Anoushka Shankar

Sitar artist Anoushka Shankar was watching the news about the refugee crisis last summer while making a new album. Shankar, the daughter of Ravi Shankar and half-sister of Norah Jones, says she decided to focus the album on what was happening. “You know, I couldn’t help but be involved in seeing what was going on in the world and watching refugees coming to Europe, it was heartbreaking,” she told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

©2013 Deutsche Grammophon

The name Shankar immediately conjures up memories of the great Ravi Shankar. The master sitar player inspired George Harrison’s foray into playing this complex instrument, leading to a keen interest in Indian classical music by Western audiences. He also inspired his daughter Anoushka to follow in his footsteps. Born in London, Anoushka Shankar spent her teenage years in California, and whilst there decided to become a professional musician.

When Indian music icon Ravi Shankar died last year, his daughter, sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar, was at work on her seventh album. The recording, Traces of You, became a kind of memorial.

Anoushka Shankar began playing sitar with her famous father, the late Ravi Shankar, when she was 4. But until recently, she'd never entered a studio with her other famous relative, half-sister Norah Jones.

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