Sitar lady

Although she is only 25, she has had a long career and has long since stopped being just Ravi Shankar’s daughter. Born in London, she is a sitar player and composer and started being taught by her father when she was nine. She gave her first public performance at the age of 13. Today she’s a well-known artist. In 2000, she was the first woman to perform at The Ramakrishna Centre in Calcutta. She was chosen by the Indian Television Academy and the newspaper India Times as one of four Women of the Year. Furthermore, she appeared three years ago in Time Magazine Asia as one of their twenty Asian heroes.

She still loves playing Indian classical music and doing concerts with her father, who is known all over the world as the one that brought classical Indian music onto the world stage, thanks to his association with The Beatles and his charisma. "Getting to perform with my father is one of the most amazing things I get to do, especially now that we are father-daughter, teacher-student, and also true collaborators after having performed together for over a decade", she said proudly.

But she is developing her own style. That’s why she created the Anoushka Shankar Project a couple of years ago, which was conceived "to differentiate between the classical career I had built over years, and the experimental direction I've gone in the last few years". Through this project she is able to work "outside of, but inspired by, classical Indian frameworks and compose for a combination of Indian and Western music and musicians".

{mosimage}This summer she will be playing a combination of new compositions of hers based on ragas (Indian classical melody forms) created by her father over the last few decades, and also some acoustic versions of material from her last album Rise. With her will be her long-time collaborator, the legendary tabla player Tanmoy Bose, brilliant Carnatic (South Indian) flutist Ravichandra Kulur, and two jazz musicians who study Indian music with her father: drummer Jesse Charnow, and pianist/saxophonist Leo Dombecki.

Shankar explains that "we are playing my compositions but I give the musicians a lot of room to improvise, and we have a great rapport and dynamic chemistry, which is something people like most about our shows".

This will by her first time in Finland –"though I saw the coast once from a boat I had taken from St. Petersburg! ". Anoushka told us that "more than anything I am excited to come to your country and play my music there for the first time. I don't have expectations necessarily, but I hope to have some time to explore, and I really hope that people appreciate the music". 

Anoushka ShankarTuesday 22 May, 7.30pm
Savoy Theatre, Kasarmikatu 46-48, Helsinki