what degree will he embrace his daughter's new stylistic adventures? The answer is an hour's drive away.

By John DeFore


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