It really is impossible to overstate the influence sitarist Ravi Shankar, who died Tuesday, had on the history of rock and roll, all the more impressive considering he accomplished it while playing an Indian folk instrument in the time of squelching amplifiers. But from his musical retreats with George Harrison to his collaborations with John McLaughlin, Eric Clapton, John Coltrane, and others, Shankar helped bridge western and eastern popular music in way that can be seen as an important contribution to the emergence of that clumsily-named genre, “world” music.
Locally, his influence is measured in a single talent. Shankar is the father of Norah Jones, who moved to Grapevine after her mother and Shankar separated in 1986. In recent years, Jones had repaired her relationship to her father. Here’s Jones’ collaboration with her half-sister, Anoushk Shankar, who learned sitar from the two musicians’ mutual father.