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Anoushka Shankar Biography

Home > Music > S > Shankar, Anoushka > Biography

Born: 1981/06/09
Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1998–present
Genres: Indian Classical

Anoushka Shankar (born June 9, 1981) is a British Indian sitar player and composer who lives between the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. She is the daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Sukanya Shankar. She is the paternal half-sister of Norah Jones.

Shankar began training on the sitar with her father as a child, and gave her first public performance at the age of 13 at Siri Fort in New Delhi. By the age of 14, she was accompanying her father at concerts around the world, and signed her first record contract, with Angel Records (EMI) at age 16.

She released her first album, “Anoushka,” in 1998, followed by “Anourag” in 2000. Both Shankar and Norah Jones were nominated for Grammy awards in 2003 when Anoushka became the youngest-ever and first woman nominee in the World Music category for her third-album, “Live at Carnegie Hall.”

2005 brought the release of Anoushka’s fourth album “RISE,” earning her another Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary World Music category. In February 2006 she became the first Indian to play at the Grammy Awards.

Shankar, in collaboration with Karsh Kale, released “Breathing Under Water” in 2007. It was a mix of classical sitar and electronica beats and melodies. Notable guest vocals included Norah Jones, Sting, and Ravi Shankar who performed a sitar duet with his daughter.

Anoushka has made many guest appearances on recordings by other artists, among them Sting, Lenny Kravitz and Thievery Corporation. Duetting with violinist Joshua Bell, in a sitar-cello duet with Mstislav Rostropovich, and with flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, playing both sitar and piano. Most recently Anoushka has collaborated with Herbie Hancock on his latest record “The Imagine Project.”

Anoushka recorded her next album in Madrid, Spain. Released in autumn 2011 “Traveller” was an exploration of the commonalities and differences between classical Indian music and Spanish flamenco, and features the talents of Shubha Mudgal, Tanmoy Bose, Pepe Habichuela, Sandra Carrasco and Duquende among others.