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Ravi Shankar ‘Godfather of World Music’ Passes

Remembering Ravi ShankarWorld-renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar, the greatest ambassador of Indian music of the millenium  has died in San Diego, near his Escondido home of 30 years. He was 92.

Shankar was a recognized master of classical Indian music, an art form with roots that extend back more than 4,000 years. Through his contact with musicians of different cultures, Shankar was the first to introduce Indian music to western, mainstream audiences. Over his eight-decade career, he became a worldwide musical icon, especially through his work with the Beatles, and was labeled the “godfather of world music” by no less than George Harrison.

From Voice of America

Ravi Shankar was born in India and began his musical career in the 1930s, studying music and dance. At the age of 10, he moved to Paris to join his brother, the leader of a respected Indian dance troupe. He spent the next eight years traveling with the troupe across America, Europe and Asia. During that time, Ravi Shankar heard and met western music stars such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Cole Porter. Later, he decided to return to India and embark on a course of intensive study with a sitar master.

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Shankar played his first U.S. concert in 1956, introducing the western audiences to ragas, a complex Indian musical form often enhanced with drums and other instruments. He explained how each raga has its own personality, whether happy, sad, erotic or devotional. Shankar believed that, to effectively play a raga, a musician must have harmony within himself, follow the musical structure, and join in harmony with others.

“The basis of the system that’s known as the raga is the melody forms — hundreds and thousands of them,” said Shankar. “They have their own ascending and descending structure. They’re pentatonic, hexatonic or using all the seven notes, and different permutations and combinations. But the question of spirituality is something else. It is being trained from the very beginning to be at peace yourself when you perform.”

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Peter Bennett (1935-2013)

Pete Bennett with Cristavum Buraque, Governor of Brasilia

Pete with Cristovam Buarque

Entertainment & Media

Designated “the number one promotions man in the world” by Performance Magazine, and “The world’s most powerful man in the entertainment industry” by Billboard, Peter has been the Promotions Director of Apple Records Company, he was the Promotional Manager for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who, as well as Personal Manager and Promoter for the individual careers of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney. He also enhanced the careers of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Peter has devoted his life to promoting and producing celebrities, the late George Burns, Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, and John Wayne. Also included were such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields, Steve Tyler, Eric Clapton, Michael Bolton, Vince Gil, Tony Bennett, and Bob Hope, to name but a few of the scores of big name artists that Peter has worked with.

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