“Ravi Shankar is as synonymous to world music as Elvis Presley is to rock and roll,” said Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum. “Through his decades of world concert performances and the relationships he built with Western artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Philip Glass, John Coltrane, and The Beatles, Shankar was instrumental in introducing the world to Indian music, and we are excited to introduce our visitors to the influential life of Ravi Shankar.”
On display on the Museum’s fourth floor, the exhibit will feature:
A collection of sitars played by Shankar, including one from the 1930s, Shankar’s Grammy Awards, including the 1972 Album Of The Year trophy for The Concert For Bangladesh, performance attire, including outfits worn at Woodstock in 1969 and the Concert for Bangladesh, the performance box from Shankar’s final concert in 2012, rare photographs from the Shankar family collection and handwritten letters and music ideas among other things.
“The upcoming Ravi Shankar exhibition will be a privileged glimpse into a life dedicated to, and consumed by, Indian classical music, not only played on sitar, but through all forms of instruments, voice and dance,” said Olivia Harrison, wife of the late Beatles member George Harrison, who considered Shankar to be the “Godfather of World Music.”
“His orchestral compositions will be a revelation to those who are only familiar with his solo music. Ravi Shankar’s worldwide travels and friendships will also add to the multifaceted picture of his colorful life and appreciation of Western culture and knowledge of jazz, classical and popular music,” she said.
“Ravi was one of a kind. He meant so much to Eastern and Western music and what they could accomplish together,” said Sukanya Shankar, Ravi Shankar’s widow. “He influenced musicians and touched the lives of millions all over the world not only with his incredible virtuosity, but with his ability to be so humble in the midst of such adoration. I am deeply touched by the efforts the Grammy Museum is making to showcase his life story for the world to see.”
One day before the launch, on April 28, the Museum will host Ravi Shankar: Celebrating A Life In Music. The evening will feature the screening of a short documentary film, followed by a special performance from a trio comprised of Barry Phillips on cello, Lakshay Mohan Gupta on sitar and Aayush Mohan Gupta on sarod.