Shankar more than famous name

It didn't take long for Anoushka Shankar to prove that she's got more than a famous name.

Shankar is the daughter of sitar player Ravi Shankar (she's a half-sister of Norah Jones), and like her father, plays the sitar. She began playing the unwieldy looking instrument at the age of 9, learning from her father. She made her first concert appearance at age 13 in New Delhi, and signed her first recording contract at the age of 16.

From there, it didn't take long for the rest of the world to discover what her father has suspected all along: Anoushka had enough talent to make it entirely on her own.

She received a Grammy nomination in World Music in 2003, and another in 2005. The first was for the traditional classical Indian music on her live album, "Live at Carnegie Hall." The second was for the vastly expanded palette of "Rise," her 2005 album that Shankar composed, arranged and produced herself.

Now Shankar, who will perform Monday at Mayo Civic Center's Presentation Hall , is on an American concert tour in support of her most recent album, "Traveller," which mixes Indian music and Spanish flamenco.


At a relatively young age, Shankar, who turns 31 in June, has had a varied life and career. Here are some highlights:

• Although born in London, and reared there and in India, Shankar attended high school in southern California. She now lives primarily in England.

• Among artists she has accompanied on recordings are Sting, Lenny Kravitz and Herbie Hancock.

• In 2002, Shankar performed at the Concert for George memorial for George Harrison, who had learned the sitar from Ravi Shankar. She played Harrison's "The Inner Light" and "Arpan," a new composition written by her father and featuring Eric Clapton on guitar.

• She is also a journalist, having written a weekly column for India's Hindustan Times for a year, and a monthly column for India's First City Magazine for three years. Shankar has also written a biography of her father, "Bapi: The Love of My Life."

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