Memorable meeting with Pandit Ravi Shankar at his
2009-11-04

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Dear All

Pandit Ravi Shankar performed in the San Francisco Jazz Festival in the well-known Davies Symphony Hall

http://www.sfsymphony.org/season/?gclid=CN6unoOk5Z0CFSWjagod3WD3Kg

  It was amazing to watch Guruji (Pandit Ravi Shankar) at the age of 89+ performing with vigor and enthusiasm. He dedicated the concert to the legendary Maestro Ali Akbar Khan Sahib who recently passed away. It was indeed a pleasure enjoying his artistry and improvisation as the Tabla, Mridangam, Khanjira followed him.
This was a Ravi Shankar Anoushka concert and she also performed along side. He introduced her as 'My Anoushka' with great pleasure. He seemed very happy and satisfied.
He performed Rag Jog with slow alaap & Jod in the beginning with a composition in Zaptaal of 10 beats followed by fast Zhala in Ektaal. Then he performed wonderful rendering of Rag Charukeshi in Teental.

After the first half of the concert, he performed Rag Manjh Khamaj in Ragmala style with different taalas from Dhamar to Kehrava. He ended the concert with a melodious dhun.

The program description in the booklet mentioned his appearance in the second half, however he changed the program in last minute and performed almost throughout the concert. He had difficulty tuning the instrument, and one of his students who was playing Tanpura tuned for him when he changed Ragas.

Guruji did not perform on his usual big Sitar. It looked a special model of Sitar for him, with a very light (and much flatter) lower pumpkin (like surbahar) and perhaps differnt types of tuning knobs. He had special seating arrangements with his legs dropping down, which is different from traditional seating style. But he came very strong, walked straight in and out of the stage.

 
 

Ali Akbar Khan's family - Wife Mary and children Alam (Sarode player) and Manik also attended the concert. Guruji was very emotional as he said 'I dedicate this concert to Ali AkbarKhan"

The hall of capacity around 3,000 was full and Ravi Shankar received standing ovation and had to come to the stage after the concert almost 4 times!

Regards
Pooja

 

 

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